We have compiled a repository of over twenty white papers which contain information vital to successfully running an entrepreneurship center. These resources will not only greatly aid current entrepreneurship center managers who want to create the best possible environment for their clients, but also anyone who wants to start a new entrepreneurship center and anyone connected with an entrepreneurship center. Best of all, these white papers are free for anyone to view!
New Building Blocks
IMPACT Index Survey: Funding Trends for Entrepreneurship Centers
Entrepreneurship centers cannot run without funds, but there are many places for entrepreneurship centers to find funding. This InBIA survey of entrepreneurship centers in America paints a detailed picture of where entrepreneurship centers are finding money, and how much money they are finding.
IMPACT Index Survey Highlights
InBIA undertook a massive survey of entrepreneurship centers in America called the IMPACT Index Survey. This white paper shares some of the highlights from the IMPACT Index Survey. Check this white paper out to learn some of the trends of entrepreneurship centers in America.
Free Building Blocks
Advice from the Trenches
If an entrepreneurship center has any hope of helping its entrepreneurs find success, it first has to ensure that it can provide the educational, capital, and networking resources that entrepreneurs need. This guide teaches entrepreneurship centers how they can provide the resources their clients need to succeed.
Building a Start-Up Management Team
Most startups begin as a dream in one person’s mind, but they rarely remain one-person shows if they want to succeed. This guide looks at how startups can recruit skilled team members. It also teaches entrepreneurship centers how they can help their startups build management teams.
Coworking Space: The Business of Serendipity
Humans are social creatures, and entrepreneurs are no different. Many entrepreneurs prefer having a place to work around other entrepreneurs to discuss common problems, help each other, or even just shoot the breeze. As a result, the idea of coworking spaces came about. This guide looks at how several different InBIA members have set up coworking spaces to aid entrepreneurs.
Engaging Stakeholders Through Reports and Activities Yields Real Benefits
Stakeholders want to know that their contributions are put to good use and are actually benefiting entrepreneurs and the local economy. That is why it is crucial for entrepreneurship centers to report often to stakeholders about the effectiveness of the center. This guide gives advice on how to best create reports for stakeholders.
How to Leverage Volunteer Assistance
Entrepreneurship centers rarely have the money to provide paid expertise in specialized areas like accounting, law, or marketing, but these are vital areas for a startup to know about. That is why many entrepreneurship centers are recruiting skilled volunteers to help new entrepreneurs. This guide gives advice on how to set up an effective volunteer program.
The University-Incubation Connection: A Series
Many entrepreneurship centers find success by partnering with a university or other academic center. There are several different ways these relationships can be set up, but they all provide different advantages. This guide looks at several different entrepreneurship center-university relationships.
Assisting Retail Businesses
Retail entrepreneurship centers are not nearly as common as other types of entrepreneurship centers. While similar in a number of aspects, retail entrepreneurship centers differ because their clients need foot traffic to survive. This guide highlights two retail entrepreneurship centers and shows their blueprints for success.
Building Effective Incubator Advisory Boards
Most entrepreneurship centers espouse to their clients the benefits of having an advisory board. Startups are not the only ones who need advisory boards, however. Entrepreneurship centers also benefit from an outside perspective and additional wisdom. This guide breaks down how to assemble an effective advisory board for an entrepreneurship center.
Crafting Good Incubator Documents
It is extremely important for entrepreneurship centers to keep good records. This will help in any potential legal situations and also help keep things in order. This guide takes a look at what kinds of documents are important for an entrepreneurship center to have and gives guidelines to creating the necessary documents.
For-Profit Business Incubation Strategies
Although many entrepreneurship centers run as nonprofits, there are a growing number of for-profit entrepreneurship centers sprouting up. There are a number of ways for an entrepreneurship center to turn a profit. This guide looks at a few different strategies for creating a profitable entrepreneurship center.
Incubator Staffing: Basics and Beyond
Helping several startups grow into successful businesses is busy work. Unfortunately, a large number of entrepreneurship centers only have one staff member. It is difficult to provide programs and resources for all the clients when an entrepreneurship center is run by just one person, but these people make it work. This guide looks at the differences in how entrepreneurship centers function with different numbers of staff.
