Business Incubator Center finalist for award

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Jon Maraschin

The Business Incubator Center in Grand Junction is one of two finalists for an award recognizing efforts to help entrepreneurs start and grow their ventures.

The Business Incubator Center is a finalist to receive the Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year Award from the National Business Incubator Association. The award will be presented during the NBIA conference in Boston at a luncheon scheduled for April 9.

Jon Maraschin, executive director of the Business Incubator Center, said selection as a finalist is an honor given there are more than

7,000 business incubator programs worldwide. Moreover,  that selection constitutes validation for the programs offered at the center and the staff and support that makes them possible, Maraschin said. “It’s a win for our community.”

The Business Incubator Center and Tyler Area Business Incubator in Tyler, Texas, are finalists for the Incubator of the Year Award in the general and special focus category.

The Business Incubator Center won the Incubator of the Year Award in 1996 in the industrial and services category. Tenants and graduates of the center also have won awards from the NBIA.

An organization with a total of more than 1,900 members in more than 60 nations, the NBIA offers educational, advocacy and networking programs that promote business incubation and entrepreneurship. The awards honor incubators, client companies and graduates that exemplify the best in the industry.

Maraschin said the Business Incubator Center remains a model for incubators around the world in bringing together so many services and programs in one place. In addition to an incubation program offering low-cost space and shared services, the center offers a commercial kitchen and revolving loan fund. A Small Business Development Center located there offers free and low-cost counseling and classes. The center also oversees a program offering tax credits for capital projects.

Over the past 25 years, the Business Incubator Center has helped launch more than 260 companies and help fund more than 330 companies. Those firms in turn have created nearly 10,500 jobs, invested more than $58 million in capital and generated more than $156 million in revenue.

More than 80 percent of the companies that have graduated from the incubation program at the center have remained in business five years later, Maraschin said.