For more than seven years, the Incubator without Walls program at the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship in Greensboro, N.C., has drawn industry attention – not only because it is an effective affiliate incubation service, but because it charges affiliate members more for services than it does resident clients.
"Even so," says Sam Funchess, president and CEO, "it's a very good deal for the affiliate. It's especially useful when we have clients that come to us knowing very little, including whether entrepreneurship is right for them. It doesn't make sense to load them up with overhead, with an office and phones and Internet service. We'll say, 'Let's start off slow – you'll learn quickly whether you can run your own business.'"
If things work out, the transition to incubator residency is easier, he says. Sometimes, people get a job, lose enthusiasm or decide the strains of owning a business aren't what they expected.
Keywords: affiliate program, incubator without walls
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