National Business Incubation Association; Your source for knowledge and networks in business incubation

Award-winning incubator makes innovation look easy

August 2007

A technology incubator couldn’t ask for a better location than that of the NeoTech Incubator in Columbia, Md. “We’re 12 miles from NSA and seven miles from the Applied Physics Lab at Johns Hopkins [University],” says Carol Morrison, NeoTech director. “NASA is right around the Beltway.”

That cluster of federal labs and agencies is a fertile seedbed for the technology start-ups NeoTech serves. “In [Silicon Valley], they create [computer] products,” Morrison says. “Here, we assist knowledge workers.”

But that cluster also could be a source of frustration for start-ups. All those juicy federal contracts so close … and possibly out of the reach of a small, unknown company that on its own might not have the resources to meet all of a big client’s needs. “Over half our clients work with federal labs,” Morrison says, but historically they were only subcontractors to larger companies that won an overall contract.

NeoTech clients, though, found a way to compete with the big boys. Through teaming agreements vetted by NeoTech lawyers, a group of clients can create a consortium to pursue federal contracts and divide the work among its members.

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Keywords: best practices, government procurement, technology incubator

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