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Expanding Beyond Traditional Business Incubation

NBIA expects more than 500 business incubation professionals from over 30 countries to join us in Boston, Massachusetts, April 7-10, for our 27th International Conference on Business Incubation. We hope you will be among them.

We recognize that many industry professionals come to the NBIA conference to connect with other incubation professionals, so we design the event with that in mind. With dozens of educational sessions, opportunities to be inspired by client success stories, presentations from well-known industry leaders, and tours of some of the Boston region’s most successful incubation programmes, there's truly something for everyone who wants to learn more about our industry.

In recent years, more and more communities around the world have been turning to business incubation as a way to support entrepreneurs in their efforts to grow successful new ventures. At the same time, the industry has witnessed the growth and development of a number of other kinds of programmes that work with entrepreneurs, including seed and venture accelerators and coworking spaces.

While these new breeds of entrepreneur support organizations are certainly generating a lot of media attention, I see these new developments as opportunities for our industry. When NBIA conducted its latest state of the industry survey in 2012, we found that nearly three-quarters of the respondents offered either pre-incubation or post-incubation services (or both), so today’s incubation programmes are already reaching out to a wide range of entrepreneurs to be the hub of their region’s innovation ecosystem.

As part of their efforts to better meet the needs of the entrepreneurs in their regions, many incubation programmes are incorporating some aspects of accelerator-like activities, coworking spaces, youth entrepreneurship programmes, and a host of other services to help meet the needs of entrepreneurs and growing companies. In other words, business incubators - like the entrepreneurial firms they assist - are innovators.

The most successful incubation programmes don’t just offer the same programming and services year after year because that’s what they’ve always done. They take stock of their programmes regularly, ensuring that the assistance they’re providing is the type of help their clients need. When a programme is no longer beneficial, they drop it. And when the entrepreneurs in their region have a need that’s not being met, they develop new services to make sure their clients have all the access they need to the training, resources, and mentoring they need to grow into successful businesses.
NBIA regularly explores how best-in-class incubation programmes achieve their results. And through publications and training events like the NBIA conference, we share what can be borrowed and adapted from the most innovative programmes - whether they are traditional incubation programmes, venture accelerators, or other types of entrepreneur support organizations.

To find out more about the largest, most international and longest-running conference on business incubation, please visit our website at

I and the team at NBIA look forward to seeing you in Boston this spring!
Published on 27-02-2013 12:52 by David Tee. 1455 page views

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