It is estimated only 3% of all community colleges currently
have some form of business incubation. If
you were in the business of job creation and knew of the research from the Kauffman
Center report stating ‘all net new jobs, came from new business starts
ups’, why has there not been a more concerted efforts to look to community
colleges to be an integral part of business incubation.
If you were a business and had locations across the country
as this map indicates and your business was to create more jobs, why would new
business incubation not be one of your strategies?
Today, there are numerous business incubation models which could
fit the needs of just about every community college in the country. There are traditional brick and mortar
incubators, incubators without walls, virtual incubators, co-working spaces,
innovation centers, Fab Labs, research centers and the list could go on.
So with the variations of incubators and with over 1,200
community colleges across the nation, who are educating around 13m students and why is there not a
critical mass of business incubators in the community college system?
A starting point: AACC
and the Mott Foundation joined forces with NACCE, NBIA, SBA and 11 diverse
community colleges to create the Virtual
Incubation Tool Kit. This tool kit
can be a very good starting point for any community college to look into
Having just attended the NBIA
conference in Boston (#NBIAConf), I found the conference a meeting point for experts
in various fields of
incubation, providing an intensive level of networking and a willingness to
collaborate. For all the NACCE
aficionado’s, I would say that this has also
been true of my NACCE experiences as well.
Now enter the
new president and CEO of NBIA, Jasper Welch,
whose experience includes directing the San Juan College
Enterprise Center, a mixed-use incubation program in Farmington, N.M., for
12 years. His passion for
community colleges really shows.
The stars are starting to align for community colleges to be
able to become a juggernaut for new business creation and job growth. What say you?