Books

A Comprehensive Guide to Business Incubation (Meredith Erlewine & Ellen Gerl eds., 2d ed. 2004).

Abstract (from product description at NBIA Bookstore): The editors have overhauled the entire first edition of the book. Its 71 chapters, featuring the advice and insight of more than 200 incubation professionals, are divided into four main sections: Fundamentals of Incubator Development – information on conducting a feasibility study, forming a business entity, finding or building a facility, acquiring funding; Best Practices in Incubator Management – advice from seasoned industry professionals on how to handle the diverse challenges of running a successful program;

Working With Clients – tips from experts on the wide range of business assistance services that an incubator can offer, with discussions on when and how to carry them out; andSpecial Topics in Business Incubation – unique concerns of incubators that specialize in niche markets, such as specialty foods and arts entrepreneurship.

Dinah Adkins, A BRIEF HISTORY OF BUSINESS INCUBATION IN THE UNITED STATES (2002).

Abstract provided by publisher: Learn about the development of the business incubation industry, from its 1959 origins in Batavia, N.Y., to advancements in educational efforts, client services and incubator models. Author Dinah Adkins recounts this history from the viewpoint of a participant, sharing insights gleaned from 20 years’ experience - early on as an incubator manager and later as NBIA’s chief executive.

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Dinah Adkins, NATIONAL BUSINESS INCUBATION ASSOCIATION 10TH ANNIVERSARY SURVEY OF BUSINESS INCUBATORS, 1985-1995: A DECADE OF SUCCESS (1996).

Dinah Adkins, Hugh Sherman & Christine A. Yost, Incubating in Rural Areas: Challenges and Keys to Success (2001).

Abstract (from NADO website): With support from the Tennessee Valley Authority, the National Business Incubation Association’s (NBIA) recently released study, Incubating in Rural Areas: Challenges and Keys to Success by Dinah Adkins, Hugh Sherman and Christine A. Yost, confronts the obstacles that rural incubators face.

Colin Barrow, INCUBATORS: A REALIST'S GUIDE TO THE WORLD'S NEW BUSINESS ACCELERATORS (2001).

Abstract:  An analysis of the pros and cons of business incubators. Drawing on his experience at an e-business incubator,, the author gives an overview of the incubator movement. Actual case studies illustrate how entrepreneurs can benefit (or suffer) from being in an incubator.

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Corinne Colbert, Best Practices in Action: Guidelines for Implementing First-Class business Incubation Programs (2d ed. 2010).

Abstract (from nbia.org): Originally published in 2001, Best Practices in Action has been thoroughly updated and revised to reflect the realities of a maturing business incubation industry. Its eight chapters address key best practice areas, from incubator governance and facilities management to leveraging innovation and serving clients. Each chapter explains why individual practices are important to incubator or company success and provides examples of how those practices are implemented at some of the industry's most successful and innovative programs. A chapter of case studies examines incubators that are overall models of best practice.

Meredith Erlewine, Measuring Your Business Incubator's Economic Impact: A Toolkit (2007).

Abstract (from NBIA):  Collecting and reporting economic impact data can be a lifesaver for your incubation program. Armed with numbers showing the impact of your program, you can approach potential sponsors for funding and support, demonstrate your program’s contribution to the local economy, and add to the credibility of the incubation industry.

Gregg A Lichtenstein, The Significance of Relationships in Entrepreneurship: A Case Study of the Ecology of Enterprise in Two Business Incubators (1992).

Abstract (from UPenn ScholarlyCommons website): This research examines two questions: What is the significance of relationships and how do they influence entrepreneurship? What kinds of settings or networks of relationships are conducive to entrepreneurship and how do we create them? A two track approach was used. First, a conceptual framework was developed in order to understand the questions and to make sense of observations about relationships and entrepreneurship. Second, actual examples of relationships were examined in order to see how they influence entrepreneurship and to learn under what circumstances they are successful. Two business incubators, the Fulton-Carroll Center in Chicago and the Enterprise Development Center on Route 128, were chosen as settings in which to explore these behaviors. The research methods used include in-depth interviews, participant observation and focus groups. The major finding is that the most important contribution of business incubators to entrepreneurship lies in the opportunities they provide for entrepreneurs to interact and develop relationships with other entrepreneurs, the incubator manager and other individuals associated with the incubator. Entrepreneurs receive three types of benefits: instrumental (such as increased sales, lower costs, enhanced capabilities and reduced risk), psychological and developmental. A typology which distinguishes the content of the exchanges and the structure of the relationships is presented in order to describe the variety of interactions within the incubators and to provide a basis for comparing them. Nine factors collectively influence the development of relationships and the interaction: the types of businesses, the personal characteristics of the entrepreneurs, the stage of the firms' development, the existence of a critical mass of firms, the layout of the incubator space, norms and attitudes, the existence of forums for discussion and the actions of the incubator manager. Lacking sufficient resources and skills, entrepreneurs must create or establish access to them by developing relationships of interdependence with others. Relationships are the vehicle that make the interactions as well as these benefits, possible.

Gregg A. Lichtenstein & Thomas S. Lyons, INCUBATING NEW ENTERPRISES: A GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL PRACTIVE (1996).

Abstract provided by authors: The purpose of this article is to offer a methodical approach to deciding when, where, and how to invest in entrepreneurship as a crosscutting economic development strategy. To accomplish this, the authors present and operationalize the concept of a pipeline of entrepreneurs and enterprises in order to effectively segment the marketplace of businesses and differentiate among potential economic development clients within the community. They then describe three options for managing and intervening in a community’s pipeline of entrepreneurs and enterprises—performance-enhancement strategies, incubation strategies, and selective attraction strategies—and discuss how the pipeline can help policy makers and practitioners make informed decisions about where to invest (in what segment) and which strategies to use.

Sally Linder, 2002 STATE OF THE BUSINESS INCUBATION INDUSTRY (2003).

Abstract (from product description at NBIA Bookstore):NBIA's periodic state of the industry (SOI) reports provide snapshots of the incubation industry over time. Through both statistical and anecdotal information, the 2002 SOI report provides the latest statistics available on business incubation and demonstrates that the industry continues to thrive. More than 70 charts and graphs, combined with commentary based on previous SOI reports, put the survey's results into perspective. Information is included on many incubation topics, including program type & start-up date, square footage, financial information, services offered and more.

Thomas S. Lyons, HOW WELL DO SMALL BUSINESS INCUBATORS SERVE ENTREPRENEURS?: ASSESSMENT FROM THE GRADUATE'S PERSPECTIVE (1994).

Anastasia Petrou, Panagiotis Liargovas & Irene Daskalopoulou, Entrepreneurship Incubators and Economic Growth: An Across-Countries Empirical Analysis (2010).

Abstract (from Book Description at Nova Publisher): The immense importance of entrepreneurship in supporting the growth dynamic of regions/nations is widely accepted. This, however, has not always been the case. The focus on large-scale industrial units as the engines of growth was well supported on the grounds of efficiency and technological change. This focus has been characteristic of the post World-War II period while “Those who perceived small firms to be contributing significantly to growth, employment generation, and competitiveness were few and far between.” In the past decade, however, the way in which small firms are viewed has changed drastically and this book will be informative in representing the current development of business incubators.

Raymond W. Smilor & Michael Doud Gill, Jr., The New Business Incubator: Linking Talent, Technology, Capital, and Know-How (1986).

Abstract (from Review on Amazon.com): This book can be considered as the classical reading on business incubation and it provides a clear understanding of this new and innovative tool - business incubation to promote entrepreneurship. It will give both practitioners and academics a thorough overview on ins-outs of business incubation.

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