Shewmaker Center for Global Business Development

Student Incubators

A good way to get to the heart of what incubators are and what they do is to tease out the metaphor behind the word "incubator." Incubators are self-contained environments that regulate the lives of chicks so they only need worry about eating and growing. Business incubators are exactly the same: they provide fledgling ventures with office space, basic equipment, access to various professionals (accountants, lawyers, marketing experts, mentors), and in some cases seed money so the businesses can focus on getting the venture off the ground.

Why bother incubating? Why can't young businesses just go at it alone, like they used to (and for the most part, in fact, still do)?

Making the local scene vibrant Stimulating the local economy is a prime reason for the existence of most incubators. These programs want to produce mature, successful businesses—"graduates" of the program—that will go on to create jobs and offer products and services that enhance the local economy.

The "new" economy The world is changing in terms of how business is conducted. In the past, traditional economic transactions consisted of an exchange of money for goods, materials, or services, but more and more often the important economic transactions of today involve knowledge. Incubators—particularly technology business incubators—facilitate these academic, government and business collaborations that produce leading-edge, next-generation systems and in the process get a leg-up in a hypercompetitive, knowledge-based marketplace.

Student incubator space in the Global Business Development Center will be located on the first floor behind the Douglas Learning Resource Center.

Floor Plan for First Floor