While the incubator has been designed primarily to assist technology related businesses, other clients may include service or light manufacturing businesses.
Click HERE (pdf 2.95MB) for Business Incubator Application for Occupancy.
Potential Client Profile
While the incubator does not create policies to exclude specific businesses, every effort is made to limit clients to those start-up enterprises that would have difficulty surviving in the commercial marketplace. Because these businesses ultimately receive some form of subsidy from the university and the state, the incubator will not compete with traditional office park venues or in supporting traditional businesses in any way that gives those enterprises a competitive advantage. All incubator clients are expected to graduate and leave the incubator within three years.
Clients are generally expected to be developing a commercially viable business with demonstrated growth potential within the east Kentucky region. Some exceptions may be considered.
Incubator Tenant Admission Requirements and Expectations
Prospective incubator tenants must meet the following admission criteria:
- A new or emerging company. Priority will be given to such companies with a focus on technology services.
Identification of market niche and strategy for commercialization
Demonstrated plan for scalability in terms of jobs and revenues
Existing financial resources and/or demonstrated plan for raising capital
Business owners must have demonstrated management experience
Review of business plan with SBDC consultant prior to submitting application
Evidence of all required business licenses, appropriate patents or other legal rights, insurance, and all appropriate state and local registrations
Completion of all required application materials (available on the website)
Continuation as an Incubator Client
Incubator clients' adherence to requirements for continued occupancy will be reviewed at least annually and will be dependent upon:
- Maintaining status as an IC client
- Maintaining status as an SBDC client by attending a minimum of four workshops per year and/or utilizing the consultant for one-to-one counseling
- Quarterly meetings with the Incubator On-Site Management Team (with full report due one week prior to this meeting)
- Demonstration of sufficient capital for sustained operations
- Providing updates to their business plans once every twelve months
- Continuing to build a strong management team
- Demonstrated continued need for incubator services
- Demonstrated progress toward commercialization of product or service
- Opening their books, upon request, to the Incubator On-Site Management Team
- Complying with the requirements set forth in the lease agreement
Graduation Policies for Incubator Tenants
Since the primary goal of the incubator is to support successful start-up companies in the quest to become a commercially viable enterprise, tenants are expected to graduate within three years of entering the incubation program. Companies are candidates for graduation after achieving any of the following:
- The business becomes financially stable with demonstrated profitability
- Space requirements exceed that available within the incubator facility
- Client employment at the incubator exceeds ten full time employees
- Client has developed a business plan demonstrating the ability to continue to operate and grow outside the incubator
- Tenant no longer needs shared business services or expertise provided through the IC and SBDC
- Tenant can afford commercial building rates
- Business is acquired by another company or goes public
- Client has been a tenant for more than three consecutive years
Each graduating company will be recognized with a formal graduation ceremony including media coverage and a modest reception.
Termination or Exit Policies for Incubator Tenants
Incubator tenants may exit the program at the completion of any lease term with appropriate notice as described in the lease agreement.
To avoid the potential for long-standing occupancy by tenants who do not meet the expectations for growth, financial stability, and commercialization, termination options may be initiated when:
- The tenant violates any terms of the lease agreement including non-payment of rent or services
- The tenant fails to meet reporting requirement
- The tenant has shown no growth progress in terms of revenues and jobs created
- The tenant refuses to meet with the On-Site-Management team
- The tenant refuses the services offered by the IC and SBDC
- Ownership of the company changes significantly