To date, much of the research focusing on what makes a successful business incubator has taken a descriptive approach, concentrating mainly on the documenting the tangible services provided. Unfortunately, this creates an incomplete picture of how successful business incubators truly support the process of nurturing and accelerating startups.
Leveraging our 10 years of research and nearly 15 years of combined practical experience, we investigate not only the tangible measures of success, but the intangible measures as well. We take into consideration social-environmental influences in and around the incubator facility, it’s network utilization, and the levels of implementation of social capital principles within the incubator system.
Investigating the incubator ecosystem through the lenses of both the tangible and intangible allows us to determine what areas of the business incubator process can and should be improved to provide better service to their clients, positioning them for greater success.
Our methodology has proven successful in not only overall incubator success, but in individual startup success as well. Through the implementation of our methods, we have created more than 50 successful startups, which in turn generated more than 500 direct jobs. We have also helped raise to date more than $5 million dollars in funding for these ventures, which in turn has generated more than $15 million in local economic impact.
Art of Startup was created to achieve synergy between founder Arthur Barbut’s academic research investigating how business incubators can leverage social capital to build successful entrepreneurial ecosystems and his practical experience managing and growing a successful business incubator. Partner Christopher Pressey brings more than 8 years of experience in entrepreneurship, coupled with more than 20 years of experience in corporate communication, branding and marketing.
This combined experience, coupled with our extensive network resources, allows us to provide a broad range of vital services that directly impact the success of startup and incubator models.
Social capital, based on the premise that a network provides value to its members by allowing them to access the social resources directly embedded within the network1, plays a prominent role in modern economic and business literature. To date, however, limited research has focused on social capital within a business incubation environment. If incubator-incubation research is to advance in a theoretically meaningful manner, it must go beyond simply looking at critical success factors and begin to investigate factors that look at “how”, “why”, and “in what context”.2
Our research is one of the first studies in Canada to examine business incubators through the lens of social capital. It investigates different business incubation models and how those models create social capital for the start-ups residing within them, focusing on social capital’s three unique dimensions3:
To date there has been little to no prior research comparing how different types of business incubators create social capital and the impact that may have on the performance of the firms located in the incubators. From an academic standpoint, our research has wide implications for both academics and practitioners by adding new insights to the existing body of incubator model research.
From a practical perspective, our research provides a better understanding of the activities and environment that best support business incubator clients. Information and insights that can be applied on larger scale by policy makers that are focusing on business incubation as a method to drive innovation and job creation.
Arthur Barbut is the founder of Art of Startup and CEO of the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator, located in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. With more than ten years of research and practical experience, Arthur has developed a keen insight into how successful businesses are created and nurtured. Entrepreneurship is an art as much as it is a science, and one must understand both sides in order to achieve success.
Arthur’s passion for connecting practical and academic insights helps create innovative ecosystems that allow entrepreneurs to thrive. For the past 7 years with the Accelerator, Arthur has been working with companies from multiple industry sectors including the current thirty start-up enterprises, as well as the more than fifty graduate companies that have successfully moved on throughout Canada and the US.
Having received his Honours Bachelor of Commerce and MBA from the University of Windsor, Arthur is currently in the final stages of completing his doctoral studies in Entrepreneurship, with a focus on business incubation/acceleration and social capital. More specifically, his research looks to further understanding of how social capital is created within the business incubator ecosystem and it’s iterations across different business incubator models. Ultimately, his research will identify how business incubators can leverage social capital to build successful business incubation ecosystems and support structures.
Arthur is also on the boards of several startups and not-for-profit organisations and lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada with his wife and two children.
With boundless imagination and enthusiasm, Christopher Pressey is committed to the highest standards of creative and strategic excellence in everything he does. And he has fun doing it. Which means the people he works with get great results — and great fun, too.
As President of the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator, Christopher has volunteered his network and entrepreneurial experience for the past 8 years to guide Windsor, Ontario’s premier business accelerator through a tremendous growth phase, culminating in the purchase of a 55,000 sq. ft facility, and raising more than $2 million in funding.
As owner and Creative Director of Christopher Pressey Design, he’s spent more than 20 years honing his creative craft. With a strong foundation in the essentials of first-rate design and creative direction, Christopher finds inspiration everywhere. It keeps his ever-expanding bag of tricks full of goodies.
Christopher is also a co-founder of an AI-focused business incubator in Oakland, California.
Who Christopher is as a person is just as important as what he does as a professional. A serial optimist and entrepreneur, he’s passionate about the world around him. Making a difference is just as important to him as making a living. Which only serves to influence his creativity in very human, sometimes unexpected, ways.
Christopher makes you feel like you’ve known him forever — or you want to. He’s as comfortable wearing a suit and tie in the boardroom as he is wearing jeans and a vintage T-shirt to meet a fledgling entrepreneur in a coffee shop. Most important, he lives authentically. You never have to question where you stand with Christopher or what to expect.
To see if you or your startup are a good fit, connect with us for a free 30-minute consultation.