One of the most notable enterprises designed to accelerate the successful development of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services is the business incubator. There are many key components to developing a successful business incubator. However, when one or two of these components are missing or inadequate, failure can follow. The purpose of this paper is to identify the key components to developing a successful business incubator as an effective tool for economic development, based on the case study of an unsuccessful effort.
The Gateway Innovation Center case study presents an opportunity to examine some possible pitfalls of developing a business incubator. A scant four months after opening, the organizers of the incubator decided to give up on the project. Exploring the various missteps in the formation of the Gateway Innovation Center provides a better understanding of key issues in developing successful incubators.
The lack of success was attributed to five features: function following form; lack of planning; lack of expertise; lack of due diligence; and market area would not support a technology incubator.
Very few business incubator failures are examined. This is one of the first case studies to examine the short life of a highly anticipated business incubator in an area of Southern California that was seeking to foster new businesses and create jobs in a region of relatively high unemployment.
Anderson, B.B. and AL‐Mubaraki, H. (2012), "The Gateway Innovation Center: exploring key elements of developing a business incubator", World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 208-216. https://doi.org/10.1108/20425961211276598
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