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?

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. However, there are over 7,500 business incubators around the world. The first business incubator in the U.S. In the last couple of years, we have seen a renaissance in the incubator business.

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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.

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

Harvard Business

has lost what Harvard Business School’s Willy Shih calls the “ industrial commons ”: indispensable production skills and capabilities. We have identified four principles with straightforward steps that policymakers, business leaders, and universities can take to restore innovation ecosystems. They’re defined by high levels of “buy-in” from owners, investors, managers, and employees. Jetta Productions/Getty Images. Many U.S.

The Core Incompetencies of the Corporation

Harvard Business Review

Managers know how to command obedience and diligence, but most are clueless when it comes to galvanizing the sort of volunteerism that animates life on the social web. Most of the recommended remedies—idea wikis, business incubators, online collaboration, design thinking, “authentic” leadership, et al —are no more than minor tweaks. Large organizations of all types suffer from an assortment of congenital disabilities that no amount of incremental therapy can cure.

Design Thinking Is Fundamentally Conservative and Preserves the Status Quo

Harvard Business

But skepticism about design thinking has now begun to seep out onto the pages of business magazines and educational publications. It, too, was enthusiastically embraced by managers and policy makers, and was invoked to reshape practices in firms and government. Design thinking has allowed us to celebrate conventional solutions as breakthrough innovations and to continue with business as usual. Noctiluxx/Getty Images.

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? That these guys who had run drug businesses had all these entrepreneurial characteristics like scrappiness, charisma, and real skills in leadership and management." We love hearing historical stories about Robin Hood-like men, about bank robbers, pirates and outlaws on the run.