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NACCE Joins With AACC to Spur New Business Creation through Virtual Incubators

Tuesday, February 15, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Montoya
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Mott Foundation Funds Pilot Program at Community Colleges in 10 States


Springfield, MA – February 14, 2011 – The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship(NACCE) has been invited by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to participate in an innovative new pilot program that will foster new business creation through a network of virtual incubators to be established at community colleges in 10 states across the nation. The just-launched effort is being funded with a $995,000 grant from The Charles Stewart Mott Foundationwith the possibility of a second year of funding of up to $742,500.


The virtual incubator network will be implemented by AACC in collaboration with NACCE and through partnerships that will include the SBA’s national network of Small Business Development Centers, many of which operate on community college campuses. The AACC initiative was recognized in a White House announcement this week as an example of creative entrepreneurship to be encouraged by a new Startup Americainitiative "to celebrate, inspire and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation," as part of the Obama Administration's national innovation strategy.


"Business incubation has long been a valuable resource for business start-ups and virtual incubation holds great potential to assist would-be entrepreneurs all across the country,” said NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle. "We are extremely grateful to work with AACC with support from the Mott Foundation that will enable us to explore how community colleges can expand educational opportunities and value-added services such as counseling for entrepreneurs and small business owners through virtual incubation.”


Close to 35 community colleges nationwide have traditional business incubators where young businesses receive support of various types. The concept of virtual incubators recognizes that services such as advising and counseling do not have to be provided in a traditional brick-and-mortar facility. Instead, community college staff and supporting partners can deliver services and information at the businesses’ locations, meeting the client where needed and through hybrid mechanisms that blend in-person meetings and the use of technology. The AACC hopes its member colleges will eventually be able to bring the work to scale at hundreds of community colleges, particularly in geographically isolated, depressed and hard-to-serve communities where virtual incubators are needed most.


Participating Community Colleges

The 10 colleges that will lead this effort are:

• Rio Salado College, Phoenix, AZ

• Long Beach Community College, Long Beach, CA

• North Iowa Area Community College, Mason City, IA

• Mott Community College, Flint, MI

• Southeast Community College, Lincoln, NE

• White Mountain Community College, Berlin, NH

• Burlington County Community College, Burlington, NJ

• Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM

• Lorain County Community College, Elyria, OH

• Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay, WI




The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serving as advocates for community-based entrepreneurship. Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the "entrepreneurship movement.” Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars and podcasts, a dynamic list-serv, and other resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These programs and courses advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges. NACCE is a founding member of the White House-led Startup America Partnership. For more information, visit

About the American Association of Community Colleges

The American Association of Community Colleges is a national organization located in Washington, D.C., that represents the nation’s close to 1,200 community, junior and technical colleges. The colleges represent that largest and fastest-growing sector of higher education and currently enroll almost half of all U.S. undergraduates. For more information, visit


About The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, established in 1926 by an automotive pioneer, is a private philanthropy committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. It supports nonprofit programs throughout the U.S. and, on a limited geographic basis, internationally. Grantmaking is focused in four programs: Civil Society, Environment, Flint Area and Pathways Out of Poverty. Offices are located in Flint, Michigan; metropolitan Detroit; Johannesburg (South Africa); and London. The Foundation, with 2009 year-end assets of approximately $2.1 billion, made 469 grants totaling $109.3 million. For more information, visit





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