What is a business incubator?
An incubator is a physical location where an entrepreneur can develop and grow one’s business through the following: flexible space, access to administrative services, access to quality business consultation, and exposure to a vibrant entrepreneurial atmosphere. 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.
What is the LINK Business Incubation?
The LINK Business Incubator is a non-profit economic development entity that focuses its energies on the creation, development, and growth of Sand Springs OK entrepreneurial endeavors. The LINK is a mixed-use, technology-focused incubator.
We provide a managed environment that supplies care, growth and protection for a new risky enterprise in its early stages of development, before it is ready to utilize the traditional methods to conduct its business independently. Our Business Incubation Program applies a broad range of service tools, including consulting for stimulation the preparation of a proper business plan, revision of marketing strategy, assessment of the products/services quality, as well as office access at flexible rates for individual or joint exploitation.
Who is the LINK connected to in the Sand Springs and Tulsa OK Entrepreneurial Community?
The LINK and its parent company Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce have strong relationships with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Tulsa Technology Center, OCAST, I2E, Indigo Technology, BancFirst, OSU School of Entrepreneurship, Oklahoma State University Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, The Forge, 36degrees North. We continue to expand our reach within the entrepreneurial community.
The LINK offers an entrepreneurial community.
Business-to-business opportunities are encouraged between members. Incubator firms often form unexpected partnerships, share resources and knowledge, or just lend a helping hand or listening ear when needed.
Where is the LINK located?
The LINK is located in Sand Springs, Oklahoma just 10 miles west of Tulsa, Oklahoma at 109 N Garfield Ave. Our phone number is 918-245-3221.
Why do so many small businesses fail?
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.
The LINK Business Incubation Managers works with entrepreneurs to mitigate risk, reduce expenses, develop and execute viable business plans and to improve their likelihood of success.
What are the qualifications/requirements to be an incubator resident?
The requirements for admission to the Incubator Program are:
- A realistic business and marketing plan reflecting the potential to grow the business and become a leading player in their market segment
- Reasonable credit history and adequate financial resources to remain in business for at least twelve (12) months
- A strong entrepreneurial management team with experience in the industry
- Not in direct competition with other incubator clients.
- A product or service that represents a unique technology, application or practice that can create a competitive advantage
- No legal claims or lawsuits pending against the business
How long should the executive summary be?
Business plan summaries should be no more than two (2) pages in length and include clearly marked and defined sections about:
- your product
- target market
- competitive position
- management team
- marketing plan
- current stage of growth
- funding plan
- financial summary
What kind of businesses do you accept?
The LINK works with businesses in all shapes, sizes, and industries in its Incubator Program. We have a core competency working with technology, web-based, and enterprise level products and services; however, we have also worked successfully with service-based professionals, consumer goods, retail outlets, and more. You must at minimum meet our requirements for the Incubator Program listed above, and apply online to be considered for our Program.
I have been in business for a few months; do I qualify?
If your business is in the early stages of business development you may qualify. However you must meet the incubator requirements listed above.
I have been in business for many years; do I qualify?
Does the Incubator help with funding?
The LINK does not provide direct funding, but it does help identify possible sources based on individual client needs. LTFF is a Kiva Trustee Organization and can assist small businesses in applying for micro-loan of up to $10,000 at 0% interest on the Kiva crowd-lending platform. More options are available depending on the type of business you have.
Does the LINK take Equity from its Client Companies?
The SFI does not require that its clients give up equity in their company as a condition for acceptance into the program.
I do not have a business plan; can I complete the "Business Incubation Inquiry Form"?
Yes, you may complete the form at www.gmrhq.com/bus-incubation-inquiry-form and tell us about your product and services. We also provide Business Strategy Services. We will work with you to come up with a business strategy for your product and services.
What services do you provide the Incubator?
- Business & Marketing Strategy Services
- Business Operation Services
- Legal Services
- New Media Marketing Services
- Traditional Marketing Services
- Accounting, Tax & Financial Services
- Training Services
Does the LINK offer mentorships?
Mentors are provided by experienced volunteers from the business community. Mentors meet with entrepreneurs one-on-one or as part of a team and are available to assist with strategic planning, marketing, human resources, financial matters, and other business-related issues. The Incubator staff is on site to answer questions, advise business owners and provide assistance and referrals to other resources.
Do you provide the Incubator offices?
Yes, we have full service offices. The office space range from business cubicles to fully furnished office and range from 100 sq. feet to 400 sq. feet. Please check the details at www.gmrhq.com/business-incubation-services
How much is the rent and what does it include?
Our office cubicle rent is $1,000 USD per month and the office rent is $1,800 USD per month. The rent includes business support resources and services including completely furnished office space, internet, phone service, utilities, counseling, mentoring and use of amenities such as conference room, multi-purpose room, kitchen etc. Use of copier, fax and scanner is also available at a nominal charge.
Characteristics of Business-Incubator rent premises:
- 24/7, access control on private office spaces and normal business hours for cubical rental.
- Free parking
- Twice a month conference room access included in rent and additional access for a nominal charge.
- Full access to kitchen.
- Receptionist or digital welcome of your clients, coffee services and custodial services.
Each working place in the Incubator is equipped with:
- Office furniture and equipment
- Phone with domestic line access
- Multiple users’ access fax and copy machines, scanner, color printer for a nominal charge
How long is the lease?
Private office space has a minimum of one year lease, cubical space has a minimum of 6 months lease.. At the end of the lease, we re-evaluate together whether the partnership between the resident and the incubator is beneficial to both and whether or not to renew the lease. Businesses can lease more office space as their company grows; we are flexible in accommodating if space is available.
How long can a resident stay in the Incubator?
Generally a resident will be in and out in 3 years or less which is what we require and like to see.
How can I become a business incubator resident?
The first step is to find out whether your business meets the incubator requirements. If you think your business meets the incubator requirements, fill out the www.gmrhq.com/bus-incubation-inquiry-form and submit an executive summary of your business plan. The information provided in the Qualification Form and executive summary will be evaluated by our Advisory Group.
I have completed the "Inquiry Form" and submitted the Executive Summary of my business plan; what should I expect now?
After you fill out the Inquiry form the information provided will be evaluated by our Incubation Manager. If the information submitted is not complete, we will contact you via e-mail or phone to request further information. This may delay the evaluation process time. It typically takes 2 – 5 business days to complete the evaluation. Once the evaluation is complete one of the Incubation Business Manager will contact you and will discuss you plans in more details. We encourage the incubator aspirants to come to Sand Springs and meet with us to discuss the business strategy and firm up a business launch plan.
If you have a question that hasn’t been answered, we are happy to help.