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201 GREAT IDEAS for Your SMALL BUSINESS, Third Edition by Jane Applegate

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GREAT 8 IDEA: Move Your Business into an Incubator

If you think incubators are just for babies and chicks, think again. Incubators offer entrepreneurs financing, real estate, mentoring, inspiration, encouragement, and a mix of compatible neighbors.

There are about 1,500 business incubators in the United States and thousands more abroad, according to the National Business Incubation Association, in Athens, Ohio.

Shapeways, an innovative company that provides rapid manufacturing or 3-D printing solutions to build low-cost product prototypes, began its life in an incubator in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The company, founded in 2007, was invited to participate in a “lifestyle incubator” operated by Royal Philips Electronics.

Life in the incubator meant ...

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