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

Research Roundup: Studies Explore the For-Profit Incubation Phenomenon and Best Practices for All

by Carol James

With business incubation finally on the way to becoming a household phrase, it’s little surprise that the model has piqued the interest of researchers.

Explosive growth of the for-profit business incubation industry and two states’ exploration of how incubation can develop their economies provided the impetus for six recent studies. The authors, ranging from business incubation experts to Ivy League and private researchers, are examining everything from how incubators can provide value to their companies (and thus themselves) to shifts in the for-profit incubation model.

There is a huge market for this type of information, and these recent studies fill some of that need. We’ve talked with authors of the studies, and provide some highlights here. In the meantime, NBIA is preparing to conduct its fifth industry-wide study. Much has changed statistically since NBIA conducted its last industry study in 1998, largely due to the boom (and some subsequent busts) in the for-profit incubation segment.

Several of the new studies deconstruct the for-profit incubation phenomenon while others detail industry best practices. All incubation programs – for-profit or not – can gain insights from the best practices studies into how to grow and nurture successful companies.

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Keywords: best practices, for-profit incubators, research -- incubation

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