Business incubators

In Columbus, from mattresses to startups

Out with the old. Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

It's an unmistakeable sign of the times. In Columbus, Ohio, a huge warehouse that was once a Serta Simmons mattress factory has been converted into a investor startup studio.

What's happening: Serta Simmons, the nearly 150-year-old mattress titan, is now struggling and owned by a private equity firm. In its shuttered factory, Rev1 Ventures is hosting scores of tech and health care startups in an effort to redefine the city as an alternative to Silicon Valley.

Universities are trying to build their own Silicon Valleys

Students studying
Students studying at Johns Hopkins University. Photo: JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado via Getty Images

Incubator programs linked to universities nationwide increased to a 42% share in the International Business Innovation Association's 2016 IMPACT index, reports Reuters.

Why it matters: Venture capital firms dished out $84 billion in investments to entrepreneurs and start-ups last year — and that figure is expected to keep growing. Accordingly, universities are investing in spaces for students to build entrepreneurship skills and grow their companies to better access that wealth.