Warning Signs of Clients in Distress
In an ideal world, clients would let their entrepreneurship centers know if they are going through difficult times. Unfortunately, many clients do not do this. Instead, perhaps out of embarrassment or fear, many clients hide when they are struggling. This means that entrepreneurship centers cannot rely on clients self-reporting struggles and must watch for warning signs. This guide compiles a list of common warning signs.
Basic Training: Educational Programs Help Incubators Serve Clients, Other Entrepreneurs
In addition to providing space for clients, many entrepreneurship centers also provide training programs to teach entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs about how to grow a business. This guide examines the benefits that hosting educational programs can bring. It also teaches entrepreneurial center managers how to run their own training programs.
When athletes want to improve and be the best athlete they can be, they will hire a coach to guide them. Similarly, entrepreneurs benefit from having entrepreneurship coaches. This guide defines how coaching is different from mentoring and consulting, and it teaches managers of entrepreneurship centers how to avoid burn out while helping their clients.
Developing a Network of Incubators
Running even one entrepreneurship center can seem overwhelming, so creating an entrepreneurship center network and opening one or even two more entrepreneurship centers seems like a recipe for disaster. But that is not necessarily the case. This guide looks at the benefits of having an entrepreneurship center network and how to nurture it without spreading too thin.
How Business Incubators Have Adapted Accelerator-Like Services to Woo New Clients and Serve More Entrepreneurs
Although incubators are one of the most common types of entrepreneurship centers, there are several other programs out there designed to help entrepreneurs. However, an entrepreneurship center does not have to choose just the incubator model or just the accelerator model; it can also blend the two models together to form a hybrid model.. This guide shows how many incubators are incorporating aspects from the accelerator model into the incubator model to better serve their clients.
Managing a Network of Service Providers
Entrepreneurship center managers are not able to take care of all of their clients’ subject-specific needs, especially while trying to operate an entrepreneurship center. However, it is possible to create and maintain a network of professionals for client companies at cost-effective rates. This guide discusses how to find and screen professionals, appropriate compensation, how to get your clients to take advantage of these services, and more.
Well Anchored: Tips for Working With Anchor Tenants
Entrepreneurship centers are designed to give new startups residency for a few years and guide them as they grow into successful companies, so it seems counter-intuitive to give permanent or long-term space to an already established company. However, these anchor tenants can greatly aid entrepreneurship centers in a number of ways, including providing a steady cash flow, setting a professional culture, giving startups something to aspire to, among other benefits. This article teaches entrepreneurship center managers how to have a symbiotic relationship with anchor tenants.
Border Crossings: Programs Facilitate Soft Landings for Firms in New National Markets
Startups face unique challenges when trying to expand their market to another country. That is why InBIA designates entrepreneurship centers with experience in helping startups expand internationally as ‘Soft Landings’ programs. This guide looks at eight Soft Landings programs and what makes them successful. This article is valuable reading for any entrepreneurship center manager who wants the Soft Landings designation for his or her center.
Coming Back to Give Back
Even when a startup graduates and moves out from an entrepreneurship center, it still has ties to the entrepreneurship center. Entrepreneurship centers should view graduates as valuable resources. This guide shows how other InBIA members have nurtured ongoing relationships with their graduates and how these relationships benefited a new generation of startups.
Encouraging Clients to Plan for Graduation
Every entrepreneurship center manager hopes that his or her clients eventually graduate. With this goal in mind, managers would do well to encourage clients to plan for graduation. This guide leads managers through the process of helping clients prepare for life after the entrepreneurship center.
How to Encourage Networking
One of the biggest advantages an entrepreneurship center can provide its clients is a business network. Entrepreneurship centers are fantastic places for fledgling entrepreneurs to network with other entrepreneurs. However, these connections do not just happen spontaneously; entrepreneurship centers need to make sure that they promote good networks. This guide breaks down how an entrepreneurship center can create a welcoming environment and nurture a strong network among its entrepreneurs.
Selecting Great Clients
Having a screening process to select the right client companies for your entrepreneurship center not only helps ensure the success of the center but of the potential graduates as well. Each screening process and entrance criteria differs from center to center depending on mission, client type, location, market demands, and other factors. This guide discusses how entrepreneurship centers can ensure that they admit the right entrepreneurs into their programs.