The History of Business Incubation (part 2)

This is part 2 of a series of posts about Business Incubation History. As I stated before in my first post (Business Incubation History Post 1) the aim of this essay is to trace the evolution of the business incubation concept, to find out main reasons of its occurrence and diffusion across the World, and to present first free business incubation timeline available online to the public. It’s part of research which is carried out by my team and called: “Enriching Innovation Ecosystem: Framework for Virtual Business Incubation Program”. (Framework of the research is published here.)

This post is devoted to description of main Stages of Business Incubation Evolution and Number of Business Incubators around the world. So, let’s start.

1. Stages of Business Incubation Evolution

Let’s start from a general overview of the business incubation industry’s history. We have developed a framework “Stages of Business Incubation Development”. It was synthesized from works of Bruneel, Ratinho, Clarysse, Groen, (2012) and Lalkaka (2000).  In this chapter I will give brief overview of each period, explain the reasons why that happened and shortly describe main events that happened at that period.

In general, there are three main periods of business incubation evolution:

  • First Generation. Initiation and development of the concept (late 1950s – mid 1980s). We call it “Infrastructure: economies of scale” period.
  • Second Generation. Active growth and development (mid 1980s – mid 1990s). Business support: accelerating the learning curve” is the name of that period.
  • Third Generation. Industry maturity and new leaps of development (mid 1990s – present). “Networks & Value Chains” are the most common characteristics of that period.

 First generation

Let’s remember one of the definitions of business incubation. I had quoted it previously (Post about business incubation definitions) and it is given by Mr. Chinsomboon. He had taken an original meaning of the word “incubation” and applied it to business. His definition for business incubators is:

“A controlled environment that fosters the care, growth, and protection of a new venture at an early stage before it is ready for traditional means of sell-sustaining operation.   In  today’s world, where information technology and the Internet are normal parts of the business environment the term “controlled environment” could be either physical (real estate and office facilities) or virtual (networks)”.

This definition can give us an understanding that business incubation have begun much earlier than many researchers agreed to consider. Any environment that helped businesses to grow could be considered as business incubation environment.

However, the date of it’s institutionalization where main components of basic business incubator model were linked together is 1959. The first business incubator (Batavia Industrial Center) was opened in New York. Entrepreneurs from Mancusos family were tried to fill the building of empty plant that they had bought. Eventually, they rented a space to help SMEs to get established and grow. Several ventures were launched, and this event is considered to be the first when the concept of business incubation was formalized. It’s became potential economic development tool for local, regional and country level policy makers and government.

Business incubation has several historical roots (as I mentioned earlier in my previous post several areas were influencing it: venture capitalists and successful entrepreneurs, economic conditions, understanding importance of innovations and entrepreneurship):

  • 1970s energy crisis shaped face of economy in the US. “Bleak economic prospects, federal devolution (budgetary and policy), and mounting constituent pressure, states transitioned their economic development policies toward more “entrepreneurial” strategies.” (Lewis, 2001) Government needed to improve economy conditions, get new strategies to achieve growth of GDP, create new jobs;
  • SMEs needed new supportive tools and means to reduce their overhead costs and time devoted to non-value adding activities;
  • the US government, policy makers and experts increasingly recognized the value of creating and fostering new SMEs to sustain local economies, the role of innovations and entrepreneurship. New experiment to foster innovation and entrepreneurship at major universities was started in 1973. It was funded by the National Science Foundation;
  • initiatives of successful entrepreneurs and VC groups who sought to transfer their own new venture experiences to start-ups through an environment conducive to successful technological innovation and commercialization;
  • the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act in the U.S. Congress in 1980 decreased the uncertainty associated with commercializing the fruits of federally funded basic research.

First generation of business incubators offered mostly affordable office space and shared resources (Barrow, 2001; Lalkaka and Bishop, 1996). Provision of shared physical space and shared administrative services was critical to business incubation and has been identified by tenants as the most beneficial feature of business incubators at that time.

Business incubation programs diffused slowly across the country, they were mainly government-sponsored being a response to the need for the reasons stated above, and mainly economic restructuring. Until the 1970s, this concept was unique. The focus point of incubator predecessors was either on the management aspect or on the technological one; a business incubator combined both. We can name several organizations that were accountable for spread of the concept in the US during 1970s. They are:

  • University City Science Centre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania which have developed program to support the establishment and growth of early-stage companies;
  • National Science Foundation’s Innovation Centers which included business incubation into their program. “These innovation centers were developed and supported by grants from the National Science Foundation as early as 1973 in an experimental program designed to enhance entrepreneurship education, development of new technologies in existing companies, and the establish­ment and nurturing of new businesses.”

