by Corinne Colbert
Most incubator clients are start-up or early-stage companies founded by entrepreneurs eager to make their mark in the world (or at least earn a living from their own business). But not all clients fit that mold.
Sometimes large, well-established companies will set up a separate, independent department to develop a new product or service. The idea is that by freeing a team from normal company bureaucracy, it can innovate better. Such operations are known as “skunk works” (see “Why do they call it ‘skunk works’?”).
Skunk works should not be confused with corporate spin-outs, which are completely separate legal and business entities. Skunk works are intended to return to the home company when their product or service is completed. In some cases, though, a skunk works may turn into a corporate spin-out. Or it may be an advance operation for a corporation that wants to expand into a new market.
Hosting a skunk works can be as close to easy money as an incubator manager can get, say those who have worked with them.
This article also is available as a PDF Quick Reference document through the NBIA Bookstore.
Keywords: effective communication, funding sources/fundraising, marketing and promotion, partnerships -- organizational/corporate, sponsor, stakeholder development, stakeholder relationship management
Phone: (740) 593-4331
Fax: (740) 593-1996
PO Box 959
Athens, OH 45701-1565