Interesting discussion about the role of incubators to give start ups in New Zealand a helping hand.
Chris Kirk from Lincoln Uni gave some statistics on the value gained by giving start ups an environment where they can be nurtured and taken to a “ready for investment” stage. he did however raise the issue of the need for business parks, whereby an incubator could be part of a larger business park where Hi Tech businesses could progress from pre incubation to an actual incubator and then on to various stages of semi supported existence.
When you look at Silicon Valley it does seem a powerful argument – concentrate a critical mass of knowledge, ability, ideas and cash and watch the magic happen.
Chris’ comments were made doubly interesting by the lunch address by John Key, leader of the National Party, who reiterated his parties belief in Incubators and stated that National would grow this particular form of economic development assistance.
Perhaps under National we would see a technology park in Christchurch incorporating University buy-in and talent, an incubator to help the start ups with core business competencies and then a clustered area where new grads from the incubator could migrate to. These new grads would then feed knowledge, skills and creative thought back into the area. Perhaps in this way we’d achieve a self fulfilling (and most importantly self supporting, Hi Tech business development industry in New Zealand. Thoughts anyone????
Would TradeMe or Humanware have grown quicker or more readily if they were nurtured within a loose community of geographically and intellectually connected like-minded businesses – surely the Silicon valley experience would say yes