Who is eligible to become an Incubator client?
Any company that meets SPARK’s criteria will be considered. The business incubators and the wet lab incubator each heave their own criteria. You must be either:
- be an innovation startup company or
- be a company whose technology is applicable to healthcare, life sciences, biotechnology or a related field
In either case, you must be focused on commercialization and your idea or technology should have defensible value (e.g., a patent, trade secret, copyright, know-how, etc.) or the potential to obtain it.
Other basic criteria include:
- Commercialization Timing: Within 1-2 years of sustainable commercial revenues OR significant investment.
- Technology: Innovation start-up companies, with a technology strategy that creates defensible value (such as through patents, trade secrets, copyrights, know-how) and is focused on commercial application.
- Capital: Adequate capitalization to provide for three (3) months of viable operation (to be outlined in a business plan).
- Plan: Business plan which addresses potential markets and size of market, growth potential, financial proformas, personnel growth and acquisition, and exit strategies.
- Management: Technical expertise in the field, with a plan to acquire qualified resources in employee, market, and financial management.
- Operations: The candidate company must fit within the operational model of the specific facility (space requirements, license fees, equipment/facility requirements, etc.)
How are incubator clients selected?
Applications are reviewed by SPARK management on a case-by-case basis, even if space is not currently available. You will be notified in writing as to the status of your application, usually within two days of its receipt. SPARK may recommend other suitable locations if there is no space available in the Incubators, of it an application is not accepted.
How long can my company remain in the Incubator?
The goals of the SPARK Regional Incubator Network is to support your company in a way that will enable you to graduate from the Incubator in two to three years. For this reason, clients typically begin with a standard, one-year lease. If you meet your milestones, the lease is renewable for one or two additional one-year leases.
What kinds of milestones am I required to meet?
Incubator companies are required to set milestones that are agreeable to you and to SPARK. These milestones may include benchmarks for product development, funding and customer acquisition. The SPARK staff will review your progress toward these milestones with you every three months at a minimum and 60 days prior to your lease renewal date.
What happens if my company outgrows the Incubator or is ready to graduate?
If you graduate from or outgrow the Incubator, SPARK staff will assist you in locating appropriate space, either within the SPARK Regional Incubator Network or at another appropriate site. If you meet graduation criteria ahead of schedule, you may be able to terminate your lease without penalty, at the discretion of SPARK management.
What are the graduation criteria?
Over the course of the first year of tenancy, you will work with SPARK to develop a set of graduation criteria based on your business plan, growth projections and milestones. Twice a year, you will review these criteria with SPARK staff to determine your progress.
How do I apply?
Complete and submit the Business Idea Submission form.
How can I find out more?
If you are interested in learning more about the SPARK Regional Incubator Network or would like to begin the application process, we encourage you to contact Skip Simms
. You may also find a copy of our Incubator Handbook helpful.