Small business incubators are probably most noted for providing a positive sharing-type environment for creative entrepreneurship. They will often offer counseling and peer review services, as well as shared office or laboratory facilities, and a generally strong bias toward growth and innovation.

Very often, incubators are located within business parks where the prime motivation of the developer is to help hatch acorns, which will then outgrow the incubator and move into larger, more "freestanding" facilities. These business park facilities are particularly important, because they so often provide incubator amenities such as banks, accounting firms, attorneys, restaurants, health clubs, etc., in close proximity to their incubator facilities. They also facilitate easy, hassle-free moves from incubators to free standing.

Incubator management groups will often maintain electronic or print directories of other business service firms in or near the incubator, too, many of which may sometimes offer discounted services for emerging firms. Services can include everything from website design, to marketing, to health services to haircuts.

Other incubators, including many MABI members, are in the academic or State domain, where the principal thrust is limited mostly to the hatching stage, with limited ability to accommodate new entities beyond their earliest phases. Whether publicly or privately sponsored, however, incubators are there to encourage and assist young firms to develop new products and services, and to help provide more and better jobs for the citizenry.

Most Massachusettes business incubators can readily provide either furnished or unfurnished office space, or both. For laboratory facilities, many will offer either chemistry or biology set-ups, most often with an option to select units with laboratory hoods. Many members at or very near Cambridge and MIT.

Confucius is credited with teaching his followers to "Dig the well before you're thirsty," and that can certainly be related to the age-old process of networking, which occurs so well in the incubator environment. Networking opportunities as part of a modern business setting are an exceedingly important part of any incubator or other shared start-up spaces.

Massachusetts Association of Business Incubators (MABI) was organized in 2006 by Eric Anderson to provide an informal opportunity for members to communicate with each other on matters of mutual interest. In addition, our website provides a vehicle for communication with the general public and for informing and educating the public about the opportunities that currently exist in our respective business incubators.

Anderson's full-time work is as Executive Vice President of Cummings Properties, LLC, Woburn, MA. Like most MABI members, Cummings Properties has a particular interest in reaching out to entrepreneurial activities of all sorts. It specializes in suburban Boston opportunities Along I-95 and I-93 both north and west of the city.

Since Cummings Properties owns and manages more than nine million square feet of office, research, laboratory, retail and distribution space in 10 communities around Boston, it is in the unique position of being able to offer low cost incubator space to new companies with an entrepreneurial spirit.

By helping new companies get off the ground in affordable, professional office space, these growing companies will, in turn, create new jobs and those employees will then help support other local businesses. Cummings Properties' more than 2,000 client firms range in size from 200 square feet to more than 100,000 square feet.

It truly becomes a snowball effect…and Cummings Properties believes in getting that ball rolling by supporting young entrepreneurs.

Massachusetts Association of Business Incubators (MABI) is a member of National Business Incubation Association, the world's leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship. MABI was created for the purpose of increasing support for business incubation programs in Massachusetts, enhancing public awareness, sharing experiences and exchanging referrals.

Massachusetts incubators interested in joining MABI are strongly encouraged to first link to this site, and then contact Eric Anderson at 781-983-2211, or via email While this website is very much in its infancy, it is growing, and will become another effective way to provide worthwhile contact among our respective entities.

Thank you for visiting We would greatly appreciate your thoughts and suggestions. Please contact any of our members if you would like additional information on Massachusetts office, laboratory, or research incubator space. For information about Massachusetts Association of Business Incubators, please e-mail us below, or call Eric S. Anderson at 781-983-2211.