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

Building a community in every sense of the word

by Dennis E. Powell

December 2011

In the last five years, Innovation Depot has generated more than a billion dollars in economic activity and helped revitalize the business community in Birmingham, Ala.

In 2010 alone, amid the worldwide economic downturn, it spawned nearly a half-billion dollars in sales, sales impact and earnings impact, based on government metrics. Published data from the past four years demonstrate Innovation Depot's economic impact has remained steady and is now increasing.

It is an undeniable reminder of the power of a best-practice incubator.

Depending on where you mark its beginning, Innovation Depot is either 25, 10 or 6 years old. The Entrepreneurial Center, one of its two constituent forebears, was formed a quarter century ago. In 2001, it combined its business incubation program with that of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Office for the Advancement of Developing Industries, and in 2005, they decided to move into one facility.

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Keywords: NBIA programs, university partnerships, best practices, Incubator management-general

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