Purpose: The purpose of the Business Incubator Center’s Incubator Program is to assist new, expanding, or fledgling small businesses by providing affordable space, shared administrative/office services and equipment, along with management assistance services, thus helping businesses succeed, creating new jobs and bringing new dollars into the area economy.
Complete Client Handbook
Consulting: The Executive Director, program managers, support staff and other consultants provide ongoing assistance to Incubator Program Companies for technical help and training. Consultations range from quick answers on accounting issues to help in launching a new product or service. The Business Incubator Center is uniquely poised to offer a broad range of business assistance based on complimentary programs offered on site.
Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC), partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, provides business consulting and technical assistance, as well as workshops, to Mesa County’s small business community. The SBDC can provide information on licensing, legal issues, finance, marketing, intellectual property, and much more. Contact the Front Desk to make an appointment or reserve space in a class.
Financing: The Loan Fund of Mesa County is a lending program operated by the Business Incubator Center. The Loan Fund makes commercial loans to Mesa County businesses that are not able to get their full financing needs met by traditional lenders. The “Incubator Bootstrap Fund” is a loan program only available to Incubator clients. It is designed to provide low interest, short-term loans to help finance the expenses associated with completing certain contracts or purchase orders. The Loan Fund Manager is available to consult with Incubator Program Companies on financial issues. Contact the Loan Fund Manager or Assistant for an appointment.
In addition to our in-house services, the Business Incubator Center is tied into local, regional and national networks, enhancing our ability to provide assistance. Contact an Incubator Program Manager for a referral.
- Mesa State College interns are employed on a regular basis to help Incubator Program Companies with various projects.
- Advisors or advisory committees can be developed for each business to provide access to outside experts. The business owner and the Business Incubator’s lead consultants determine the areas where the Program Company could benefit from outside input.
- Experienced and specialized Small Business Counselors are recommended on many projects. The Small Business Counselor’s maintain office hours on campus.
Marketing Assistance: An Incubator Program Manager can assist Incubator Program Companies with marketing issues including press releases, development of brochures and websites.
The typical Incubator Program Company and its principal owner(s) enter into a one-year formalized lease agreement. Short-term month-to-month rentals (up to six months) may be considered, assuming appropriate space availability, in situations involving pre-startup or pre-expansion, feasibility studies, business/marketing/financial plan development, facility readiness, etc. Lease agreements provide reasonable flexibility in allowing the Program Company to expand or retract within the Incubator, or to move to another facility at an appropriate time. Incubator Program Companies must agree to consult regularly with staff members, who provide ongoing assistance to establish a plan for technical assistance and training. The total length of tenancy by a particular business is dependent on various factors, including the growth and maturity of the Program Company itself. Average Incubator tenancy is 3-5 years, with a maximum of 5 years.
Cost: Incubator spaces are valued at Fair Market Rate (FMR) for similar properties in Mesa County. Program Companies pay a graduated percentage of FMR each year of their participation in the Incubator program, beginning at 75 percent. Utilities (water, sewer, trash, gas, and electric) are included in monthly rents with the exception of the Manufacturing Building, whose tenants pay ½ of the electrical charges based on square footage occupied. Amenities incorporated in a $30 monthly common space charge include:
- Shared-use equipment: copiers; faxes; telephone system; computers with spreadsheet, word processing and accounting software; air compressor; other equipment such as overhead projector, laptop, and TV can be made available for short-term use.
- Shared-use spaces: reception and product display area; conference rooms in each building; training room; resource room stocked with reference materials, periodicals and computers; break rooms with kitchen facilities; paint booth; and loading dock.
- Central Office services: up to 2 hours per month of light secretarial, typing and word processing (with potential to negotiate additional services); incoming and outgoing mail service; optional telephone answering; and Notary Public.
- Janitorial services are provided in common areas.
Location: The Incubator is located in a designated Enterprise Zone. Thus, Incubator Program Companies can qualify and benefit from state tax incentives. For more information see our Enterprise Zone page
Buildings are fully equipped with sprinklers and a fire alarm system tied directly to the fire department (a factor that favorably impacts program companies insurance costs).
Activities and Resources
Program Companies benefit from contact with other small business entrepreneurs within the facility, a factor that has emerged as significant, reported by past and current client firms. In addition to daily contact opportunities, the Business Incubator Center provides two monthly networking events that are free to Program Companies.
- Business Over Breakfast- Panel discussions are held once each month for one hour. The Business Incubator Center provides a light breakfast and opportunities to receive and provide updates, discuss mutual issues, and hear informative panelists.
- Training Classes – Offered through the Small Business Development Center, classes cover such topics as marketing, taxes, bookkeeping & financial statements, and the in depth Leading Edge program. These are often available at a reduced rate to Incubator Program Companies.
- Intensive Projects – From time to time, Program Companies have intensive projects with which they need assistance. This may involve the use of interns or other specialists brought in for that purpose.
- Trade Shows and Showcases – Through the Incubator program, Program Companies have the opportunity to participate in trade shows and business showcases, often free of charge.
- Open Houses and Socials – Many are offered throughout the year, including an annual holiday open house. Program Companies are encouraged to participate, as these are excellent networking opportunities.
- Chamber of Commerce Membership – Program Companies are encouraged to join the Chamber of Commerce as finances allow. Incubator Program Companies can join at one-half the base membership rate during each year of occupancy. Members are listed in the Chamber directory and web page, and are entitled to all the benefits of membership including discounts and inclusion in Chamber events. The Chamber holds a ribbon cutting for all new business locations and new product/services. This provides excellent publicity! You can call the Chamber at 242-3214 to arrange for the ribbon cutting.
- Rocky Mountain Incubation Association (RMIA) - Free usage of RMIA members’ facilities throughout the state for meetings, networking, etc. and access to technical assistance specialties of RMIA Incubators’ staff. Arrangements are made through the Business Incubator Center Executive Director.
- National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) – An Business Incubator Center Program Companies can take advantage of the following NBIA member privileges: discounted payroll services, insurance products specially designed and priced for small businesses, low cost bankcard processing, discounted rates on market information, and many other services.