Economic developers recently have shown increasing interest in business incubation activities that promote local economic growth and sustainability. In response, Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) has developed a unique and comprehensive set of services and tools that will help a community establish a business incubation ecosystem to achieve its goals. These services, bundled under Technology Innovation Practices, can assist a locale that is (1) considering a new business incubator, (2) staffing a new or existing one with relevant services, or (3) seeking analysis of an existing enterprise for funding or strategic planning purposes.
This suite of services is more clearly defined below:
Community Readiness and Feasibility
We have developed an incubation strategy that initially involves collaboration among key stakeholders to determine what incubation process suits their community’s particular situation and objectives. Forming a strategy upfront boosts the potential of establishing a successful incubator by matching a client’s needs and desires with realistic and achievable goals.
For existing or newly created incubators, we can provide all the basic tools and techniques, ranging from member orientation to member graduation, needed for a fledgling company’s business growth and eventual independence. Once established, the incubator can assume delivery of these services and become self-sustaining.
Incubator Health and Turnaround
Incubators provide unbiased advice to their member companies, and this experienced outside perspective often proves invaluable. EI2 has developed an assessment tool to aid in determining the strengths and weaknesses of existing business incubators. This tool enables incubator management to understand the strengths and identify areas of improvement, thereby maximizing opportunities for successful incubation for client companies.
These tools and services are in practice EI2’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), our highly successful incubator which has been in existence on the Georgia Tech campus for more than 30 years. In 1996, ATDC received the Incubator of the Year Award from the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA), and is recognized today as a global leader in incubation innovation. In April 2010, Forbes magazine listed ATDC as one of the “Top Ten Technology Incubators Changing the World.” In other words, these methods work.