The Incubator: StartUp-Miami

You may have heard of start-ups, but what about start-overs? It’s a name being given to Baby Boomers who are embarking on entrepreneurial quests, sometimes frustrated with a job market that doesn’t seem accepting of their skills and experience.

Some are getting help from StartUp-Miami’s AIM program (Accelerate, Incubate, and Mentor). The invitation-only initiative supports companies through business formulation and launches with more than $250,000 in cash and direct benefits – such as support for fundraising, mentoring services, assessing and evaluating business plans, advising on growth strategies and competitive positioning, pipeline issues and business development. Other demographics being targeted are graduates of STEM programs (science, technology engineering, and mathematics). Women and veterans also receive preference.

SFBW interviewed co-founder and CEO James Rohrbach, who is also the general partner at LaunchMeLabs and a certified Kauffman Fastrac Facilitator & Program Director.

We know what a start-up business is, but what is a start-over business?

People over the age of 55 are the largest group starting over in work by starting their businesses, but this is a trend we will see more of for adults of all ages.

Why the trend?

The U.S. is shifting permanently away from mass employment to the individual economy. It’s a new, creative economy that values knowledge, intellectual property, and individual skills. Entrepreneurship leverages these strengths, but traditional companies are not designed to do that – they become efficient machines that don’t invest in the future or people. Instead, they exploit cash flow.

Eventually, successful new companies become mature businesses. Why won’t they repeat the same cycle?

Education. In the past, schools have not taught us how to be our bosses and how to bring value to the work we do in a competitive workplace. Once business owners are educated differently – perhaps by organizations like StartUp-Miami and in schools – they will understand the value of investing in the future and in people who have the skills that will bring their business into the future.

Lots of companies say they do that now, but it doesn’t seem to be the reality amid staff layoffs and stagnant wages. What will change to help them behave differently?

They are already outsourcing a lot of work because their organizational structures often don’t allow those with entrepreneurial ideas to execute them within these companies. This is where the advantage comes in currently and beyond for start-ups and start-overs. They are created keeping in mind the gaps that need to be filled and positioned for the future. ↵


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