What we need in incubators

Women on Business

Around the country politicians, industry leaders and small businesses have screamed their support for small business development centers and universities to get involved in creating business incubators that help build and sustain small business. The goal is admirable, small businesses stimulate economies and create more jobs. But there is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction amongst small business, what do we really need from business incubators?

"We've got to grow together." the quote of the evening!

Jason Womack

During our conversation, he told me about the business incubator program at Hannah Grimes , here in Keene, NH. Last Tuesday, I had a great dinner with a new friend just outside of Boston, founder of Elite Leadership Solutions: Bob Maitland.

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The Problems With Incubators, and How to Solve Them

Harvard Business Review

Inexperienced friends and family (and, increasingly, crowdsourced investors) lack the ability to gauge the viability of a business, or to mentor naïve entrepreneurs. This knowledge gap, I have come to believe, is best filled by savvy incubators. The first business incubator in the U.S.

When Big Companies Support Start-ups, Both Make More Money

Harvard Business Review

In the technology world, we’ve seen the tremendous impact that eBay has made in helping small e-commerce businesses get off the ground. Now imagine if eBay went beyond providing a technology platform and entered the field of business incubation in a meaningful way, It’s an idea that could have a huge impact. In the start-up world, there’s a big focus on business incubators such as YCombinator–perhaps too much focus.

Morning Advantage: Three Ways the U.S. Election Could Get Ugly

Harvard Business Review

The city of Wuxi in Eastern China has launched a high-profile, high-tech business incubator to lure back Chinese brainiacs who’ve gone abroad to study and work in science and engineering. But there’s one snag: the business climate in China is not exactly conducive to supporting the relatively high failure-rates of new ventures. “If Finally — after years of campaigning, the U.S. presidential election will be decided today. Unless, of course. it isn’t.

Why Older Entrepreneurs Have an Edge

Harvard Business Review

He did well co-founding Asterand, an ethically sourced human-tissue sampling business, but lost his shirt on a jazz club and a cattle-ranching enterprise to produce low-fat beef. Charlton and Reid decided to launch TechTown, a nonprofit business incubator, which went on to spark a small renaissance in entrepreneurship in midtown Detroit. The National Journal reports that 9 of the nation's 15 million small-business owners were born before 1965.

The $300 House: Go, Go, Go!

Harvard Business Review

Winners will be selected by the community and a panel of judges and will receive a scholarship to a June "prototyping workshop" led by COMMON , a social business incubator. We'll also see the emergence of new business models like collaborative consumption.

How the U.S. Can Rebuild Its Capacity to Innovate

Harvard Business Review

has lost what Harvard Business School’s Willy Shih calls the “ industrial commons ”: indispensable production skills and capabilities. Jetta Productions/Getty Images. Many U.S. firms have long had a simple mantra: “Invent here, manufacture there.”

Where to Find Authentic Entrepreneurs

Harvard Business Review

I still remember when Steve Jobs was featured in business school case studies as an example of bad leadership style. Coming out of Peru, you’ll find Kola Real, formed during a coup d’état in 1988, not exactly an ideal environment for business incubation. At the time, Apple was a less-than-successful computer company, and Steve – ever the loner – had moved on to create Next, another less-than-successful one.

The Economy of Punishment

Harvard Business Review

That is to say, given the applied "street smarts" and talent — the art of the hustle, the leadership and prowess of running a drug business — what is it all worth? We love hearing historical stories about Robin Hood-like men, about bank robbers, pirates and outlaws on the run.

Getting Buy-In for Innovation that Doesn’t Fade at the End of the Quarter

Harvard Business Review

You’ve prepared a business plan for a promising new entrepreneurial venture. You’ve got funding and the blessing of your CEO and Board to go ahead with this high-profile “experiment” Your venture could be a growth engine for your corporation’s otherwise large but slow and steady core business.

Six Ways to Befriend Future Tech Billionaires

Harvard Business Review

Internships, "after-school" apprenticeships like those offered by Citizen Schools, practical problems, and the chance for independent projects or business-building as part of formal schooling seems to encourage young people to stay in school longer, because school is more relevant — or at least that''s what some preliminary observations suggest. New business incubators are becoming increasingly common in the U.S. They feel it is inextricably linked to business strategy.

Design Thinking Is Fundamentally Conservative and Preserves the Status Quo

Harvard Business Review

But skepticism about design thinking has now begun to seep out onto the pages of business magazines and educational publications. Design thinking has allowed us to celebrate conventional solutions as breakthrough innovations and to continue with business as usual.