FAQ Incubator

Who runs the business incubator?
The Incubator facility is owned by the University of Missouri. The university selected Missouri Innovation Center to operate the facility and incubation program. The incubator is an organizational unit of the Office of Research of the University of Missouri, working closely with Technology Advancement and the Division of Research Innovation & Impact.

How long has the Incubator been around?
The concept of a business incubator for the Columbia area goes back almost 20 years – but the current initiative was launched in 2004 jointly by the university and businesses and communities of the area – culminating in the opening of the incubator facility on January 5, 2009.

Is the Incubator Program only for university faculty, staff and students?
Priority is given to University-affiliated ventures applying for residency in the incubator. The Incubator Program is open to all start-up enterprises with a technology-based product or service. The incubator operator, the Missouri Innovation Center has historically provided assistance to a 50 : 50 mix of entrepreneurs from the university and from the wider community. Business mentoring services are offered to resident and non-resident clients of MIC.

How can I be accepted into the program?

If your business has the potential for high growth, which usually (but not always) means it involves proprietary technology, you are likely to be eligible to be a resident client of the incubator. The first step is to request services.

Do I have to give up equity to reside at the Incubator?
Incubator clients pay a monthly rental fee that includes utilities, access to all of the shared amenities of the business incubator (conference rooms, office productivity center, and most business assistance services). If you elect to do so you may propose equity in lieu of cash fee. The incubator will work with you as flexibly as possible to meet your needs. If you engage the Missouri Innovation Center for an intense level of support (such as writing your business plan and helping you secure investment capital), equity is one of the ways you may compensate MIC for those services while conserving cash resources for other company purposes.

How can the Incubator Program help my company?
From shared resources to in-house assistance with business planning, access to university students and faculty, and access to potential investors, the Missouri Innovation Center has been helping fledgling technology companies for more than thirty years. For more information visit services or incubator on this website.

Do I have to sign a standard commercial lease?
Incubator leases are designed to give member companies the greatest possible flexibility. Leases guarantee the rental fees for one year, but provide companies with a variety of options to meet their ever-changing needs. Call us if you would like to review a draft lease.

What kind of internet access is available?
Member companies have access to a shared, high-speed T3 designated internet connection which is down-streamed from University of Missouri. There is also a convenience wireless network covering the common areas of the business incubator. IT and telephone services are charged separately based on the number of ports you need. For information on prices please contact Quinten Messbarger.

Are there any jobs available at the Incubator?
The Incubator is home to many young and growing enterprises that often have full and part-time positions available.

How can I find out more about business incubators?

A great place to learn more about business incubators is the National Business Incubation Association.

What are some of the current start-ups involved the Incubator program?
A list of Incubator companies can be viewed on our clients page, including brief descriptions and links to the home pages of the program’s current tenants.

Is it possible to visit the Incubator?
If you are in the area and would like a tour of the business incubator, fill out the contact form.