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Temecula leaders innovate to support entrepreneurial ecosystem

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The Temecula Valley Entrepreneurs Exchange is a space where business owners and young entrepreneurs can come to exchange ideas and get help for launching their companies.

As local, state and national government agencies examine ways to create jobs and turn around the struggling economy, business incubation programs are featuring prominently in the debate.

For 50 years, incubators have been helping entrepreneurs turn their ideas into viable businesses, promoting innovation and creating jobs by providing emerging companies with business support services and resources tailored to young firms to increase their chances of success.

As any entrepreneur can attest, starting a new business isn’t an easy task. Most business owners know every detail of their product or service, but many lack all of the skills they need to turn their ideas into successful firms. Business incubation programs are uniquely positioned to help entrepreneurs access resources through the incubator, business community, local colleges and universities, and other business assistance programs to help them develop the skills they need to grow successful firms.

Around the world, entrepreneurs are playing an increasingly important role in transforming economies. Rather than relying solely on efforts to attract existing businesses from other locations, many communities like Temecula are recognizing the need to help local residents build new businesses from the ground up through business incubators.

By focusing on developing a new generation of entrepreneurs -- most of whom have ties to the local area -- Temecula wants to build companies that will create jobs and spark economic growth in the region for years to come. And because incubator programs provide targeted business assistance to young firms at their earliest stages of development -- when they’re most vulnerable -- business incubators help support new ventures that have a greater-than-average chance of success.

In November 2012, the city of Temecula opened the Temecula Valley Entrepreneurs Exchange (TVE2) in its former City Hall building at 43200 Business Park Drive.

TVE2 is a business incubator where startup technology companies can lease scalable, affordable office space in a collaborative environment.

City staff wanted to create a space for young entrepreneurs to gather and bounce ideas off one another, and as such the facility boasts bright colors, open work stations, plenty of TVs, and a pingpong table. In addition, the TVE2 is also a business resource center where business owners can come to network, attend educational workshops on business topics, and receive free one-on-one business consultations.

Although business incubation is still a relatively new industry, programs around the world have racked up impressive results that demonstrate the important role incubators play in stimulating economic growth and creating jobs.

For example, the National Business Incubation Association estimates that in 2005 alone, North American incubators assisted more than 27,000 startup companies that provided full-time employment for more than 100,000 workers and generated annual revenue of more than $17 billion.

In the first year of operations, TVE2 has eight companies in the incubator, which among them have raised more than $500,000 of investment capital. TVE2 has also consulted with more than 275 businesses, and has seen 1,300 attendees at various workshops and networking events.

The city of Temecula leadership acknowledges that an incubator program is a critical component of the entrepreneurial support infrastructure that has proven to be a significant generator of new jobs, and as such, opening the incubator is a priority for our economic vitality efforts. For more information on our client companies, programs, events or how to apply, visit tve2.org.

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