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Incubator RoundUp: Specialized Incubators Increasing Their Numbers Nationwide

March 10, 2010

Silicon Valley, a region often looked to for trends in the technology field, is expected to see a rise in the number of new high-tech incubators and the expansion of existing incubators in the coming months. A recent Wall Street Journal article points to these openings as a sign of revival for technology startup companies amid a relatively slow period last year as startup investment plunged during the recession. Across the nation, specialized incubators spanning clean energy, sustainable architecture and advanced materials have emerged over the past several months to support high-tech ventures.

USTAR announced in January the opening of Utah's first incubator focused on information technology and renewable energy. The Southern Utah Information Technology and Renewable Energy Incubator, located in St. George, will support businesses focused on high technology, green technology and alternative energy.

Another high-tech business incubator opened in Utah late last year. The BioInnovations Gateway (BiG) located in Salt Lake City is in an incubator for emerging biotech and medical device companies, a high-tech training facility for the next generation of bio-innovators, and a contract research resource for Utah's life science industry, according to a news release. The incubator provides state-of-the-art equipment and support for up to seven resident companies.

Innovations, a Chandler, AZ-based biotechnology incubator will hold its grand opening May 1. The incubator hopes to attract scientists and high-tech entrepreneurs and will offer 40,000 sq. ft. of wet and dry labs, classrooms and office space.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will provide $1.5 million to establish a clean energy incubator on the campus of Stony Brook University. The Long Island High Technology Incubator is the fifth clean energy business incubator established by NYSERDA over the past year and will offer on-site and virtual business incubation services leveraging university resources.

3M announced last month plans to enter into a strategic relationship with MAMA Sustainable Incubation AG, a newly formed Berlin-based technology incubator that will specialize in development of solutions for emerging green markets such as renewable energy, sustainable architecture and water treatment, reports Finance & Commerce.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is revamping its business incubator program to focus exclusively on energy and environmental startups, reports The Times-Union. Under the new plan, the 30 year-old incubator located in Troy will no longer house companies and instead will be used for other university programs. The change follows a review of all programs at the school that foster startup and entrepreneurship.

Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation held a groundbreaking ceremony in January for the new Business Innovation and Growth Center. The center, which is expected to generate $6 million in private investment and create more than 120 jobs in five years, will include 9,600 sq. ft. of product development, office and laboratory space for area entrepreneurs. Funding is provided by a $1.1 million grant from the federal Economic Development Administration and other various grants and loans.

Construction on a Clemson University and South Carolina Research Authority innovation center is slated to begin this month. The 43,000-square-foot innovation center is designed specifically for commercialization of advanced materials by startup companies with intellectual property primarily coming out of Clemson University. The center is expected to open in early 2011.

A University of Kansas bioscience incubator that opened in October is expected to have its first tenants by May, reports the Associated Press. The 20,000-square-foot Bioscience and Technology Business Center will house startup companies grown out of university research, early-stage biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, the article states.

EmergeMemphis, a technology-based incubator in Memphis, TN, recently received a $500,000 award from the federal Economic Development Administration that will be used to renovate its facilities and add up to 14 additional early-stage high-growth businesses, reports The Commercial Appeal. The award will be combined with additional funds totaling $1.5 million for a 15,000-square-foot expansion and renovation.

Opening this year in Ashland, VA, the Dominion Resources GreenTech Incubator will provide assistance with research, financial services, business planning, and office space for startup companies focused on alternative and renewable energy. The GreenTech incubator follows former Gov. Tim Kaine's “Renew Virginia” program and is expected to contribute to Gov. Bob McDonnell's promise to create new companies and jobs early in the incoming administration, according to a news release.

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