Business Incubation Management (BIM) Certificate Program
A Business Incubation Management Certificate (BIM) is the premier industry credential for the staff of incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces, small business development centers and other entrepreneurship programs. The four courses required to complete the certificate are available both online and at many of our global events.
The only certificate of its kind
The Business Incubation Management Certificate Program has been providing practitioners with the foundational knowledge and resources they need to run successful programs for more than a decade. The content has gone through many iterations as the industry has shifted to include new concepts and approaches, and will continue to keep up with the latest trends and best practices.
Over the years, more than 1,500 people have completed the requirements of the BIM Certificate Program, earning the premier industry credentials to enhance their professional credibility. They have put their knowledge and skills to use supporting thousands of entrepreneurs whose startups have created countless jobs.
The BIM Certificate is recognized across the globe, so hundreds of people from international countries have completed the program by bringing the training to their local regions, participating in U.S.-based InBIA events or doing the training online. Become part of the global BIM community when you complete your certificate.
BIM Course Descriptions
The BIM Certificate Program requires participants to take four courses and complete a final exam in each. Once you have passed all four exams, you will receive your official certificate! All four courses are offered both online and in person at events around the globe.
**Please note: regardless of whether the courses are taken online or face-to-face, all BIM participants must pass an online exam to receive credit for the course.
Course 1: Establishing Successful Entrepreneurship Programs
- The first course in the BIM program provides foundational concepts and methodologies for establishing and maintaining a successful entrepreneurship program in a variety of markets. Within the course, participants will learn about trending industry models for developing a strong, market-driven value proposition, mission and goals. The course has a special focus on identifying the entrepreneurial ecosystem and the components that drive a sustainable market. Participants will also learn about company application and selection processes and how to align organizational mission statements and community interests.
Course 2: Guiding Companies: Leveraging Resources and Strategies
- The second course in the BIM program explains how to implement industry best practices to ensure an entrepreneurship program is providing high-impact programs and services. The course focuses on company selection and retention, development and deployment of relevant services and programs, and how to establish effective resource and mentor networks. Program managers will be able to show stakeholders and potential clients the connection between the services they offer and the value they provide to startup organizations. They will also learn how to properly allocate resources across programs to aid companies in various stages.
Course 3: Finance and Operations for Sustainable Entrepreneurship Programs
- The third course in the BIM program explains how to develop sustainable financial models in different types of entrepreneurship programs, including incubators, coworking spaces and accelerators. Participants will learn about the operational fundamentals (e.g., policies and procedures) that aid in developing sustainable financial models. Other topics include financial forecasting and cash management, new program capital needs, implementation of diversified revenue streams, managing operational expenses, and banking needs. Participants will also find out how to diversify courses of funding and revenue based on program type and nature of the community engagement.
Course 4: Design and Management of Facilities that Serve Entrepreneurs
- The fourth course in the BIM programs explains how to select, manage and maximize the facilities in which entrepreneurship programs reside. Topics will include best practices for site selection, necessary facility specifications, operational agreements, furniture/fixture/equipment (FF&E) budgeting, maintenance, and service contracting. The course will also provide tips on how space design and layout can maximize program revenues and how building systems can save energy. Participants will be able to outline standard maintenance and operations procedures, outsourcing, contracts and practices for a multi-company facility.
Complete your certificate online or in person
At the beginning of 2015, InBIA piloted the first online version of the BIM Certificate Program, and since then hundreds of people have earned their certificates from the comforts of their own homes and offices. Online training helps people save on the time, hassle and expense of travel. Participants can go through the materials at their own pace within the timeframe of the course. The online version of the program allows the kind of flexibility that is necessary for some people to complete the certificate.
Registration for summer courses are now open!
Since the program’s inception, the BIM certificate courses have been offered in conjunction with InBIA events, giving participants at least two opportunities per year to complete requirements. The courses are also be offered regionally or internationally upon request. In-person classes create an atmosphere of collaboration, and participants make connections that continue long after the courses are over. The classroom setting allows for robust discussions and group activities.
Online Course Format
Online certificate courses take two weeks to complete – ten days for instruction and learning, followed by a four-day testing window. Each course is equivalent to seven hours of in-class training and contains the same content as the classroom-based courses, but has been specially designed for the online format. The courses are self-guided, though they include two one-hour Webinars and one office hour session with experienced instructors who will answer questions and enhance the online content with practical examples and personal knowledge. These online sessions will be recorded and made available to all participants.
At the end of the course, participants will have four days to demonstrate their knowledge by answering 40-50 questions in a 90-minute period. External resources are allowed within the testing time limit. Participants must earn a 75% or higher score to pass the course.
Participants are not required to take all four courses at one time, however, all four courses should be completed within a 1-year (12-month) window.