Top Five DFW Business Incubators
Now that the economy is moving in the right direction again this is the perfect time for entrepreneurs to take advantage of the rising number of business incubators. Though Austin has long been considered the hub of entrepreneurial activity in Texas, Dallas / Fort. Worth (DFW) is gaining ground thanks to a growing number of both private and academic initiatives. While private “Angel Funds” and business hosting initiatives are gaining in popularity, the DFW area is home to many schools including SMU, UTD, and the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) each with a new interest as well. These initiatives see the wisdom in growing the economy by helping entrepreneurs build viable businesses with revenues and growing numbers of employees. Each initiative offers a unique set of services that may include reduced cost office space, business mentors, business seminars, and other administrative support.
Entrepreneurs use these services to help defray the costs of start up, take advantage of a growth opportunity, gain the skills necessary to run a growing enterprise, and get access to critical funding. Entrepreneurs considering taking advantage of a program should carefully consider all of their options t in order to select the one most suited to their specific needs. Some programs are open only to start ups, while others require the business meet predetermined size and income requirements, still others only support a specific industry, while still others are available only to students of or graduates of the hosting school. Usually the support offered by the programs is offered only for a limited period of time and only once. Therefore, entrepreneurs should carefully weigh their choices and consider their timing so that they can be sure they will qualify for assistance. They also want to be positioned to take the most advantage of the opportunity possible. Even when services are free, taking advantage of the services requires an investment of time, energy, and manpower. For that investment to have the greatest return the entrepreneur must be ready and willing to do everything possible to utilize the available resources to his / her best advantage.
Listed below are five business incubation incubators located in the DFW area known for assisting their participants in taking advantage of a wide range of business opportunities:
DCCCD: Bill J Priest Institute of Economic Development
Located on the southern end of the heart of Dallas offers a number of programs including reduced cost office space, the Goldman Sachs grant funded growth opportunity development program for stabled small businesses, 10,000 Small Businesses, and the Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders program designed to help start up and small business owners and entrepreneurs navigate the world of government contracting.
A private enterprise that offers virtual office, no cost, and low cost office space for consultants and entrepreneurs in the midst of downtown Dallas where office space can be the priciest. No cost office space is provided in exchange for a certain number of volunteer hours per month. Low cost virtual office, group office, and private office space is available without any required volunteer hours
Idea Works FW
This Fort Worth based incubator offered by the City of Fort Worth and funded by the BAC Education Foundation. Selected resident emerging businesses are housed in an unimpressive former school building, however, they get an impressive array of services. Emerging small businesses that can produce revenue may qualify for free or office space, business coaching, business mentors, and free business strategy sessions. Nonresident entrepreneurs may participate in low cost services as well.
Tech Wildcatters and Health Wildcatters
A for profit initiative that provides seed money and mentoring to high tech and health technology startups with unique business propositions.
UTD: Venture Development Center
Located to the north of Dallas in the suburb of Richardson, this center hosts a business incubator specifically designed for the types of scientists and engineers it is most proud of graduating. Graduates may use the office and lab space to create and grow companies as spin offs of UTD based research. The program offers office space, conference rooms, lab space, valuable mentorships and even more valuable access to funding opportunities.