Edgewater launches incubator

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Chicago newest incubator program is designed to be a pipeline for new storefront businesses in Edgewater, experts said.

We ve done a lot of things for urban revitalization in this community, and this is just the next step, said Tina Travlos Nihlean,  president of the Edgewater Development Corp. board. The nonprofit  development corporation has launched a new small business incubator  through a partnership with  the Larry and Carol Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.

The program offers instruction in three phases, including getting started, developing a business plan and launching the venture, said Trinette Britt-Johnson, executive director at the Edgewater Development Corp. Participants will pay for each phase separately and complete them sequentially. Fees range from $35 for a workshop on getting  started and obtaining a city  license  to $450 for a  15-week business development course taught by  the Levy Institute.

Once participants complete the phases, they can participate in a lottery to receive below-market rates on area office space for three years, Travlos Nihlean said. The organization  will help others find space at regular market rates, she said.

 – Hallie Busta