LightBulb Lab: A Business Incubator and Accelerator
What is LightBulb Lab?
LightBulb Lab is the first of many regional Business Incubator and Accelerator spaces in the West Central Mountains. Incubator Spaces are planned for McCall and Cascade, and Incubators Teams are planned for Donnelly and New Meadows. Business Incubators are designed to help people with new business ideas come together to make their ideas work faster and better. Incubators are sprouting up all across America to help small businesses get started. A Business Accelerator is to help existing businesses strengthen and grow. Business in rural communities struggle due to the lack of resources often needed for a business to thrive. A Business Accelerator is designed to offer resources that are usually expensive such as web site designers, lawyers, accountants, marketers, and a host of other professionals. Working together makes business thrive.
How does it work?
Our first project, Lightbulb Lab, will be hosted in partnership with McCall College. We are currently seeking a physical business site in Cascade. We are seeking interested parties in New Meadows and Donnelly who will open their homes to serving as a local incubator. A conference phone to connect the sites has already been provided by a major sponsor. McCall College is opening up all of its administrative space, about 3000 square feet of prime office space, to share with anyone with a synergistic business idea. There will be three levels of involvement: Collaborators, Partners, and Sponsors. Collaborators are the businesses in collaboration. The shared working space will allow collaborators to work on similar problems that frustrate most business ventures. Partners are designated professionals who are willing to share 2 hours of their time per month with the Collaborators. In return, Partners will be building their clientele from the new successful businesses that emerge out of the Lab. Partners will also be existing businesses that want to share in the resources of the Lab. Finally, Sponsors are individuals or businesses that want to insure that the Incubator and Accelerator concept works in our region by donating to McCall College for designation to LightBulb Lab. McCall College is a 501c3 organization. McCall College’s objectives are to build the business capacity in our region with educational programs that meet the needs of our community. LightBulb Lab will have its own advisory board of experienced business leaders. The executive and directors of the Lab will be the McCall College Foundation Inc.
How is LightBulb Lab funded?
LightBulb Lab has received 1-year seed funding of $10,000.00 from the winnings of the America’s Best Communities Project Leadership Committee. These resources will go to general business expenses and reducing the monthly fee for business involvement in an Incubator. McCall has been designated $5,000; Cascade $3,000; Donnelly $1,000; & New Meadows $1,000. Each Collaborator will pay $85.00 per month to be a part of the Lab. ABC funds will offer a 50% discount to any business idea that is synergistic with other Collaborators. Sponsors will also be asked to assist LightBulb Lab with donations of $100.00, $500.00 & $1,000. Our goal is to double the ABC seed funding to allow for a minimum of 2-year development of the Lab.
When will LightBulb Lab take place?
The Grand Opening of LightBulb Lab is June 20th and 21st. June 20th @ 6:30 pm will launch the Lab. Existing businesses and friends of the Lab are invited to come out and learn about the Lab. Rick Ritter, Director of New Ventures Lab, Meridian, is our Guest Speaker. He will introduce the co-working, sharing concepts of new business ventures. An open conversation on building better customer relations will also occur. The second night, June 21st @ 6:30 pm will be an Incubating Shark Tank. People with business ideas are invited to share their ideas with a panel of business experts from the region. Synergistic ideas for LightBulb Lab will be awarded $510.00 grants to reduce the monthly costs to Lightbulb Lab. Starting July 1st, regular hours of the Lab will be Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm. Weekends are available when available staff is identified.
What help is needed?
Volunteers are needed to keep the Lab open in the afternoons and on the weekends. Those with Executive Assistant training are especially needed. Business Mentors are needed to serve as mentors for young businesses. Skills will be assessed and matches made for those businesses that need individual skills.
To be a part of LightBulb Lab or one of our other Incubators, please contact:
Dr. L. Bryan Williams,
Organizer of LightBulb Labs,
President of McCall College