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The Number—and Variety—of Business Incubators Is on the Rise

The Number???and Variety???of Business Incubators Is on the Rise
Photograph by Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

A search for an office with an energetic vibe led Livefyre, a company that provides software for posting comments on websites, to undergo a rite of passage for new Silicon Valley businesses. It joined an accelerator, a sort of business academy for startups.

For eight months, the team sat in a bullpen with fellow entrepreneurs at KickLabs, one of a long list of accelerators in and around San Francisco. Anyone who needed help could get it from a neighbor or the accelerator’s staff, which regularly doled out advice and arranged meetings with potential investors. “There was high energy,” says Jordan Kretchmer, Livefyre’s chief executive. “The staff did a lot of walking about and asking, ‘Is there anything you need today?’”