The Incubation Model:
The National Business Incubation Association defines a business incubator as a comprehensive-assistance program targeted to help start-up and early-stage firms, with the goal of improving their chances to grow into healthy, sustainable companies.
Here at La Cocina, each qualified kitchen user is a separate business entity. This means that each business must have its own business license, insurance, staff, business records, tax returns and so forth. Each business owner will also be responsible for complying with the city, state and federal regulations concerning licensing, food safety and sanitation, taxes, employment, etc.
The cycle of the incubator model as applied here looks something like this:
Application and Enrollment
A 6-month period where program participants receive technical assistance to establish the foundations of their business in the areas of Product, Marketing, Finances, and Operations.
Program participants whose first 6 months have been successful continue to receive technical assistance in all of those areas and have access to affordable commercial kitchen space to grow their businesses’s sales.
Graduation and Alumni
Program participants reach all established Incubation benchmarks and expand their business out of La Cocina’s kitchen while remaining part of the alumni community.