Joel Stevenson, director of the USC/Columbia Technology Incubator, has been elected to the board of directors of the National Business Incubation Association. His three-year term begins Oct. 1.
Under Stevenson’s eight-year tenure, the incubator has grown from one client in a 3,000-square-foot facility to 28 clients in a 50,000-square-foot building. To date, the incubator has graduated 17 companies and helped create nearly 450 jobs with an average salary close to $47,000 per year — twice the average per capita income in South Carolina. In 2006, Stevenson helped establish a private seed fund for incubator clients.
Business incubation programs like USC/Columbia catalyze the process of starting and growing companies by providing entrepreneurs with the expertise, networks and tools they need to make their ventures successful. In 2001 alone, North American incubators assisted more than 35,000 start-up companies that provided full-time employment for nearly 82,000 workers and generated annual revenue of more than $7 billion.
As a neophyte incubator manager, Stevenson said, he benefited from the openness of the NBIA community. I needed someone to bounce stuff off of, and I always needed answers fast, he said. He could always count on NBIA members and the association’s president & CEO, Dinah Adkins, for help. As a member of the NBIA board, he wants to return the favor. This organization is invaluable, and so I want to be available to those who need help. He’s especially interested in spreading the expertise of NBIA’s leaders outside the United States.
Based in Athens, Ohio, the National Business Incubation Association is the world’s leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship. Since 1985, NBIA has provided industry professionals with information, education, advocacy and networking resources to bring excellence to the process of assisting early-stage companies.
NBIA’s board of directors, representing top business incubation programs and other key industry organizations, governs the association. The group meets three times a year to discuss association business, including educational programming, finances, member recruitment/services and publications.
Joel Stevenson Linda Knopp
Executive Director Communications Manager
USC/Columbia Technology Incubator NBIA
(803) 545-4379 (740) 593-4331