What is an incubator?
There are several different kinds of business incubators, but they all have the same goal of helping startup businesses through their critical development period, to accelerate their growth, and help them reach their potential. Incubators provide startups with the intellectual and leadership capital that they need to succeed. Incubator clients increase their knowledge base through formal classroom training sessions on relevant topics, daily coaching from incubator staff on management, finance, marketing and more, and an advisory board of professional mentors with experience in the firm’s industry. Incubators also help entrepreneurs by encouraging networking with other startups, established businesses, and connecting them with service providers like accountants, attorneys and other professionals who can make a difference for them and their business. While an entrepreneur can rent office space from any commercial landlord, choosing to incubate means hands-on, daily assistance and access to the critical resources that make a difference. Business incubators have a huge impact on startup businesses. Starting a business is not easy. Incubation allows businesses to focus of their core strengths, while receiving assistance, guidance, and education on the parts of running a business that they do not know. The National Business Incubator Association estimates that while half of small businesses fail within their first five years, 87% of incubator graduates are still in business after five years.
What do I need to know about Jump Start Incubator?
Jump Start Incubator is a temporary home for start-up businesses in the Greater Reading Area. It provides them with the intellectual and leadership capital necessary for their success during their critical development period, and helps businesses to become self-sufficient and reach their potential. After incubation, firms are expected to transition out into Reading and Berks County and become leading businesses furthering economic development, creating new jobs, and increasing the tax base in the city. Jump Start Incubator helps to launch and grow exciting, innovative firms that will become the cornerstones of a revitalized city. Located in the Berks County Community Foundation’s LEED® Platinum Green Building, the Jump Start campus is in the heart of Reading, Pennsylvania’s economic development district. The incubator serves entrepreneurs as they navigate the pre-incubation, incubation and graduation stages of business startup. Tenant clients are headquartered in newly constructed business suites with access to a comprehensive communications/IT package, conference facilities, and a receptionist, while the Kutztown University Small Business Development Center provides business consulting and hands-on support. Jump Start Incubator clients may spend between two and four years in the incubator. Every six months the incubator client will meet with staff to formally review the tenant’s progress and continued interest in incubation.
How will joining benefit my business?
Jump Start Incubator cultivates a stimulating environment of growth, learning and support. The clients network with other startup firms and experienced entrepreneurs that support each other and work together. Additionally, qualified and experienced Kutztown University Small Business Development Center consultants are on-hand to provide assistance and guidance to entrepreneurs as they grow and develop their businesses. Aside from the culture of entrepreneurship, the incubator provides clients with training, coaching, mentoring, networking, and access to service providers. All of these benefits add up to have a huge impact on startup businesses. Starting a business is not easy, and the support network allows businesses to focus of their core strengths.
How long can a business stay at the Jump Start Incubator?
Jump Start Incubator works hard to help businesses grow to a stable, sustainable place. It is expected that firms graduate from the incubator and move out to the Greater Reading community within two to four years. Under exceptional cases, where it benefits all parties, a client, JSI staff, and the advisory board may agree to extend a tenant’s stay beyond that point.