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Fertile Business Incubator Program

Mission and Statement of Purpose

The Fertile Economic Development Committee (FEDC) is the primary sponsor of the Incubator Program. The program’s mission is to provide an environment for the creation and growth of quality companies through incubation. As a national average, only 1% of new jobs come from companies moving into an area. The bulk of new jobs, 55%, come from existing businesses as they expand. 44% come from new businesses starting up. Therefore, the program’s resources are focused on finding, helping, and encouraging incubator companies to grow into quality companies, so that they can in turn give back to our community to continue the cycle of giving for generation after generation.

Incubation by definition means nurturing through critical times. 60% of new start ups fail within the first five years. By contrast, startup companies that go through incubators have a 90% survival rate for the first 3 years. Of the companies that successfully graduate from incubators, 87% are still in business 5 years later and, most importantly, 84% are still in the community they incubated in. That is why business incubation is important for both job creation and job retention in the City of Fertile.

Our Incubator Program is driven through a partnership between the FEDC (made up of members from the City Council and local business people who volunteer their resources and time to maintain and promote a positive business climate in the City of Fertile), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and area Chambers of Commerce. Much of the funding and time donated to the program comes from community minded individuals and citizens. Therefore, it is expected that successful incubator graduates will begin a lifetime of giving back to those who gave to them in their time of need.

Goals and Priorities

  • Creating jobs and wealth
  • Fostering a community’s entrepreneurial climate
  • Technology commercialization
  • Diversifying local economy
  • Building or accelerating growth of local industry clusters
  • Business creation and retention
  • Encouraging entrepreneurship
  • Identifying potential spin-in or spin-out business opportunities
  • Community revitalization

Incubator services provided by the FEDC

  • Low-lease agreements:
    • 1st year: 25% fair market value
    • 2nd year: 50% fair market value
    • 3rd year: 75% fair market value
    • 4th and following years: 100% fair market value
  • Advisory boards and mentors
  • Business monitoring and coaching

Additional services provided in conjunction with the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and/or area Chambers of Commerce:

  • Help with business basics
  • Networking activities
  • Marketing opportunities
  • Help with accounting/financial management
  • Access to bank loans, loan funds and guarantee programs
  • Help with presentation skills
  • Links to higher education resources
  • Links to strategic partners
  • Access to angel investors or venture capital
  • Comprehensive business training programs
  • Management team identification
  • Help with business etiquette
  • Technology commercialization assistance
  • Help with regulatory compliance
  • Intellectual property management

Industry sectors supported: (but not limited to)

  • Technology
  • Computer software
  • Services/professional
  • Internet
  • Biosciences/life sciences
  • Electronics/microelectronics
  • Telecommunications
  • Computer hardware
  • Medical devices
  • Creative industries
  • eBusiness and eCommerce
  • Wireless technology
  • Healthcare technology
  • Energy
  • Environment/clean technologies
  • Media
  • Nanotechnology
  • Construction (limited)
  • Arts
  • Kitchen/food
  • Retail (limited)
  • Fashion
  • Tourism

Qualifying applicants should:

  • Be a new business or an existing business wanting to considerably expand.
  • Be a for-profit entity: corporation, LLC, partnership or sole proprietorship. Businesses operated as a hobby are not eligible for the program.
  • Have growth potential with the prospects of creating new local job opportunities and new products, technologies or services.
  • Meet zoning, building, fire and health codes of the City of Fertile.
  • Be able to submit a business plan including the following sections:
    • Executive Summary
    • Company Summary
    • Products and Services Summary
    • Market Analysis Summary
    • Strategy and Implementation Summary
    • Personnel Plan
    • Financial Plan

    Assistance in preparing the plan may be available through the program but must be completed within the first 90 days of the program.

  • Be willing and able to submit periodic progress reports (including financial statements) for review by the FEDC staff.

Businesses are considered on a case-by-case basis and evaluated on:

  • Feasibility of the business proposal.
  • Potential for growth and job creation.
  • Probability of long-term location within the City of Fertile.
  • Background and experience of the business’ personnel.
  • Equity position of business owners.
  • Applicant’s time commitment to the venture.
  • Status of business plan, market research and feasibility studies.

Leasing Guidelines:

  • Occupancy Terms. The typical occupancy time is 3-5 years. Actual occupancy is based on the firm’s business plan and the time required for it to become profitable. This may be lengthened or shortened by mutual agreement.
  • Lease and Service Fees. Lease amount includes usage of space and property insurance. Applicant must pay for all utilities including heating/cooling, electric,water/sewer/garbage/recycling, telephone and internet. Applicant must also provide proof of liability and content insurance
  • Lease Cancellation Policy. Either party may cancel within a 30-day period with prior written notice.

Application Procedure:

  • Formal Application: Potential occupants must submit an [application form] for review by the FEDC. Applicants are encouraged to include their business plan with the application, even if the business plan is incomplete.
  • Approval: The FEDC will make recommendations to the City Council and the City Council will make the final approval for all applications.

*These guidelines and procedures may change with or without notice.

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