An incubator is simply a way for new businesses to share space and resources that they cannot afford separately.
In doing so, business people are able to learn from one another, gather advice, form friendships and network. At the Hope & Main Culinary Business Incubator, we will consider each user (we call them "Incubees") as separate businesses. Prior to fully incubating with us, we will require that each business person ascertain all required licenses and registrations for food safety, sanitation, taxes and employment, etc.
Application and Enrollment
New businesses will undergo a pre-incubation period, so that we can be sure that they are ready to work with us. For new businesses, this may take about 2 to 4 months, during which we will work with you on your business plans and coordinate the licensing and other requirements. If needed, we will train you in how to use our equipment. Established businesses that are using our facility as supplemental space (for example, a restaurant looking for auxiliary space) will not need a long pre-incubation period but must meet all of the requirements to work at the facility.
Each incubee will work with the Hope & Main staff to establish a schedule, kitchen and storage needs. This will determine the price per month that the incubee pays at the facility (the more hours and storage space needed, the higher the fee). It is always Hope & Main's goal to keep this facility as affordable as possible. Incubees who ascertain all necessary licensing, insurance and business counseling have full access to their assigned commercial kitchen space, assigned storage spaces, office equipment use and market space.
Like the school where it's housed, our goal is to graduate new businesses into the community. Most businesses will be encouraged to "fly from the nest" when they have reached benchmarks defined in their business plan and are ready. Some businesses will be eligible for special loan programs to help them launch. In doing this, we can ensure that we are always bringing in new businesses.
Alumni We hope business people who have graduated from our Incubator will keep contact with our offices (and each other!) as Alumni. We will always need stories and advice from those "who have been there" and to cultivate new businesses as mentors and supporters.
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