Recent Research: Impacts of accelerators and incubators on economic development

A study titled Incubators, accelerators and urban economic development,[1] published in the Urban Studies Journal last year, found positive impacts on employment and access to capital for participants. The study examines the impacts of accelerators and incubators on urban economic development through a systematic review of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)-wide evaluations, making use of policymaker and academic consultations, finding that both accelerators and incubators raise participant employment while accelerators have the additional benefit of aiding access to finance.

Missouri governor uses CARES funds to support incubator facilities

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson last week announced that $1 million of the state’s CARES Act funding will be used to create a grant for nonprofit and university-based coworker and incubator facilities. The grant will be administered by the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC). Organizations will be reimbursed with grant funds for expenses related to updating the facilities to encourage social distancing, adopting enhanced sanitation protocols or acquiring PPE to comply with the guidelines of the public health emergency. More information about the program can be found here.

Universities launch incubators, accelerators and funds in 2019

Universities frequently play an integral role in providing activities, research, and products that positively affect or support local, regional, state and national economic development or strategic goals.  In higher-education’s efforts to align its participation in innovation and entrepreneurship systems, universities’ incubators, accelerators and fund programs are essential in assisting their faculty, staff, or students in the services and support needed to create startups, bring products to market, or provide critically needed funding. Following on our recent review of research universities and their partnerships with industry, as well as our ongoing review of state activities in 2019 (see our stories on higher education and commercialization programs, free tuition offerings, climate change, clean energy, and broadband), this week we report on new university incubators, accelerators and funds launched in 2019.

Startup competitions target the circular economy

The circular economy, a phrase meant to redefine economic growth beyond the current “take-make-waste” extractive industrial model, is gaining attention around the world as a way to produce more positive environmental and social benefits. Over the past few months, three cities have announced efforts to promote circular economy startups. In New York City, a contest will offer a $500,000 prize to the best idea and business plan that seeks to repurpose the city’s recyclables and manufacture a product to sell to the local market. The City of Phoenix and Arizona State University announced four companies will participate in an incubator affiliated with the Resource Innovation and Solutions Network (RISN). Last fall, public sector partners and the university-based Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) collaborated to launch a new Circular Economy Incubator in the region.

Philly collaboration aims to accelerate business

Tuesday’s ceremonial groundbreaking on a new building in Philadelphia marks the foundation of a new collaboration between a number of players that are hoping to accelerate the innovation community in the city. University City Science Center (UCSC), an SSTI member that has operated in Philadelphia for 54 years, is partnering with the Boston-area Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) as well as Wexford Science and Technology on a new space that will create a stronger group of serial entrepreneurs and increase the level of investment in the community, said UCSC President and CEO Stephen Tang. The new building allows the Science Center to expand its headquarters and triple the size of its “entrepreneur’s clubhouse”, the Quorum.

EDA Announces Over $8M to Expand Entrepreneurial, Business Support Services in AL, NY, TX

Over the last month, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced over $8 million in grants to expand entrepreneurial and business support services in Alabama, New York, and Texas including:

Recent Research: Potential Impacts of University Incubators on Graduated Firms

A popular development strategy at the state and regional level, incubators seek to support economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with business assistance, access to capital, and networking. As of 2012, approximately one-third of the 1,250 business incubators in the United States were connected with universities, up from one-fifth in 2006, according to International (formerly National) Business Incubation Association data featured in The New York Times. Despite the proliferation of these programs at universities, there have been relatively few conclusions to date on the impacts of these incubators beyond anecdotes. Recent research from faculty at the University of Central Florida (UCF), however, finds evidence that firms in university incubators experience positive growth in number of employees and sales at a statistically significant rate compared to non-university incubated firms. On average, the authors find that university incubated firms were responsible for 3.965 more jobs than non-university incubated firms.

Indiana Governor Announces Plan to Advance Innovation, Entrepreneurship

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced plans to invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to advance innovation and entrepreneurship in the state, and to ensure the Hoosier State plays a leading role in solving 21st century challenges, while supporting Indiana’s long-term economic growth, job creation and talent attraction. The 10-year proposal centers on and seeks to enhance the collaborative partnerships between government, education and research institutions, as well as communities in the private sector, while focusing on further advancing Indiana’s current economic momentum and innovation activities. The proposal includes: requesting the Indiana Public Retirement System invest $500 million in in early stage and mid-market Indiana companies; $300 million for 21Fund, which directs investments and grants into early stage, mid-market and high-growth companies; $100 million for transferability of the Venture Capital Investment tax credit to increase the accessibility of private sector funding for innovators and startup companies; and, $100 million to further advance innovation and entrepreneurship education, programs and practice through strategic partnerships with higher education and research institutes in Indiana.

Free Wi-Fi, Inclusive Entrepreneurial Support Initiatives Announced for Baltimore’s Innovation Village

Throughout the United States, innovation districts have been proposed with varying degrees of emphasis on inclusivity and opportunity. In January 2016, a public-private partnership representing many of Baltimore’s most influential anchor institutions, community-based organizations, and private companies declared their intent to develop an innovation district in West Baltimore dubbed the “Innovation Village.”  This week, the Innovation Village steering committee announced several initiatives aimed at supporting inclusive economic growth in West Baltimore neighborhoods including free Wi-Fi, entrepreneurial assistance programs, and the development of a food hub.

Ohio Passes Innovation District Law

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill (HB 233) last month that authorizes cities and villages to create Downtown Redevelopment Districts (DRDs) that can address innovation districts and/or historic rehabilitation. The DRDs permit tax abatements of up to 70 percent of increased assessments in conjunction with payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) or a redevelopment charge that functions as a special assessment tax. In the case of innovation districts, these charges may be used to fund loans or grants to technology businesses—specifically including R&D and technology transfer activities—or to incubators or accelerators in the district. To qualify as an innovation district, the area must include access to a high-speed broadband network capable of download speeds of at least 100 GB/S. Read the announcement...


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