In Toronto, a dejected inventor came up with a solution to his problems: a store that sells nothing but bizarre stuff that is not yet available from other retailers. New manufacturers pay to get displayed -- more if they keep 100% of sales, less if they share a percentage -- in return for a shot at proving themselves. The New Product Store is slated to expand to Beverly Hills this fall.
Who's Sponsoring Incubators?
Economic development agencies 30%
Local govts. 9%
Hybrid of above 20%
Other 10%* * *
Source: National Business Incubation Association, Athens,Ohio, from a survey o f 385 U.S. and Canadian incubators.
Depending on the sponsor, small-business incubators may have different goals: job development, technology transfer by university professors, or pure for-profit rental of office space.
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Women Entrepreneurs association is looking into developing a women's service firms incubator in the old Allis Chalmers headquarters. Nationally, 21% of incubator tenants are women.
-- Leslie Brokaw* * *