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Louisiana incubator driving force in rural communities

by Mary Jo Milillo

November/December 2009

Louisiana Business & Technology Center’s Incubator on Wheels — Driving Louisiana’s Economy — is incubation’s equivalent of the public library’s bookmobile. In LBTC’s case, if the entrepreneur can’t come to the incubator — located at Louisiana State University’s South Campus Research Park in Baton Rouge — the incubator goes to the entrepreneur.

“We started the Incubator on Wheels in 2005 to serve the underserved rural population,” says LBTC’s Executive Director Charlie D’Agostino. “We wanted to bring our resources to outlying areas to encourage entrepreneurship and business formation and to help existing businesses grow. The program is designed to reinvigorate those local economies with new job creation.”

And it’s doing just that. From its outreach to communities dealing with Louisiana’s devastating hurricanes to its annual 100 days on the road, the Incubator on Wheels is a unique response to the business development needs of the state’s rural areas.

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Keywords: best practices, economic development, incubator without walls, rural incubator, technology incubator

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