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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Making High-Tech Incubators, Accelerators More Inclusive

Although many leaders of high-tech incubator and accelerator programs do not currently offer targeted programs to ensure inclusivity of all populations, they have conveyed they would like to do so, according to new research from the Initiative for the Competitive Inner City (ICIC), with financial support from JP Morgan Chase. The research brief, which was unveiled this week as part of Detroit’s Startup Week, draws on interviews with more than 75 entrepreneurship, incubator and accelerator program managers to identify barriers to inclusivity and present potential strategies that could increase the participation rates of women and minority entrepreneurs.

TN Commits $8M to Support Rural Economic Development

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam recently announced a new fund to support economic development in rural parts of the state. While most of the $8 million (approximately $7 million) is designated for shovel-ready economic development sites and tourism projects, the state will commit $600,000 for economic development grants to support entrepreneurship in small towns across the state including $300,000 to support a Main Street Business Incubator Program for downtown business districts.


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