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A model of self-sustainability: Louisiana Business & Technology Center enhances services, secures finances through auxiliary programs

by Linda Knopp

October 2005

Louisiana Business & Technology Center Executive Director Charles D’Agostino understands its takes money to run a successful business incubation program. That’s why he doesn’t rely solely on funds from rent and service fees to cover the Baton Rouge, La., program’s expenses. Instead, during his 17-year tenure at LBTC, D’Agostino has strategically sought out partnerships with federal and state agencies both to bring in additional revenue and to enhance client services – what he refers to as having more “toys in the toy box.”

These partnerships have resulted in management contracts for Louisiana State University’s Small Business Development Center and the Louisiana Technology Transfer Office and have contributed to LBTC’s ability to operate without financial subsidies for most of its existence. “On a pure dollars and cents level, these extra programs help us run the incubator and ensure its long-term financial viability,” D’Agostino says. “But more importantly, they help us expand the services we provide to entrepreneurs.”

With more than 100 graduates in 17 years, LBTC has a long history of helping start-up businesses grow. At the 19th International Conference on Business Incubation in Baltimore, NBIA recognized LBTC for its achievements by awarding the program the association’s highest honor, the Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year award. Read on for more details about what makes this long-time member incubation program special.

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Keywords: best practices, self-sustainability, strategic partnerships, student intern

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