ACCELERATION

Accelerate Your Power - Your Business

BUSINESS ACCELERATION SERVICES TO BE OFFERED AT BELOW FAIR MARKET VALUE:
Business Acceleration Services of the Center will be offered on a graduated scale from free to discounted to full-priced depending the level of association with the incubator and the maturity of the company/team engaging the Center.  An on-line survey of energy start-up companies in Northeast Ohio was conducted to gauge the market's interests in certain incubator services.  The survey asked the entrepreneurs to assign value to a host of services and facility/equipment offerings.  Additional questions were included to help understand pricing tolerances and space needs.  Of the 37 entrepreneurs surveyed, 25 responses were gathered.

Business Acceleration

Client Basic Services:   Basic services are common to incubators in general.  Results of the survey were consistent with traditional incubator offerings today.  The following basic services scored high in the survey (60% or more rated the service Important or Critical). 

  • Human Resources Support
  • IT Support

 

  • Communications Support
  • Web Development

 

Implementation of Basic Services delivery is typically inherent in incubator operations. Communications and IT support is often part of facilities management.  Web development can be an extra offering for start-up clients.  Web development can be delivered to clients with an outside web development firm under contract with the TBEIC to manage the incubator’s web and social media presence.  Human resources support can be delivered through consultation with the executive director and through connections with regional programs that support technical internships.

Fees for Services:  Fees for basic services can be included in the lease agreement for Equity and Tenant Clients.  
Client Development Services:  Although general in nature, Development Services can be tailored to provide the incubator with its first level of differentiated, industry focused services.  Scoring high in the survey for Development Services was:

  • General Legal Support
  • Intellectual Property Support

 

  • Business Planning Support
  • Investor Prep Support

 

Many incubators offer the Development Services that are valued by entrepreneurs.  In order to offer Development Services that would clearly identify the TBEIC as an energy incubator, these services need to be offered by professionals versed in the industry.  General legal and Intellectual Property support can be delivered by seminars and referrals.  The Center should engage legal firms in its support network with specific and deep industry experience and contacts that can provide these services pro-bono or discounted.  The TBEIC should also have a repository of industry market data, including channel structure and emerging technologies, to aid in business planning and investor presentation preparations.  The incubator can maintain the currency of the information through participation in industry associations and Network Partner agreements (corporate, academic and federal labs).
Fees for Services:  Fees for Development Services would be the responsibility of the individual client company.  The Center should build relationships with appropriate resources that can deliver quality support at discounted or deferred rates.  A fund to support this development work can be managed by the TBEIC Executive Director and accessed for approved services for selected clients. 
Client Industry Services:  Providing industry specific services that are unique to the TBEIC is vital to establishing the center as world-class energy business accelerator.   According to the survey, those services offering the highest level of industry specificity include:

  • Grant Writing Support
  • Investor Introductions
  • Business Partnerships

 

  • Regulatory Support
  • Access to Instrumentation
  • Access to Engineering Services

 

A critical function of TBEIC management is to maintain current industry relationships.  Delivery of Industry Specific Services is dependent on strong involvement of Network and Anchor Partners for collaborations with clients and identification of shifting market needs.  Industry Specific Services are delivered in a combination of programs, seminars, personal connections, and facility offerings.   Programs that continually scan for energy R&D grants and contracts (through DOE, DoD, state programs, etc.), and seminars covering industry specific grant writing opportunities and techniques and regulatory issues should be an integral part of the TBEIC client offering.  The TBEIC executive, as well as the Center’s board members, should have regular contact with investors focused in the energy field, and update contacts on investment opportunity in the client base.  Instrumentation should be accessible for client companies to test or validate technologies with respect to industry or regulatory specifications.   It would be advisable also that the incubator have resident an engineering services firm or two that can provide discounted services to client companies.

Powerful Reality


"Innovation needs to be nurtured throughout an organization. Management is doing things right, whereas leadership is doing the right things."

-Dean Kamen