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Community Colleges to Fuel New Business Creation Via Virtual Incubator Network


WASHINGTON Feb. 1, 2011 $995,500 $742,500

Jan. 31

The virtual incubator initiative will be implemented by AACC in collaboration the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), and ultimately through partnerships including with the national network of Small Business Development Centers, many of which are operated on community college campuses.

Walter G. Bumphus

Community colleges are often called on to establish small business incubators to nurture local companies through the most challenging start-up stages of development, increasing jobs and revenue for local communities. Close to 35 business incubators are operated by two-year colleges nationwide. The development of the virtual incubator network recognizes that these services need not depend on a traditional brick-and-mortar facility. Instead the new network will "test-drive" new delivery mechanisms that include support provided at the business site and hybrid in-person and technology processes. The AACC hopes its member colleges will eventually be able to bring the work to scale at hundreds of community colleges, particularly in geographically isolated, depressed and hard-to-serve communities where they are needed most.

The 10 colleges that will lead this effort are:

  • Rio Salado College Phoenix, AZ
  • Long Beach Community Long Beach, CA
  • North Iowa Area Community College Mason City, IA
  • Flint, MI
  • Southeast Community College, Lincoln, NE
  • White Mountain Community Berlin, NH
  • Burlington County Community Burlington, NJ
  • Santa Fe Community College Santa Fe, NM
  • Lorain County Community College Elyria, OH
  • Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Green Bay, WI

Washington, D.C.

Flint Area Flint, Michigan Detroit Johannesburg South Africa London $2.1 billion $109.3 million

NACCE connects community college administrators and faculty with knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurial thinking, entrepreneurship education, and student business incubation. NACCE holds an annual conference and symposium, publishes a quarterly journal, hosts monthly webinars and podcasts and a dynamic list-serv, develops Web resources such as shared entrepreneurship curricula and syllabi for faculty, and creates guides in beginning and sustaining entrepreneurship and student business incubation programs as well as tips for grant proposals specific to entrepreneurial endeavors at community colleges. For more information, visit .

SOURCE American Association of Community Colleges

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