Role of individuals should not be underestimated. Many of them fostered formalization of the business incubation concept. This could be illustrated by the efforts of Loren Schultz (link to his profile), President of Technology Centers International (TCI). He started first Technology Enterprise Center in 1976 in a suburb of Philadelphia. Main aim was to house companies involved with technology-related businesses and new technology-based products.  Later over a dozen center programs were established by him including affiliations in Europe. Tenants and graduates of these centers for business development number over 1000 companies.

Looking at this concept from academia perspective, few studies were made about business incubators during 1960s and 1970s. However, in the beginning of 1980s and mid 1980s several academic attempts were made to analyze business incubation phenomenon. Researchers started to ask and investigate following research questions:

  1. What is an incubator?
  2. How does an incubator develop?
  3. What is the life cycle of an incubator?
  4. What are the critical factors for successful business incubation?
  5. Does one type of incubator create more value than another?
  6. How does the business incubation concept work in practice?

In the beginning of 1980s business incubation spread to UK and Europe. The pattern was more or less the same in the United Kingdom and Europe. “They were begotten by two simultaneous movements—the subdivision of older vacant buildings by architects into “working communities” of design-related firms with shared accommodations, services, and management (the first was in 1972 in London designed by David Rock at 5 Dryden Street, Covent Garden), and the redevelopment and reuse of historic buildings as workshops for artisans and crafts persons.

The next wave of incubator development in the United Kingdom was in response to plant closings, British Steel Corporation established a wholly owned subsidiary. Following British Steel’s example, a number of other private corporations, as well as local, national, and regional governments, universities, and community organizations have sponsored business incubators in the United Kingdom and Western Europe.” (Campbell, Allen, 1987)

By 1980 there were only 12 business incubators in the US. Huge explosion was coming in 1980s.

 Table 1 – Stages of Business Incubators’ Development

Years

Stage | Period

Key Value Proposition

Main Characteristics

Concept or Theoretical rationale

Reasons of occurrence

Source

1950s – 1980s Infrastructure: economies of scale Office space and shared resources The early business incubators focused on providing low cost space and a small set of shared services. These services included secretarial services , copy and fax equipment, reception, telephone answering, meeting & conference rooms, car parking and kitchen facilities. Economies of scale Business Incubators were considered as new economic development tool after stagnation of 1970s in the US economy. Thus, provision of low-cost services could stimulate growth of new small companies.• SMEs needed new supportive tools and means to reduce their overhead costs and time devoted to non-value adding activities;• the US government, policy makers and experts increasingly recognized the value of creating and fostering new SMEs to sustain local economies, the role of innovations and entrepreneurship. New experiment to foster innovation and entrepreneurship at major universities was started in 1973. It was funded by the National Science Foundation;• initiatives of successful entrepreneurs and VC groups who sought to transfer their own new venture experiences to start-ups through an environment conducive to successful technological innovation and commercialization;• the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act in the U.S. Congress in 1980 decreased the uncertainty associated with commercializing the fruits of federally funded basic research. (Barrow, 2001; Lalkaka and Bishop, 1996)
(Allen and McCluskey, 1990) (Bergek and Norrman, 2008)
Mid 1980s – mid 1990s Business support: accelerating the learning curve, including knowledge based services Coaching and training support including knowledge based services Knowledge based services were added in order to help entrepreneurs start businesses and learn. These additional business support services included training, coaching, mentoring, and other knowledge based services connected to scientific and managerial areas of expertise. Accelerating the learning curve Governments in Europe and in the US were confronted during the 1980s with accelerating unemployment in heavy industry sectors such as automobiles and heavy engineering.  They gradually started to realize that innovation and entrepreneurship were becoming the cornerstones of economic development & growth. Deepening commitment of:• state, regional, and local policy makers to support entrepreneurship and job creation,• community organizations to provide local employment and business ownership opportuni¬ties,• entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, business consultants and other private sector developers to respond to the expanding small business market,• universities and research centers to tap their vast resources in the transfer of knowledge and commercialization of products and services,led to business incubation programs growth. It became a popular tool for creating new companies which had lack of managerial, marketing and other business skills.  Incubated firms may avoid a process of trial and error and ascend more quickly the learning curve. Transfer of knowledge was done in several ways. BIs was one of them. (Smilor and Gill, 1986).
(Reich, 1991)
Mid 1990s – Present Networks: facilitating access to external resources, knowledge and legitimacy Access to technological, professional, and financial networks In providing access to networks, BIs help new firms to overcome their inherent resource scarcity. Facilitating and moderation of access to external networks by BIs eases the acquisition of resources and specialized expertise, provides learning opportunities, and allows new firms to build up legitimacy faster. The lack of financial capital, experienced management teams, and capabilities hinders start-up companies’ development and subsequent growth. Access to external resources, knowledge, and legitimacy Main reason of venture failure is high risk and resource scarcity. Scarce resources of tenants, investors, BIs and need to overcome this scarcity. Search for fast access to capital and new knowledge is one of the most important tasks for entrepreneurs. Moreover, times of prescriptive strategies have gone. Entrepreneurs and all businesses have constant pressure from market, their competitors. They are forced significantly reduce time-to-markets, estblish partnerships and embedd their products and services in existing value chains. That is why networks are so important. They help BIs to reduce time-to-market for entrepreneurs. BIs provides tenants with preferential access to potential customers, suppliers, technology partners and investors. (EC, 2002;Lalkaka and Bishop, 1996)
(McAdam and McAdam, 2008).

