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

Got walls? Even if you don’t, you can still offer a top-notch incubation experience

by Kathy Cammarata

October 2001

"We have everybody from soap makers to construction companies to a woman who sells fish out of a fish truck," says Debbie Metzler, running down a list of her incubator clients. Although this may sound like a hopelessly incompatible mix of businesses for one incubator, it's perfectly viable – for an incubator without walls.

Metzler oversees the Eastern Maine Incubator Without Walls as part of her job as a microenterprise specialist with the Eastern Maine Development Corp. Her client mix illustrates one of the key benefits of incubators without walls – flexibility. These programs aren't limited to a single focus or industry segment and some, like Metzler's, bring new meaning to the term "mixed use."

What exactly is an incubator without walls? It's a program that brings entrepreneurs together within their communities or regions without putting them into a building. More importantly, it provides them with all of the services and resources that a traditional bricks-and-mortar program does to help them grow successful businesses. Like their with-walls counterparts, incubators without walls vary in the way they deliver these services and in organizational structure.

NBIA members: Click here to read the entire article. Not an NBIA member? Click here to join today!

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

Keywords: client selection/admissions, incubator without walls, microenterprise, networking activities -- client, seminars and training programs, virtual incubation

Contact NBIA

Phone: (740) 593-4331
Fax: (740) 593-1996
PO Box 959
Athens, OH 45701-1565