In my area in Michigan there has been a very impressive movement lately to get some IT incubators going.
What you essentially need to do is start pulling in the people who are interested in doing this together, and start connecting them with each other.
- Entrepreneurial events, start a monthly club that brings in business speakers
- Start an Ignite in your area or something to bring people together socially and bring people together who are interested in being active in the community
- Identify people who are currently running successful start-ups and enlist them as 'mentors' for events and to get them to come to events to share some of their experience and knowledge
What you are ultimately looking to do is getting some space together that can be divided up for cheap rent and sharing some resources like conference rooms, kitchen spaces, phone, internet maybe a shared secretary.
I think you would then be looking to do something like this:
- Get in touch with chamber of commerce and generate some interest in the idea, talk to them and see what they suggest and who you should talk to
- Discuss the idea with any other organizations designed to grow an area (eg: downtown development authority)
- Talk with the actual city and see if there are any subsidies or property they have that could be utilized to start something like this. Is there a developer that has property un-leased that would be willing to rent it out cheap initially, with the expectation it would be filled in 2 years.
- Find a spot that you can get for cheap, with a landlord that will work with you and you'll need to figure out what you need to charge per office / room and advertise it.
The first one in our area filled up in 6 months, then the second 6 months after that.
Most were people working out of their homes that decided it would be worth a few hundred bucks a month for a cubicle at a co-working space. Then some college students started getting spots. Then companies that were 5 - 10 people started renting larger portions of it because they could be around talented inspired people.
But, this has been successful in Mid-Michigan which doesn't have a huge population and is by no means a Silicon Valley. However, we are working on it!
Link to one of our areas incubators: TIC
The city fronted the initial money for this, and I'm sure they are now in the black.