Beverly-based incubator chosen as only international soft landings center in New England;
Offers specialized services to foreign biotech and cleantech companies establishing US operations
North Shore InnoVentures (NSIV) earned recognition as part of the global Soft Landings Network by the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA). NSIV is the only location in New England to join the highly-selective program, which identifies incubators around the world that are expert in addressing the needs of companies expanding into new national markets.
International entrepreneurs face huge challenges as they look to enter the US market. In addition to the technological and business challenges that plague every eager entrepreneur, they also often find cultural and market differences that hamper growth. What they need is a place to start that offers them a chance to get to know the market while also providing the business mentorship they need to succeed.
“A company cannot simply apply what they know in their home market to what goes on here. They need specific help to solve complex problems,” said NSIV CEO Chris Ilsley. “Each company’s challenge is unique and they need unique mentorship to help them solve it. For one company it could be as simple as giving samples to prospective customers, which seems so natural to a company marketing in the US but is a new concept in some business cultures. For other companies the problems could be in navigating regulatory and compliance issues, or even understanding fragmented and localized markets that exist across the US.”
This isn’t just about entrepreneurship, but about boosting local economic impact with foreign investment. Foreign direct investment in the US totaled $259.6 billion in 2017, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. Of that, $6.4 billion focused specifically on establishing and expanding foreign businesses. Here in Massachusetts, nearly 7 percent of private industry employees work for companies that are foreign owned, accounting for more than 200,00 jobs.
The Soft Landings designation comes amid a year of growth an expansion for NSIV. Celebrating its first decade, the incubator recently hired a new CEO and expanded its footprint at the Cummings Center in Beverly. Its newly-opened 13,000 square foot facility includes co-working, wet labs and a maker space. In addition, the Cummings Foundation awarded NSIV a 10-year, $200,000 sustaining grant, and InBIA previously recognized NSIV by naming it the Dinah Adkins Technology Incubator of the Year. Since its inception, NSIV has incubated 44 companies that have created 295 jobs, many of which remain in the North Shore of Massachusetts.
ABOUT the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA)
InBIA is a global nonprofit with over 2,200 members that lead hundreds of entrepreneurship centers in 62 countries. For over 30 years, InBIA has provided industry best practices through education while enabling collaboration, mentorship, peer-based learning and the sharing of innovative ideas for developing entrepreneur centers and ecosystems across the globe. InBIA is the premier organization for business incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces and other entrepreneurship support organizations.