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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on March 8, 2000. All rights reserved.
Another Incubator Hatches
Eager to get a piece of the start-up action, both government
and privately sponsored incubators are cropping up everywhere. The
Whitman administration has said it wants to support incubators and
create new ones — all in an effort to nurture businesses that
will create more jobs and more taxes.
High-tech lab space for medical and biotech start-ups will be a distinctive
feature of a new public incubator to be installed at the former Hill
Refrigeration Company buildings on Pennington Avenue in Trenton in
2002. At the request of the City of Trenton, the Urban Enterprise
Zone Assistance Fund approved an application for $450,000 to start
the first phase of rehabilitation of two of the buildings on the site
for incubator purposes. Mercer County Community College will be the
educational affiliate of the public incubator, which will offer low
rent, flexible space, and business consulting from both the community
college and the Small Business Development Center.
Dan Strombom, who runs the Trenton Business and Technology Center,
another public incubator on Front and Broad Streets, says that the
new incubator will satisfy a growing demand for customizable lab space.
"It’s been the major type of inquiry we’ve had here, and we can’t
accommodate them because of the physical lay out," he says.
When completed in 2002, the new incubator, two buildings totaling
63,000 square feet, will have flexible lab space and be five times
the size of the Trenton Business and Technology Center incubator,
which currently houses 11 companies. "We’re going to go with a
modular type of design approach, with flexible space and 400 square-foot
modules," says Strombom. Architectural and engineering design
of the new incubator is being handled by Cecil Baker & Associates
of Philadelphia. Strombom is not yet certain what the cost per square
foot will be.
Companies eligible for space in the new Hill Refrigeration incubator
will be in a technology-based field, developing or modifying a new
product or process, and have a business plan that demonstrates self-sufficiency
in two to three years and full-time commitment from the management
team. "We have already heard from companies who wish this were
happening a lot faster, says Strombom. For more information contact
Strombom at 609-396-8801.
Other state-funded incubators include the NJIT Enterprise Development
Center, Stevens Technology Ventures Business Incubator, the Rutgers
Newark Small Business Development Center, the Picatinny Innovation
Center, and the Burlington County College High Technology Small Business
What separates a successful incubator from being just another office
building is the advice and support it offers. This is what works so
well at the Technology Help Desk and Incubator at 100 Jersey Avenue
in New Brunswick (800-432-1832, http://www.nj.com/njsbdc). Co-sponsored
by New Jersey Small Business Development Center of Rutgers Graduate
School of Management and the U.S. Small Business Administration, and
administered by Randy Harmon, this center has seen a good number of
its fledglings expand to larger space.
Even national businesses are creating incubators to stay current with
technology. After watching numerous E-commerce companies botch orders
and deliveries during the holiday rush, United Parcel Service decided
to enhance its role in the new economy by nurturing E-commerce start-ups.
UPS’s Georgia-based incubation project, E-Ventures, will be the research
and development arm of UPS E-Commerce.
The first company UPS has taken under its wing, E-Logistics, plans
to provide business with end-to-end business solutions for low-cost
launch of E-Commerce startups, everything from warehousing to order
fulfillment to customer service. Beta testing on the new company will
begin this year and it will be widely available in the fourth quarter
of this year. Call 404-828-8395 for inquiries.
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