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

How much are top incubation executives worth?

by Sally Linder and Kathy Cammarata

October 2000

Number, number, who has the number? NBIA’s new compensation survey has numbers galore and a glimpse at what business incubation 2000 looks like.

Alan Mackenzie makes about $55,000 a year as director of a nonprofit youth incubator in Hartford, Conn. He’s calculated that others doing similar work in his region are making at least $110,000. He works a second job to pay the bills. A director of a nonprofit, mixed-used incubation program in an urban Alabama location says her $65,000 salary is probably above market rate when compared with small business development vice presidents in the chamber of commerce world, but below market when compared with incubator directors with similar programs. Charlie D’Agostino, executive director of a university incubator in Baton Rouge, says his $90,688 salary is on par with some university deans, small business executives and chamber of commerce peers. Blan McBride’s first executive decision in his Tallahassee-based nonprofit incubator job was to cut his $120,000 salary in half. What should he and these other incubation executives be making?

A new NBIA survey goes a long way in illuminating the compensation conundrum. Top incubator executives may not be hitting their ultimate salary goals, but at $68,314, the average salary of an incubator CEO has risen handsomely in the six years since Coopers and Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) conducted a similar survey (see Figure 1).

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Keywords: compensation -- incubator staff, management team building/compensation, research -- incubation

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