After pitching the economic impact of business incubation to legislators across the state, the New Jersey Business Incubation Network has opened its 13th incubator at Warren County Community College's Small Business Growth Center, in Phillipsburg, and sparked interest in the state's other outlying counties to operate more.
According to NJBIN President Suzanne Zammit, while the network's incubators usually focus on high-tech startup companies, WCCC will host a mixed-use incubator for all types of business ventures in Warren County, where opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow their companies were not previously offered. The 7,500-square-foot center includes office space available for lease at below-market rates, small and large conference and training rooms, shared Internet connection, audio and visual equipment, and in-house business experts.
To help the WCCC incubator grow in its early stages, NJBIN will bring in sponsors, local business experts and angel investors to implement educational programming about the resources available to startup companies.
While NJBIN is currently focused on getting its funding back into the state budget, Zammit said the network will launch an outreach initiative in the upcoming year to encourage other outlying counties to open up incubators.
According to Zammit, legislators, businesses and entrepreneurs in Hunterdon, Sussex and Monmouth counties have recently expressed interest in establishing incubators, but "a lot of steps that require funding and securing funds for operations" must be taken before the network can further expand.
In 2010, more than 500 companies supported by NJBIN incubators created or retained more than 1,800 jobs, generated revenues of $155 million, brought $91 million in third-party funding to New Jersey and graduated 54 self-sustaining companies, Zammit said.