Does Fairbanks need a business incubator?

Submitted by Olga Rudenko
Phone: (907) 452-2185


Colleen H. Barta of the William Factory Small Business Incubator will address UAF students and faculty on Dec. 6 at 9:30 p.m. in Bunnell 201. She will discuss how the creation of the William Factory Incubator benefited Tacoma, Wash. and why the business incubation model is effective for economic development.

Barta is the business development director for the incubator, a nonprofit corporation that assists in the startup and expansion of small business enterprises.

UAF constantly searches for mechanisms to find business applications for research. Incubators are one way to make this intention a reality. More than 4,000 incubators in the world fulfill this purpose.

The William Factory Small Business Incubator has graduated more than 200 companies from the incubator, generating more than $26 million in revenues and generating 260 jobs. It received the Best Business Incubator of the Year award in 2005 from among over 800 National Business Incubation Association members.

The incubator also works closely with the Native community. Barta meets regularly with representatives of the Puyallup tribe to discuss economic

activities and opportunities between incubator client companies and the Native community.

While in Fairbanks Barta is also scheduled to meet with local business leaders.