What is a business incubation?
According to the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA): Business incubation is a dynamic process of business enterprise development. Incubators nurture young firms, helping them to survive and grow during the startup period when they are most vulnerable. Incubators provide hands-on management assistance, access to financing and orchestrated exposure to critical business or technical support services. They also offer entrepreneurial firms shared office services, access to equipment, flexible leases and expandable space -- all under one roof.
An incubation program's main goal is to produce successful graduates -- businesses that are financially viable and freestanding when they leave the incubator usually in two to three years. Thirty percent of incubator clients typically graduate each year. According to the Impact of Incubator Investments Study, 1997, 87% of incubator graduates are still in business.
What is the TechColumbus Incubator?
The TechColumbus Incubator is for technology-based start-up companies. We provide affordable office space, wet lab space and high manufacturing areas. We have an experienced staff to guide you in all areas of business creation and development. We have the knowledge and resources to help you build your business into a successful company.
Our technology focus area include: bioscience, medical devices and diagnostics, information technology and advanced materials. The TechColumbus Incubator houses offices, labs, wet labs, conference rooms and other necessities for emerging businesses.
Why do so many small businesses fail and how can an incubator help?
According to the SBA, 50% of small businesses fail in the first three to five years. Studies show that the top two reasons for failure are management inexperience and insufficient capital. Other reasons small businesses fail include:
- Inadequate planning
- Lack of market knowledge
- Failure to seek the advice of a professional
- Lack of financial planning and review
- Owners concentrating on tactical instead of strategic issues
Business incubators work with entrepreneurs to abate risk, to solve problems faster, to shorten the learning curve, and to improve their likelihood of success. And it works! According to a Dept. of Commerce study, 87% of all small businesses who had been through a business incubator were still in business after 5 years!
How much does it cost?
Clients pay a low, affordable monthly fee. For complete details, contact us.
How do you help entrepreneurs?
TechColumbus provides strategic guidance, access to investors, mentors, and a ready-made network of contacts, help in building the management team, specialized training, affordable space, and professional services at reduced rates.
Do I have to move into the incubator?
The TechColumbus Incubator has both resident and non-resident clients. Non-residents, or affiliates, are companies who need strategic guidance and business assistance, but do not need space. However, past clients have told us that there is great benefit to being resident in the incubator, where you can share experiences and problems with fellow entrepreneurs. Sharing approaches and solutions to problems can be a great help. Lots of this sort of information gets shared around the coffee pot and break area every day. In fact, entrepreneurs have told us that being inside the incubator "lessened their fear and anxiety." They realized they were not alone.
How do I apply?
Simply visit our get started page to submit your form.
Where is TechColumbus Incubator located?
Housed within a state-of-the-art 60,000-square-foot facility, the TechColumbus Incubator sits inside the TechColumbus building at 1275 Kinnear Road in the heart of the Science and Technology Campus (Scitech) at The Ohio State University.
How long does a company stay in the incubator?
Affiliation with the TechColumbus Incubator is on a year-by-year basis.
What are the requirements to graduate?
TechColumbus' Incubator is intended to serve as an interim facility to assist technology-based businesses in the early stages of development. The TechColumbus Incubator must balance its desire to provide each tenant with sufficient resources to permit business success with the need to provide as many entrepreneurs as possible with an opportunity to incubate their businesses. TechColumbus Incubator will deal with each tenant’s situation in a flexible manner and retains the right to consider extenuating circumstances in each case.
We have an expectation that science and technology-based companies will require incubation periods of 3-5 years while companies in more market sensitive industries may require only 1-3 years. This is true because the former have longer product development cycles resulting from the need for clinical evaluations, field trials, regulatory approvals, etc.
During the period of residency in the TechColumbus Incubator, we will apply a process which continually monitors the tenant’s progress against its business plan and assists with certain matters of business development. This includes, but is not be limited to:
- A quarterly business reporting system of goals and performance against goals including historical and pro forma financial statements.
- Assistance with identification and creation of a business advisory board within the first 18 months of residency.
We recognize that a company’s business plan is a dynamic document that is continually changing. The Tenant Committee will formally review each company’s business plan at least once annually in order to determine how the TechColumbus Incubator can be of continuing assistance to the tenant.
Preparation for graduation will normally occur at the end of year 2. At this time, both parties will work to develop milestones, a timetable, and a list of action items that will enable the tenant to make a smooth transition from the TechColumbus Incubator.
As the time for graduation approaches, TechColumbus Incubator will assist in the relocation process by introducing the tenant to appropriate facilities and sources of support, such as SciTech, commercial realtors, the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, etc., along with city and state economic incentive programs.
At the end of the fifth year of occupancy, the TechColumbus Incubator may grant an extension for an additional year, if there are extenuating circumstances that would indicate that a company’s chances of viability would be significantly enhanced by remaining in the incubator.
If a additional extension is requested by the tenant beyond the sixth year, approval by the Board of Directors will be required.
How can the Incubator program help my company?
The TechColumbus Incubator provides managerial and technical assistance, low office rental rates and shared access to basic office services and equipment. These services are designed to enable entrepreneurs to minimize the initial high costs associated with setting up the necessary facilities, equipment, and services for a successful business venture. With a nurturing environment already in place, entrepreneurs can devote more of their time to successfully developing their technology into a commercially viable business venture.
The TechColumbus Incubator offers an array of services and business support systems designed to increase the probability of success:
- A nurturing entrepreneurial environment for promising new economy startups
- Everything you need to get your business started
- Facilitates access to facilities and equipment otherwise unavailable or unaffordable
- Access to world class expertise and research in diverse disciplinary areas
- Expert mentoring from seasoned entrepreneurs and experienced management
- Operational and strategic consulting tailored to a company's needs and stage of development
- Access to business, university and economic development resources
- Administrative support services
- Additionally, tenants have access to conference rooms, shared office equipment including a copy machine and fax, an employee break room, and full access to the Incubator staff for any counseling and technical assistance they may need.
Can I rent conference rooms from the TechColumbus Incubator?
Yes. Please contact us.