Developing start-ups by enlisting an array of targeted resources, services and professional advice for entrepreneurs.
Business incubators nurture the development of entrepreneurial companies, helping them survive and grow during the start-up period, when they are most vulnerable. These programs provide client companies with business support services and resources tailored to young firms. The most common goals of incubation programs are creating jobs in a community, enhancing a community’s entrepreneurial climate, retaining businesses in a community, building or accelerating growth in a local industry, and diversifying local economies.
The role of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce in the incubator process is to certify the incubators and to ensure the incubators meet certain standards of excellence.
Two core principles that characterize effective business incubation include:
- The incubator aspires to have a positive impact on its community’s economic health by maximizing emerging companies’ successes.
- The incubator itself is a dynamic model of a sustainable, efficient business operation.
These incubators provide:
- Flexible space and leases
- Access to office services and equipment
- An on-site incubator manager as a resource for business advice
Exposure to a network of outside business and technical consultants, often providing accounting, marketing, engineering and legal advice; and assistance with financing and marketing.
Currently, 31 certified small business incubators are operating in Oklahoma, with tenants ranging from small service companies to high-tech research and development operations and manufacturing entities.
During 2020, Oklahoma incubator managers were asked to complete a questionnaire to document their activities for the current reporting period. The following statistics are based on the information received from the responding incubator managers:
Currently 1,165 jobs are provided by 109 small business located in incubators.
More than 1,000 small businesses have located in a small business incubator throughout the life of Oklahoma’s Certified Small Business Incubator Program.
More than 500 of those have graduated from the program or relocated to a larger facility.
1,373 people are currently employed by 259 of the graduated businesses that remained in the state.
Here are just a few success stories from those business throughout 2020:
Aircraft Logistics Group, LLC
Acorn Growth Companies
Oklahoma City, Okla.
The success of Aircraft Logistics Group, LLC continues to be a compelling story for incubators. In 2017, the company completed the sale of a significant portion of its loan portfolio to a strategic buyer in the aerospace and defense sector that carried forward the mission of airborne intelligence missions in support of the global war on terror. The sale represented an 8x return on invested capital and a 46% gross internal rate of return.
Generation FSH is a new tenant of Hemphill Create, specializing in welding and fabrication service. The owners of the company saw an opportunity to start their family business at Hemphill in October 2020. The husband and wife duo wanted to leave the shuffle and control of the corporate grind and bet on themselves. Duane Grundy is a welder and fabricator, while his wife Shavonne Grundy handles corporate affairs. Gaining perspective from Hemphill’s successful family business has helped further the Grundy’s outlook on success and provided historical data and industry knowledge to add to their repertoire of talent.
Flexibility and support are key to success in these unprecedented times. Hemphill has offered companies a safe haven to grow and explore business strategy and growth in spite of the on-going global pandemic.
Mortgage Solutions Financial
Sand Springs, Okla.
Mortgage Solutions Financial started at The LINK by occupying two private desk spaces. The company has flourished, doubling the initial number of employees. They have outgrown their work space three times and now occupy three office suites. Their growth and financial standing has far exceeded their expectations. They anticipate graduating from The LINK incubator soon.
Indigo Technology Group
Indigo Technology Group, a Tulsa based software company, uses their scalable technologies as a platform to launch other startups alongside industry veterans. As a technology platform, they become a multiplier when coupled with domain experts, cutting the costs and shortening ramp-up time to profitability. Indigo has successfully helped launch several growth-oriented companies and highlights their achievements through Indigo’s annual “Technology Showcase” each spring.
Commerce will be highlight incubator business success stories in upcoming issues of the New Pioneer – signup for our E-Newsletter.
Find out more about certified Incubators or locate an Incubator near you.