Federal money helps business incubator
In January 2007 the new business incubator on the NIACC campus was open for tenants to begin renting.
According to Mark Olchefske, director of Regional Business Development Services, NIACC received official notification in October 2006 that it had received a $1.25 million federal budget earmark, which is administered through the Small Business Administration.
According to Olchefske, a business incubator is a protected environment in which businesses are able to develop and grow with the help of services, programs and experts.
Accelerator clients have access to the same utilities as incubator clients; but they don’t have a protected environment in which to develop and grow.
The new business incubator is located on the west side of the Murphy Careers Building where the Physical Plant was previously located.
Olchefske said that the business incubator earmark is being used to fund construction of the incubator, which will create office space for clients, national or international videoconference capability and special access to business libraries among other support services and programs that are available to clients.
“Providing a suite of services to help people with their businesses,” Olchefske said is what the earmark is helping to accomplish. According to Olchefske, only 40% of businesses will survive their first five years in comparison to the 87% of incubated businesses that survive their first five years.
For this reason, it is beneficial to the community to have a business incubator on campus. “It’s a resource to the larger business community,” Olchefske said. The business incubator supports regional economic development and is a great way to fight depopulation and keep families in the surrounding communities, Olchefske said.
“There is a great deal of opportunity for the students,” Olchefske said.
Entrepreneurial students at NIACC are at an advantage because, according to Olchefske, there is space available in the incubator for students to run their own start-up companies.
Olchefske said it is a great place for students to try running their own businesses and at the same time learn from the experience and advice of others. For additional information or questions contact Olchefske at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (641) 422-4191.