The WSU BizInc is a venture incubator focused on the earliest stages of entrepreneurial business development. Tom and Myra Devlin, he an entrepreneur and she a former Wichita State student, provided the generous gift that was to become The Center for Entrepreneurship at Wichita State University, one of the first in the world dedicated solely to entrepreneurship education. BizInc continues the process of entrepreneurial learning and further enables the Center in pursuing a world-class stature. Venture incubation is a business support process that accelerates the successful development of start-up and fledgling companies by providing entrepreneurs with an array of targeted resources and services. Critical to the definition of an incubator is the provision of management guidance, technical assistance, and consulting tailored to young growing companies.
BizInc will target pre-seed stage and start-up companies that are affiliated with the University. BizInc's goal is to provide comprehensive assistance to faculty members, research staff members, and students who want to form startup companies to commercialize the innovations they have developed.
Formation of a start-up company through the BizInc process may involve the following steps:
The goals of BizInc are to:
BizInc will provide exceptional business resource for start-ups. The program is designed to shorten the time required to attract capital, customers, or other resources; the program also provides the following services:
BizInc also provides support and mentors to help:
BizInc personnel adhere to strict confidentiality throughout the application process. However, due to the nature of its business, BizInc will not sign any non-disclosure agreements. They can sign a non-disclosure agreement with the BizInc, but not individual businesses.
The application process can be quite quick or rather lengthy depending on the preparedness of the entrepreneur when they are first introduced to BizInc. The process generally takes two to three months for a well-prepared entrepreneur to meet all of the application criteria.
Throughout the process BizInc will perform research and due diligence of the venture, the management team, the market, and competitive forces facing the start-up. BizInc maintains relations with many industry experts and community business leaders that may become involved to offer expertise during the application process.
A newly accepted start-up venture will be charged a prorated rental fee of $50.00 per month during its initial utilization of the BizInc program. To continue in the program milestones must be met. If the venture is discharged from the program, charges will stop being assessed. Any previous charges will remain due if unpaid. All payments made to BizInc are non-refundable and non-negotiable.
Following are some general statements that will serve as guidelines concerning the suitability of a particular business for location in BizInc:
Preferably, the business will have a technical aspect to its character that will suggest a significant relationship with one or more University academic units.
The primary reason for a company to be located in BizInc is to be located near and associated with Wichita State University. This proximity to the University implies a strong partnership with the institution.
The application requests a summary of the business concept, associated technology or University developed materials. The BizInc staff will review the information to determine if the company meets the BizInc criteria. If the initial evaluation of the business suggests a good fit with the BizInc's mission and goals, a meeting will be arranged with the entrepreneur to discuss critical aspects of the technology and goals.
BizInc provides assistance and office space to companies that want to be part of an entrepreneurial start-up community. Companies that meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply for space.Company is a start-up within its eighteen months.
Company has either (a) an existing relationship with WSU, or (b) the desire to create a relationship. Relationships such as faculty membership, alumni, staff and/or students are highly encouraged. Other typical relationships include: use of student interns, participation in entrepreneurship programs, or use of student project teams to work on company development issues. High-impact linkages include faculty research collaborations and joint development agreements.
If a BizInc representative concludes that there may be a potential fit between the company and BizInc, a second representative of the BizInc staff that typically has domain expertise in the ventures industry area will become involved. The venture will be discussed among BizInc staff to determine if a presentation by the entrepreneur is warranted. The staff will also discuss appropriate milestones for the venture as if it were to become part of the BizInc. The concept will be further assessed and, if approved, advanced to the final stage.
If a venture successfully passes through the first two stages of consideration, the venture founders may be asked to make a presentation. The presentation will be followed by questions from the group. Agreed upon milestones will be discussed. After the presentation, a final determination will be made regarding the company's entry into the incubator.