NBIC offers three programmatic approaches to entrepreneurship. Traditional incubation is the most popular program, and requires the business to reside at the center. The traditional NBIC program curriculum consists of a five-year programmatic approach to business coaching and training. Benchmarks are set to measure the entrepreneur’s advancement within specified areas of business training. NBIC business counselors take a hands-on approach to the first two years of incubation, acting as accountability partners and guides. During the third and fourth year, NBIC clients are equipped with the foundation necessary to begin working on their businesses instead of in their businesses. During this phase, NBIC business counselors encourage global thinking, strategic planning and CEO training. The fifth year is dedicated to finding a new location and ensuring the business owner is ready to graduate and take the next step toward independence. NBIC provides complementary training throughout and after the process to ensure the entrepreneur has a well-rounded educational background to support his/her business.
The Incubator Without Walls program affords many of the same services as the traditional incubation program without the residency requirement. Incubator Without Walls clients extend as far east as Chattanooga.
Started in 2013, the NBIC Tiger Tank, or Student Business Incubation Program, is a complimentary program provided to up to four qualifying Tennessee State University student businesses per year. The year-long program offers an intensive summer study session with guest speakers from the business community. The students are expected to interact and develop relationships with the speakers as part of their training. Participants of the program receive all the services of the traditional incubating clients including shared office space. Students also receive funding to provide them with necessary business tools including computers, collateral pieces and additional technology.