A business incubator provides shared office space, shared costs, access to mentors and introductions to the resources needed for an entrepreneurial business to succeed.
“It’s a boot camp to be able to do a lot of things very quickly,” said Eric Madison, executive director of the Cube at Midtown, during the panel discussion on The Power of Business Incubation in Economic Development & Labor Force Conversion at the Nevada Economic Development Conference.
“The 90 percent failure rate for startups drops to 60 percent failure for those businesses in incubators,” he said.
Doug Erwin, vice president of economic development at EDAWN, moderated the panel, which also included Chase Norlin, executive director of Transmosis, and Andrew Moy, director of business development with Beyondsoft.
Business incubators help bridge the gap between theory learned in university or generated by inspiration and the real world.
By working closely with others in many fields of expertise, entrepreneurs learn what they don’t know they don’t know, Madison said.
“Degrees and certificates only go so far,” Moy said.
“The key is to start establishing partners,” Norlin said. That can be done through “consortiums, incubators, profits/nonprofits, university.”
Incubators can also connect entrepreneurs with individuals and organizations looking to fund innovation.
“In Reno, you can do for $2 million what it takes $5 million to do in the Bay Area,” Erwin said of one of the area’s big advantages.
Schools and government resources lag behind the needs of technology. Incubators and accelerators rely on private investment.
“As entrepreneurs, we push wholly into gray areas the city doesn’t,” Erwin said.
Entrepreneurial investments take time to produce results and incomes, he said, “longer than political cycles. You have to foster a long-term vision.”
The Power of Business Incubation in Economic Development & Labor Force Conversion
Moderator: Doug Erwin, vice president entrepreneurial development at EDAWN
Panelists: Chase Norlin, executive director, Transmosis; Andrew Moy, director of business development, Beyondsoft; Eric Madison, executive director, Cube at Midtown,
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