GREENSBORO – Business Incubators have been around since the late 1950’s and continue to be a location of choice for young entrepreneurial companies searching for a home to “hatch” or get their small businesses off the ground. The concept of business incubation has evolved over the years from places where concepts could be developed, to facilities that supported the growth and development of young business entities, to environments where young enterprises with common interests can benefit from a network that promotes sharing.
Whether in a research or academic setting or as part of a community effort, incubators have spawned many successful businesses and continue to grow in numbers as they evolve. The term “Incubation” however, should be more closely examined to reflect more clearly how we might grow today’s high technology based businesses more effectively.
The word “Incubator” is a noun defined as an enclosed apparatus providing a controlled environment for the care and protection of premature or unusually small babies, an apparatus used to hatch eggs or grow microorganisms under controlled conditions, or a place, especially with support staff and equipment, made available at low rent to new small businesses.
In today’ rapidly moving global economy it may be time to rethink our terminology and consider a more active terminology to define how we might grow 21st century enterprises more effectively. How about the term “Cultivation”? Cultivation is a verb, and thereby implies action, and is defined as the action of cultivating land, or the state of being cultivated, or the process of trying to acquire or develop a quality or skill. Cultivation implies care and nurturing. Cultivation requires action and observation.
One way of comparing incubation and cultivation might be to consider incubation of an egg vs. cultivation of a seed. You place the egg in an incubator, set a temperature, and let it sit until it hatches (or doesn’t). Sure, you look in on it and from time to time turn it, but for the most part leave it alone and let nature take its course. When germinating a seed there’s usually more involved. You need to place in in soil, making sure that it’s placed properly, keep the soil moist and nutritious, in most cases let the sun or light in, and from time to time perhaps even do some tilling and maybe even some culling to allow the healthy plants more room to grow. When the seed becomes a seedling you carefully transplant it into an environment where it can grow into the plant it was destined to be, all the while understanding it is still a fragile seedling that continues to need nurturing from time to time.
A true business cultivator can be identified by asking the following questions:
Once moved in or “planted” are sufficient resources available to assist in the “Cultivation”?
Read more at http://wraltechwire.com/cultivation-why-this-term-is-important-to-entrepreneurs-seeking-startup-help/16617243/#ovq7sBk3JYEhtxCF.99