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As reported in Bloomberg Businessweek ... Business incubators, the bulk of which are independently operated nonprofits that provide startups with cheap office space and
professional advice, took off in the 1980s only to stall after the dot-com bubble burst. They're now back to a record high, according to the National Business Incubation Assn. (NBIA), with some 41,000 startups using 1,200 incubators across the country. Participants' survival rate after five years is 87 percent, compared with 44 percent for companies that didn't use incubators, according to the group...

... Increasingly, lawmakers in Washington are embracing incubators as a relatively easy and cheap way to fuel future job creation....

... a recent study by the Commerce Dept.'s Economic Development Administration ...  found that, when it comes to producing jobs, investments in incubators have a higher return on dollars spent than public-works projects such as road building. In 2009, EDA invested $80.7 million in incubators, which it says resulted in 8,746 jobs, and it plans to invest even more in 2010...

... In April, Representative Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) introduced a bill that would allow EDA, which currently limits its incubator funding to construction and renovation projects, to include grants of up to $3 million for operations and support services ...

...Another bill, the Early Stage Business Investment & Incubation Act of 2010, introduced by Representative Suzanne Kosmas (D-Fla.) in May, would use $250 million to establish the first funding program for business incubators targeting high-growth industries across the country..

MedTech-IQ Wants to Know:  What has been your experience with incubators?  Are they as effective as this article indicates they may be?

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