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In "What are the new seed or venture accelerators?" in the June 2011 issue of NBIA Review, author Dinah Adkins looked at what seed accelerators do, how they differ from business incubators, the potential impacts they have on business incubation and other topics. Here, Adkins addresses why and how NBIA members have adapted various seed accelerator characteristics to serve the needs of their communities.

How business incubators have adapted accelerator-like services to woo new clients and serve more entrepreneurs

by Dinah Adkins

August 2011

Recent buzz about seed and venture accelerators has made some business incubator managers leery of potential competition for clients or, perhaps worse, fear that local and national stakeholders might withdraw funding or support in favor of the new accelerator model.

These concerns have certainly been a motivating factor behind incorporating accelerator-like programming into some incubators' services. These accelerator-like components include providing seed investment, "fast test" product validation during 90-day entrepreneur boot camps (high-energy meetings of founders and experienced entrepreneurs), and preparation for entrepreneurs to pitch to follow-on investors.

A review of NBIA members' activities suggests there are some compelling reasons to expand programming and provide more diversified services to larger markets.

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This article also is available as a PDF Quick Reference document through the NBIA Bookstore.

Keywords: business plan – incubator, economic development, for-profit incubators, special focus incubator, technology incubator, venture capital

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