Posted June 16th, 2010
In the old days, crossing the campus gate meant entering a separate world, away from the hustle of life and business.But colleges as ivory towers are fast tumbling down. Many are helping to launch startups by creating business incubators. This makes them active participants in creating jobs and new industries.School-inspired incubators tend to develop startups before the business moves on to the next stage of angel investors, venture capitalists or getting acquired.
Money pours into colleges through federal research grants. Combine the grant money with the technical expertise of school faculty, and these incubators become a natural extension of a college's mission, said Bruce Niswander, director of entrepreneurial initiatives at Polytechnic Institute of New York University, in New York City.
New York City's Economic Development Corporation partnered with Polytechnic to create the Varick Street Incubator in lower Manhattan in the summer of 2009. In its 17,000 square-foot building, it signed six-month leases with 28 companies on-site and 8 virtual tenants. It also has another incubator in Brooklyn and 7 firms off-site. Over 150 jobs have been added to companies at the incubators.