Business incubators provide programs intended to facilitate the rapid and successful development of ventures. A business incubator provides a collection of business support services and resources either directly or through a network of trusted third party professionals.
The way in which the business incubator delivers services and the form and substance of those services will vary with each incubator. The organisational structure of the incubator and the type of clients each incubator will serve will also vary.
Start-up companies that successfully complete a business incubation program have an increased probability of long terms success. Some studies from the USA suggest almost twice as many graduates of incubation programs stay in business compared to all start-up companies.
Incubators are often confused with research and technology parks. Most business incubators are different to these establishments by their general focus on start-up and/or early-stage companies. The usually large scale of research and technology parks lends itself better to established corporations, government organisations, university labs, and small companies, not in start-up or early stage. These large-scale facilities generally do not offer business assistance or support services. Such business and support services are the cornerstone of business incubation. Interestingly, from time to time you will find incubation programs housed in research and technology parks.
Business incubation is an effective way to grow your fledgling business. Business incubation programs assisted more than 27,000 companies in 2005 in North America alone. This provided jobs for over 100,000 employees with the incubated companies generating $17 billion in annual revenues.