Stan Schultes, Program Director of Station 2 Innovation Center in Bradenton, recently completed the National Business Incubation Association’s Incubator Management Certificate Program.
The NBIA educational program provides a comprehensive and practical overview of the tasks and responsibilities of managing business incubators, which are programs that accelerate the successful development of start-up and emerging companies by providing entrepreneurs with resources and services. Launched in 2007, the certificate program is designed to enhance managers’ skills and to provide them with opportunities to gain ideas for building stronger relationships with key constituents, providing effective client services, ensuring incubator sustainability and more.
NBIA officials say receiving a certificate is a mark of distinction verifying mastery of incubator governance, services and policies. “We thought it would be helpful for NBIA to establish a base of knowledge that every incubator manager should know, regardless of the type of incubator they run,” said Tom Strodtbeck, NBIA director of events and international programs. “The certificate program is a way for people to track their progress in gaining that knowledge.”
To receive a certificate, incubator managers must complete a total of 24 hours of training that covers a range of topics, including incubator finances, strategic planning, graduation policies and procedures, client selection, and facilities management.
Business incubation programs, such as Station 2 Innovation Center, catalyze the process of starting and growing companies by providing entrepreneurs with the expertise, networks and tools they need to make their ventures successful. NBIA estimates that in 2011 alone, North American incubators assisted about 49,000 start-up companies that provided full-time employment for nearly 200,000 workers and generated annual revenue of almost $15 billion.
The Station 2 Innovation Center is a not-for-profit, Bradenton-based business incubation and co-working facility. Station 2 Innovation will provide a variety of co-working membership plans, business incubation programs including formal education and mentoring processes for high-potential early stage companies, and a soft landings program for businesses looking to expand to our area from elsewhere. A variety of community and business education programs will be offered in the facility, and there will be an emphasis on community connections and entrepreneurial capacity development. The soft-opening of Station 2 Innovation was held last Friday, including community and business leaders, entrepreneurs, potential mentors and incubator clients, and those interested in growing business locally. Applications are now being accepted for entrepreneurs interested in joining the incubation program, and for mentors.
The National Business Incubation Association is the world’s leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship. It provides thousands of professionals with information, education, advocacy and networking resources to bring excellence to the process of assisting early-stage companies. Visit www.nbia.orgto learn more.