Second generation

Second generation of business incubators was on its peak when BIs became a popular economic development tool to promote the creation of new technology-intensive companies (Lewis, 2001). Agencies, governments gradually started to realize that innovation and entrepreneurship were becoming the cornerstones of economic development & growth.

“In considering how to create new enterprises to replace those that had perished or were swept to lower-cost regions, policymakers understood that they needed to address the common reasons for failure of new ventures. These reasons included (1) insufficient access to capital, (2) lack of managerial expertise, and (3) insufficient marketing expertise.” (Gatewood et al. 1985; Peterson et al. 1985; Allen 1985)

Thus business incubation growth can be attributed to a deepening commitment of:

  • state, regional, and local policy makers to support entrepreneurship and job creation,
  • community organizations to provide local employment and business ownership opportuni­ties,
  • entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, business consultants and other private sector developers to respond to the expanding small business market,
  • universities and research centers to tap their vast resources in the transfer of knowledge and commercialization of products and services.

Business incubation programs became a popular tool for creating new companies which had lack of managerial, marketing and other business skills. Thus, space provision for tenants was not enough for boosting economy development. There was  obvious need in additional business support services (training, coaching, mentoring, and other knowledge based services). Companies were trying to save their resources, time and efforts and reduce time-to-market. This could be implemented with the help of business incubators which gave an opportunity to accelerate the learning curve. They gave an access to knowledge through coaches, mentors, training sessions, courses.

Between 1984 and 1987, the US government and the US Small Business Administration (SBA) undertook a set of initiatives to boost and promote the business incubation development.

  • “In 1982, the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted WalterPlosila’s design for the state’s Ben Franklin Partnership Program, one of the country’s first comprehensive technology and manufacturing agendas. This program, which included incubators as a key component, became an early model for other states’ support of business incubation.” (NBIA, 2013)
  • The first national study of business incubators was done in 1984.
  • National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) was established in the US in 1985 aiming to provide training and tools for assisting start-up and fledgling firms and to serve as a clearinghouse for information on incubator management and development issues.

Business Incubation reached China with it’s first Wuhan business incubator in 1987. One year later the Torch Program by the Ministry of Science and Technology was initiated in China in order to accelerate national technology development, commercialization and internationalization.

First corporate business incubators appeared with initiative from City Venture Corporation (CVC), a Control Data division that developed business incubators in several large and small cities.

Researchers investigated the concept of business incubation in depth. They were concerned about following topics:

  • Levels and units of analysis
  • Outcomes and measures of success

Main questions were:

  1. Do incubators achieve what their stakeholders assert they do?
  2. How can business incubation program outcomes be evaluated?
  3. Have business incubators impacted new venture survival rates, job creation rates, industrial innovation rates?
  4. What are the economic and fiscal impacts of an incubator?

By mid 1990s there were around 1500 business incubators in the world and 600 only in the US, 90% of them were not for profit.

Third Generation

Third generation gives us additional variable which is networking. There are several reasons of why networks became so important:

  • technological achievements such as internet and recent IT trends allow business to solve issues in one day that could require years only 50 years ago (if you will add to this arguments such trends as Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding, Gamification, Social Networks, Mobility, Collaboration tools, Cloud computing you will get a whole picture);
  • resource scarcity on the one hand and access to capital, expertise and knowledge on the other hand became very important in the knowledge-based economy. These are bottlenecks of start-ups nowadays that could be partly solved through networking models of business incubators.

