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Key Idea: Try An Incubator

Host Hattie Bryant discovers that entrepreneurs energize each other at a business incubator.   More...

Key Question:


If you're starting a business from scratch, you need help. It doesn't matter if you're 16 or 65, you need access to cheap office space, a computer, phone and fax lines, the Internet, and most important, smart people who have already been where you want to go. 

There are over 1,000 incubators in the US and most of them belong to the National Business Incubation Association which is located in Athens, Ohio.   Some incubators are located in inner cities, some only work with women, about 25% of them are associated with universities, but most will take anyone who is serious about starting a business.   TEN only works with companies who are trying to launch technology products. For example they would not bring in the person working on a new fast-food idea.

Q:  What did Joe Boeddeker say he looks for when he recruits entrepreneurs for The Enterprise Network?

He looks for a person whose idea has a market, who has enthusiasm and drive and for a person who is coach able. Joe's goal is to graduate companies, not to keep them under his roof indefinitely.

An idea with little or no market will not turn into the type of business TEN wants to spend time with and a person without drive will be too dependent upon Joe and the staff. Being coachable is important because if the entrepreneur doesn't take action on advice, he or she should probably not take up space in a place designed to provide help. The attitude of head-strong or stubborn people could also bring the wrong type of "chemistry" into TEN which would be negative for the others.

Think about it

Are you thinking of starting a business?  Is there a business incubator in your area?  Do you think being around others who are struggling with new ideas would inspire you?

Clip from: The Enterprise Network

Santa Clara and San Jose, California: Silicon Valley is famous for technology startups and its goal is to never lose the distinction of being "the place" for innovation. The Enterprise Network (TEN) houses over a dozen start-ups working to bring new technologies to the marketplace. At TEN they find low-cost office space and mentors who guide them. You will meet the men who run the incubator and a number of the entrepreneurs who depend upon the leadership and camaraderie offered here.

According to the National Business Incubation Association, there are about 5,000 incubators worldwide with about 1,100 in the US. 

We chose this incubator because it became famous during the dot-com boom and it is situated  close to Stanford University. 

Stanford was early to the idea of technology licensing.  Technology licensing has assisted faculty and students in the process of launching companies which in turn have created thousands of jobs and brought millions of dollars into Stanford University.  Stanford enjoys the "success breeds success" principal so things are popping there.   In this program we go to the campus to see how one PhD student is working to commercialize his discoveries.

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The Enterprise Network (TEN)

Mark Godwin, President & CEO

Access Growth LLC
2953 Bunker Hill Lane Suite 400
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Visit our web site:

Office: 408-893-4500
Toll Free: 877-256-4500

Business Classification:
Business Incubator - NGO

Year Founded: 1993

Try An Incubator

HATTIE: Hi. I'm Hattie Bryant.

Silicon Valley has produced more wealth through innovation than any other area in the world. Rather than taking jobs in big companies, college graduates in the Silicon Valley are finding ways to bring their own ideas to the marketplace.

Today, we take you to The Enterprise Network. It's a place that fosters, encourages, nurtures and rolls entrepreneurs out to face the real world with real solutions. All of them are focused on technology because that's what Silicon Valley does best.

Step into the master class with some of our youngest veterans.

Computer Voice: You're about to start the Extempo Web Tour, you lucky dog.

BARBARA HAYES-ROTH: I can talk to him in natural language. (Barabara asks Max) And who are you?

Computer Voice of Max: I'm Max, buddy. Your tour guide. I'm here to show you around.

BARBARA: Max, himself, is a character who's available to work on other Web sites. It's very easy to offer him, and tell him what he needs to know in order to give a tour on another Web site.

Computer Voice: Here's our first stop.

HATTIE: Incubating companies find inexpensive office space, T-1 lines, mentors and money when they join TEN, The Enterprise Network. And TEN is located here, where hundreds of highly successful businesses spring to life, Silicon Valley, south of San Francisco.
If ideas gave off heat, this place would be on fire.

HATTIE: And Bugs Bunny. Is this a prospect?
SEAN GRIFFIN (CEO, StudioFX): This was actually a business plan up here.
HATTIE: This is your corporate business plan?

SEAN: This is the corporate business plan.
HATTIE: I love this corporate business plan.
SEAN: And, so the time line is there . . .

HATTIE: (Voiceover) This building doesn't look like much on the outside, but inside, dozens of high-tech companies have taken their first steps toward success.

HATTIE: Why are you carrying this sign through the building?

DAMODAR DAS PERIWAL (Founder, CEO, Software Tree): Oh, we are just coming back from San Francisco from a trade show, JavaOne trade show.

DAMODAR: And we had--this is our first trade show. We released our product on Tuesday, this Tuesday. And we got tremendous leads, a tremendous amount of leads.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Everywhere in the incubator, you could see the future being invented. Art Gappen shows us his Eyebot.

ART GAFFIN (SIGHTech, Chairman and CEO): It's actually learning what this product looks like right now.

ART: And after it's learned it, then we can hit the inspect button, and now it's ready to inspect for defects. .

ART: So we can find a defective bottle, one that has a blemish on it of some sort, and there is a small blemish on this one. It's hard to see, but it is on there. And the unit will spot that and eject it off the table. (It does!)


(Voiceover) Robert Blechman and Fred Clark are bringing the Internet to your home without a computer.

ROBERT BLECHMAN: Sixty percent of households don't have PCs. And yet, lots of people would love to have access to the Internet. So this device actually solves that problem.

FRED CLARK: We're creating content for these devices. You have the manufacturers of these devices, you have operating systems for these devices. Well, we're the guys who are going to bring you personalized content.

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