Business incubators nurture the development of entrepreneurial companies, helping them survive and grow during the startup period when they are most vulnerable. The most common goals of incubation programs are creating jobs in a community, enhancing a community’s entrepreneurial climate, building or accelerating growth in a local industry, and diversifying local economies.
Incubators typically provide client companies with programs, services and space for varying lengths of time-based on company needs and incubator graduation policies. Most accelerators take a group of companies, or a cohort, through a specific process over a previously-defined period of time. Accelerators also generally make seed-stage investments in each participating company in exchange for equity, while many incubators do not make this type of financial commitment.
A coworking space is an office or another type of working environment that is shared by people who are self-employed or working for different employers. Most spaces charge monthly rental fees for desks and/or other types of office space and equipment. Sharing space and equipment helps people keep their costs low, and also allows them to work in an environment with others who have similar mindsets. Most coworking spaces share a common goal of creating environments that foster connections and creativity.
Like incubators, co-working spaces create an atmosphere that fosters entrepreneurship by connecting people who are facing similar opportunities and challenges. Co-working spaces differ in that most do not provide formal programming and services, so they also do not have set goals and graduation policies for tenants, whereas incubators are typically working to bring companies from point A to point B with the goal of sending them out to survive on their own.
Incubators help client companies secure capital in a number of ways:
- Connecting companies with angel investors (high-net-worth individual investors)
- Working with companies to perfect venture capital presentations and connecting them to venture capitalists
- Assisting companies in applying for loans
If you want to work out of the Startup Zone, you have to apply and be considered for our Resident Company Program. Our space is full at the moment, but if you fill out our Residency Application Form, it will be reviewed for acceptance when it’s time for some of our current companies to graduate!
Our resident companies benefit from a professional workspace, 24hr building access, in-kind office hour support (accounting, legal, etc), free information sessions, resources, exposure, and other supports where possible.
Our Resident Company Onboarding document outlines the entry criteria, objectives, and expectations of our resident companies.
Yes, the Startup Zone is available to be booked for community events as long as the event does not conflict with the Startup Zone programming. Check our Room Booking portal for prices and availability.