Main reason of venture failure is high risk and resource scarcity. Scarce resources of tenants, investors, BIs and need to overcome this scarcity are those triggers that will shape industry in the future and changed it during 2000s. Search for fast access to capital and new knowledge was and is one of the most important tasks for entrepreneurs. Moreover, times of prescriptive strategies have gone. Entrepreneurs and all businesses have constant pressure from market, their competitors. They are forced significantly reduce time-to-markets, establish partnerships and embed their products and services in existing value chains. That is why networks became so important. They help BIs to reduce time-to-market for entrepreneurs. BIs provides tenants with preferential access to potential customers, suppliers, technology partners and investors.

Few words should be said about how Internet era changed the face of industry. I will not go deeply into the dot com era history. But it should be said that during the .com mania there was a pronounced shift towards for-profit incubators. It is estimated that in the USA, a for-profit internet incubator have being created every other day. Aberdeen Group analyst Dave Wright estimates that the number of for-profit incubators rose from just 37 in January 1998 to more than 400 by July 2000.  However, rumors of the demise of the incubator-incubation concept are ‘‘greatly exaggerated’’. The media reached its negative conclusions regarding incubators-incubation while fixated on for-profit incubators, a relatively small segment of the total incubator population. The vast majority of incubators are non-profit entities that continue to incubate below the ‘‘radar screens’’ of most journalists.

A new concept appeared at that time which had different names: ‘virtual incubator’ or ‘networked incubator’ or ‘online incubator’. People started to realize that IT trends and new technologies could be used also in business incubation industry and can shape it significantly. However, few successful models were made except “business accelerators”.

Business accelerators appeared quite recently (in the mid 2000s). Several major ones were established between 2005 and 2011 (mainly in USA). They are Y Combinator by Paul Graham, TechStars by  David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis, 500startups by Dave McClure, DreamIt Ventures, etc..(http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2012/04/30/top-tech-incubators-as-ranked-by-forbes-y-combinator-tops-with-7-billion-in-value/). It’s not a time to describe their model (I will do it later on when I will analyze all business models of BIs). But they are pioneers of business incubators development nowadays especially in IT domain.

We also need to state that business incubations spread all over the world (from Europe to Africa, from Latin America to Asia). It’s one of the tool that applied on cross country level. Example of European Commision is indicative in this sense. In 2002 the European Commission favours the further development of the business incubator sector. The European Charter for Small Enterprises was signed by EU leaders at the Santa Maria da Feira European Council. In terms of numbers (which will be discussed a bit later) we can provide following figures:

  • 2000 – 3200 business incubators in the world
  • 2007 – 5000 business incubators in the world
  • 2013 – 9000 business incubators in the world

While business world was establishing business incubator after business incubator academics were not sleeping also. They discussed business incubator models, structures, success factors trying to answer following questions:

  1. How do incubators select incubatees?
  2. What is the process of new venture development in an incubator?
  3. What is the role of planning and the business incubator manager?
  4. Do incubators achieve what their stakeholders claim they do?
  5. How can business incubation program outcomes be evaluated?
  6. Have business incubators improved new venture survival rates, job creation, and industrial innovation rates?
  7. What are the economic and fiscal impacts of an incubator?

I need to state that few works have been done in a virtual business incubation domain. Here in CrowdSynergy we tend to fill this gap carrying out being R&D group and working incubator at the same time. However, we’re also a startup. So, let’s see what will be our results.

In conclusion, I need to state that as the business incubation industry has matured the types of ventures incubated has significantly broadened. Business incubation is a highly adaptable business intervention form. As you remember from the definition I have given before it’s “controlled environment”, and today’s incubators target diverse industries such as biotechnology, clean energy, ceramics technologies, the internet, software and telecommunications, high technology, and the arts. The industry services high-growth, venture-backed businesses as well as micro enterprises; women and minority owned businesses; and rural, suburban and urban environments.

2. Number of Business Incubators in the world (2013)

There is plenty of statistical data and metrics that could be interesting to measure and analyze in relation to business incubation evolution.

