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Technology Incubators Post Impressive Gains

Technology-focused incubators long have been praised by economic development professionals for their essential role in helping entrepreneurs succeed and populating regional economies with high-tech jobs. A number of incubators recently have unveiled data to support that view, including the first impact report from Detroit’s TechTown and an annual progress report from the Birmingham Innovation Depot, which posted impressive results in 2011.

Recent announcements of new incubators launching across the U.S. and those citing notable impact measures is included below.

Detroit’s TechTown revealed that between 2007 and 2011, they helped 647 companies create more than 1,000 jobs and raise $84 million in startup capital. Additionally, active and graduate clients generated a combined total of $52 million in revenue in 2011, up from $41 million in 2010. The report highlights successful companies supported through TechTown’s entrepreneurial programs, which include mentoring, financing, and access to Wayne State University’s research, academic and technology assets.

Birmingham’s Innovation Depot released its annual progress report, which revealed companies supported by the incubator posted record sales figures in 2011. The incubator is home to 84 companies and graduated 10 companies last year. Over the last four years, tenant companies had an economic impact of $1 billion, reportsAlabama Live.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that 22 technology-focused companies have graduated or soon will graduate from a city-sponsored business incubator launched three years ago. Approximately 550 companies are located within the 10 city-sponsored incubators and those companies have raised more than $78 million in investor funding, according to a news release.

The University of Washington (UW) opened the New Ventures Facility with the goal of doubling the number of startups produced by UW over the next three years. The new facility initially will host up to 15 companies with room for 25 companies when the space is completed.

With funding from the Maine Technology Institute and Blackstone Charitable foundation, three small business incubators joined to form the Maine Incubation System (MEBIS) to increase the number of entrepreneurs reached across the state. MeBIS will provide business assistance and improve technology infrastructure, specifically through the creation a cloud technology network.

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