Are Business Incubators Resurging as a Result of the Recession?


Monday was a big day at the University of Missouri. The Columbia Times Tribune reports university officials "cut the ribbon" at the MU Life Science Business Incubator at Monsanto Place. The incubator currently hosts five startups, but has lab and office space for nine more, as well as for 30 individual researchers. Funds for the $9 million facility were provided by the university, private donors and a federal grant.


A similar operation is in the works at Innovate Arkansas. The group is offering 4,000 square feet of office space, conference rooms, a receptionist, management guidance, technical assistance, business networking and consulting to entrepreneurs in an effort to create jobs in the state.


And TheFunded.com is gearing up to launch a "training academy" to help tech startups in Silicon Valley learn to deal with venture capitalists and get their businesses on their feet. AFP reports that the institute's four-month sessions are to include lessons in creating business plans, getting financial backing, and guarding against being ousted by investors eager to reap profits.


Are incubators enjoying a resurgence because professionals are opting to take a chance on their own businesses in light of the economy, or has the media focus on the economy and unemployment statistics made us more aware of them? I am intrigued and will be researching the issues in the coming days. Do you have experience with an incubator program? Join the discussion.