We have picked out the most important ones:

  • Number of BIs in the world/region/country
  • Wealth creation
  • Number of jobs created
  • Companies’ capitalization per incubator
  • Average number of companies per incubator
  • Average budget (costs, profits) per incubator
  • Number of startups created
  • Number of applications per year
  • Number of employees, mentors, investors
  • Profit / non-profit
  • How many graduates since beginning alive
  • Failure rate
  • Startup time
  • Number of openings annually

 Actually there is much more metrics that you can track in order to understand efficiency, effectiveness and figures of the industry. I will devote separate series of posts to the topic of KPIs and Metrics of Business Incubators.

 However, at this time we decided to limit ourselves only to one parameter. One of the most important metric is number of business incubation programs (I use these terms interchangeably) in the world and in regions. It gives understanding of the industry’s development and growth. For synthesizing this graph we have used about 10 different sources of information. You will see them below.

It’s very hard to get exact figure and data from each country or even region. And here is why:

  • facilities/programs are opening/closing very fast. During dot com era new incubator appeared almost every week.
  • there is no central body that takes care about gathering this data. Many countries/areas have their own agencies or have more than one association in the country.
  • thus, the data would be rapidly out-of-date, due to rapid changes in the cycles of the industry
  • it depends on many factors such as the actual definition of “incubator”.  Does that include “accelerators”, “science parks”, “drop-in spaces”, “hacker spaces”, “co-working/shared spaces”, “business & innovation centers”. “technology centers”, “innovation centers”, etc.

Thus, even though our data is based on real-life and competent sources it’s no more than a guess that give a sense of a trend. I need to acknowledge that it will require much more time and efforts to identify real statistical data than we have spent on it (around 3 weeks of research and analysis). Moreover, this investigation should be ongoing and have a regular basis.

According to Tracy Kitts (VP COO at NBIA):

An exact count is very hard to get and the number changes nearly every week. We estimate that there is more than 7000 incubation programs globally, but this is just an estimate. We organize an annual meeting of business incubation association heads from around the world. It takes place just prior to the NBIA International Conference each year. A few years ago we had about 15 different countries submit data on the number of incubation programs each identified in their respective countries and that’s how we came up with “at least 7000”. So, I’m confident that the number of programs is significantly more than 7000, but I haven’t seen good data on the exact number.“

Number of Business Incubators Worldwide 2013

Number of Business Incubators Worldwide 2013

Figure 2 – Number of Business Incubator Worldwide

However, this graph doesn’t give any information about numbers in particular region, country. Even though we have data from North America, South America and Caribbean region, Europe and CIS, Asia and Middle East, China, India, Australia and Africa, we don’t have enough information to create a consistent graph (even though we would like to).  Thus, if you’re an expert in business incubation and have information about particular region, we kindly ask you to contact our team and personally me (at vryzhonkov (at) gmail.com) and help us to complete this puzzle.

To conclude, next time I will post our 4 weeks work – Business Incubation Timeline. Hope we will be able to present it by the end of this week. See you.

Sources:

Stages of Business Incubation Development
  • Allen and McCluskey, 1990;
  • Barrow, 2001;
  • Bergek and Norrman, 2008;
  • Bruneel, Ratinho, Clarysse, Groen, The Evolution of Business Incubators: Comparing demand and supply of business incubation services across different incubator generations, 2012;
  • Campbell, Allen, The Small Business Incubator Industry: Micro-Level Economic Development, 1987;
  • Chandra and C.-A. Chao, Growth and evolution of high-technology business incubation in China, 2011
  • EC, 2002
  • Hackett and Dilts (2QQ4a).
  • Lalkaka and Bishop, 1996
  • NBIA, 2013
  • Rustam Lalkaka, Manual on Technology Business Incubators, 2000
  • McAdam and McAdam, 2008
  • Reich, 1991
  • Smilor and Gill, 1986
  • J. Wiggins and D.V. Gibson , 2003
  • A Guide to Business Incubation For Elected Officials in NYS, 2008
  • Asian Association of Business Incubation, 2013
  • Colin Barrow: “Incubators”, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 2001, NBIA, UKBI
  • Brazilian association of SP and incubators, 2012
  • Brief Overview of BI, 2007
  • Bruneel, Ratinho, Clarysse, Groen, 2012;
  • Business Incubation Professionals, LinkedIn Group, 2013 (figures from 2013 is rough estimation of industry experts)
  • Canada Business Incubation 2005, 2011
  • Chandra, C.A. Chao, Growth and evolution of high-technology business incubation in China, 2011
  • NBIA, 2012;
  • Lalkaka, 2000
  • UKBI, 2012
  • Manual on Technology Business Incubators, Rustam Lalkaka, 2000
  • Chandra and C.-A. Chao / Growth and evolution of high-technology business incubation in China, 2011
  • Mihailo Temali, Candace Campbell, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Cooperative Community Development Program, University of Minnesota. Division of Continuing Education and extension
  • J. Wiggins and D.V. Gibson , 2003
  • Adkins, 2001
  • Bowman-Uptonet al., 1989; Scheirer, 1985
  • Campbell and Allen, 1987
  • Torch Center
  • Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Services, “Benchmarking of Business Incubators.” Brussels: European Commission Enterprise Directorate General, 2002.
  • Wikipedia, 2013
  • EuropeanCommission, 2002
Number of Business Incubators Worldwide
  • A Guide to Business Incubation For Elected Officials in NYS, 2008
  • Asian Association of Business Incubation, 2013
  • Colin Barrow: “Incubators”, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 2001, NBIA, UKBI
  • Brazilian association of SP and incubators, 2012
  • Brief Overview of BI, 2007
  • Bruneel, Ratinho, Clarysse, Groen, 2012;
  • Business Incubation Professionals, LinkedIn Group, 2013 (figures from 2013 is rough estimation of industry experts)
  • Canada Business Incubation 2005, 2011
  • Chandra, C.A. Chao, Growth and evolution of high-technology business incubation in China, 2011
  • NBIA, 2012;
  • Lalkaka, 2000
  • UKBI, 2012
Links to some articles on the Business Incubation History topic
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11 thoughts on “The History of Business Incubation (part 2)

