The new "incubator," called the Scient Accelerator Program, will allow Scient to collect a minority stake in start-up clients in addition to standard project fees for the firm's business services. The Net services firm plans to help nascent executives develop a business plan, secure venture capital and office space and hire administrative support.
In recent weeks, several professional services firms have established incubator programs to attract more start-up clients. The strategy is also lucrative, as firms like Scient can benefit financially from an equity stake in a start-up if it eventually has a successful public offering.
Just last week, Big Five consulting firm Andersen Consulting introduced its own incubator program to provide services and rental space to companies in exchange for cash or an equity stake.
Andersen?s plan will include the creation of 17 "launch centers" for firms that have already secured venture funding, but need more executive guidance or business development help.
Systems integrator Cambridge Technology Partners announced an incubator program in December. Scient rivals Viant and Zefer have also unveiled their own incubator programs.
Without disclosing names, Scient said it is working with several clients as part of its incubator program, including an application services provider (ASP) and a dot-com start-up in the business-to-business space.