In the business world, an incubator is an enterprise that is set up to provide office space, equipment, and sometimes mentoring assistance and capital to new businesses that are just getting started. (The term is familiar in poultry farming, where an incubator is a specially-equipped home for baby chickens.) Business incubators are set up by universities, non-profit groups, and increasingly by venture capitalists, especially for new Web businesses.
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On the Web, the pace of growth and competition, especially of retail and business-to-business (B2B) Web sites, is fostering software packages for the creation of "out-of-the-box" Web sites. For more ambitious Web sites and technology product development, venture capitalists are discovering that the incubation idea provides an organized way to finance and monitor the progress of its fledgling "chicks."