  1. The first business incubator in the country was actually started in Racine, WI in 1914 at the Racine-Sattley building. The building had been built for the Racine Wagon & Carriage Co in the 1860s, but when the automobile industry took over the wagon business, they switched gears and started renting out space in their 600,000+ sq ft building to other businesses. By 1916 they changed their name to the Racine Industrial Plant and had 17 different companies, one of which was Modine Manufacturing and another being Wisconsin Electric Company that later became Dumore, owned by L.H.Hamilton and Chester Beach of Hamilton & Beach fame. In 1944 the building was bought by two entrepreneurs who had businesses in the building. In 1990 the name was changed to the Racine Business Center and is still owned by the same family who bought it in 1944. And while it no longer has shared office support for the various companies like a true incubator has, it continues to house many entrepreneurs, start-ups and companies as well as artist studios and a cafe. Just wanted to set the record straight.

  2. Thank you Emily. This is a great insight. I have never heard about Racine-Sattley building and business center. I am wondering though, why it isn’t mentioned in the academic literature or by business incubation associations?

    • I suppose we’re not listed in any associations because we haven’t promoted ourselves nationally as such or are members of any business incubation associations. Same would ring true for the academic literature. I have been researching old city directories and current websites of corporations that began in our building. The information is out there if you know where to dig.

      • Emily, I really appreciate your feedback on what was and is the Racine-Sattley building. I think you will agree with me that the concept of business incubator evolved through time. As I mentioned in one of the articles there were actually three waves of business incubation evolution. Thus, I would ask a reasonable question, what services RacineBusinessCenter offered to companies through this period of time? How this value proposition evolved? And what role Racine Business Center played in incubating startups or SMEs?

      • Hello Vasily,
        what I need is the number of Incubators in Europe and France. I have read on the website the following:
        However, this graph doesn’t give any information about numbers in particular region, country. Even though we have data from North America, South America and Caribbean region, Europe and CIS, Asia and Middle East, China, India, Australia and Africa, we don’t have enough information to create a consistent graph (even though we would like to).

        So is it possible to have the data you have about Europe? Pleaaase 🙂

  3. Nice work Vasily. You certainly have a passion for the concept.

    I’m similarly researching incubation and some nice little points to add would be:

    1- The term incubator came from Joseph Manusco and the Batavia Industrial Centre. One of his first sahred work space tenants was a chicken company, and when asked what he was doing with the building he said it was an incubator.
    2- The first designate university incubator was the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Incubator in Troy New York. Infact it took 12 months to convert the building suitable for the incubatees and it was completely full before the doors were opened (they within the second year developed a much larger one).
    3- Much of the focus shift onto small businesses in America and the world was the result of a fairly seminal piece of work by Birch in 1979 called the job generation process that postulated that mroe than 50% of the economy of the US was created by SME’s each year, and with the growth and death rate, the US would need to replenish 50% of its economy every 6 years through new SME’s (a figure highly debated, but google it, quite interesting).

  4. Pingback: Technology Business Incubator Pdf | Technology Documents

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