What is Youngstown Business Incubator?
YBI is a non-profit organization that opened in 1995 as a mixed use incubator. In 2000, YBI decided to focus exclusively on information technology. YBI's mission is to cultivate, accelerate and promote the formation, growth, commercialization and innovation of technology-based businesses. It provides comprehensive, high quality entrepreneurial services and resources in a robust environment that promotes company success, attraction and retention.
What is an incubator?
According to the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA), business incubation is a dynamic process that accelerates the successful development of start-up and fledgling companies by providing entrepreneurs with an array of targeted resources and services. Incubators nurture young firms, helping them to survive and grow during the startup period when they are most vulnerable. Incubators provide entrepreneurial counseling, access to financing and introduction to critical business and technical support services. They also offer entrepreneurial firms shared office services, access to equipment and flexible leases.
Why do so many small businesses fail and how can YBI help?
According to the U. S. Small Business Administration, two-thirds of new businesses survive for two years, and less than half make it for four years. And "making it" doesn't necessarily mean profitable. Why do businesses fail? Top reasons include management inexperience and insufficient capital. Other reasons include inadequate business plan, lack of market knowledge, weak management team and concentration on tactical instead of strategic issues
YBI works with entrepreneurs to mitigate risk, reduce expenses, develop and execute viable business plans and to improve their likelihood of success.
What is information technology?
According to the Ohio Department of Development, IT is the branch of technology devoted to the study and application of data and the processing of data; the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation or transformation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission or reception of data, and the development or use of hardware, software, firmware, or procedures associated with data processing. IT includes the continued development of computer science and technology, design, development, installation and implementation of information systems and applications that, in turn, will be licensed or sold to a specific target market.
Why focus solely on information technology?
IT is an enabling application that impacts all businesses, all services, all people. The opportunities for new and evolving applications are endless. YBI completely dedicates its resources, its knowledge base and services to accelerate companies in this niche.
I have an information technology idea. When should I contact YBI?
As soon as possible! YBI's Entrepreneurial Expert will review your technology concept and "throw rocks", his phrase for asking the tough questions. But don't worry it doesn't hurt and it is a critical step in determining your next steps.
How does YBI help information technology entrepreneurs?
YBI offers a robust, entrepreneurial environment that helps IT entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. YBI's Entrepreneurial Expert works one-on-one with Portfolio Companies to identify market opportunities, develop the business plan, determine implementation strategies and assist in building a management team. YBI draws upon a vast resource network of accountants, lawyers, consultants, intellectual property specialists, technology commercialization specialists and successful entrepreneurs to support its Portfolio Companies. And then, there is the Managed Cluster.
What's the Managed Cluster?
The Managed Cluster is the community of YBI Portfolio Companies these like-minded entrepreneurs and companies engaged in the development and implementation of IT solutions. These Portfolio Companies share experiences, resources, problem solving and support each other through the trials, tribulations and success of growing a company. In the Managed Cluster, these entrepreneurs have likely seen and done it all, and their collective wisdom is invaluable to fledging start-up.
Are there any cost savings to being at YBI?
In addition to the Entrepreneurial Expert, the Managed Cluster and access to an extensive Rolodex of experts and resources, YBI offers advantageous lease terms that can include free or reduced rent. YBI provides Internet access at no cost. YBI purchases telephony service in aggregate which reduces the cost for its tenants. YBI has business development equipment, software testing lab and conference rooms available for portfolio companies.
How successful is YBI at graduating its portfolio companies?
We're not! We don't want to "graduate" we want to "accelerate!" Playing an integral role in the revitalization of downtown Youngstown and being committed to the Managed Cluster, YBI is developing commercial properties to house its successful Portfolio Companies. To date, YBI has leveraged $12 million for new construction and renovated properties in downtown Youngstown.
Do I have to move into YBI?
YBI's Portfolio Companies are both virtual and physical tenants. Virtual tenants are those that are in the early stages of start-up those entrepreneurs that are finalizing the technology concept and beginning product development. At the appropriate time, these virtual tenants will become physical tenants of YBI. Under special circumstances, YBI works with virtual companies that need strategic guidance and business assistance, but do not need space.
How long can a company stay at YBI?
We recognize that each business develops uniquely and at different speeds. Product development, market conditions and other factors all play a role in a company's growth. At YBI, we expect tenants to be in the Incubation facility for up to three years, and sometimes occupancy is longer or shorter
What are the expectations of YBI Portfolio Companies?
YBI strives to create and maintain a resource-rich environment of cooperation and trust, enhanced by the entrepreneurial services and support that will allow entrepreneurs to thrive and prosper. YBI expects that its Portfolio Companies will be active, contributing members of the Managed Cluster. To help each Portfolio Company achieve its full potential, YBI expects to develop a substantive, trustworthy relationship with Portfolio Company principals and entrepreneurs.
What are some of the current start-ups involved the Incubator program?
For a complete listing of YBI's Portfolio Companies, visit the Portfolio Companies section.
Where is YBI?
YBI is located in downtown Youngstown at 241 W. Federal Street. YBI's phone number is 330-746-5003. For driving directions visit the Contact Us section.