Our Latest Video: Follow Your Dream

Why are you listening to those outer voices that keep you from realizing your goals?  

Let’s face it, even the folks that love us the most at times compromise our ability to take risks.  While this comes out of love, taking risks and discovering new capabilities is at the heart of what it means to be alive.


The Wachusett Business Incubator represents a comprehensive set of resources that can help you launch.  And that boils down to people.  Here you’ll find the people that can help you, support you, be a part of your entrepreneurial community.

Love Learning!  Join us and follow that inner voice that knows who you really want to be!

Scott M. Graves

executive director


What is the Leadership Candidate Program?

The Wachusett Business Incubator is unique among all incubator and accelerator programs.

Our Leadership Candidate Program focuses energy on developing intellectual property for the marketplace. We do this by managing the business plan in-house. Each plan is designed to readily take advantage of existing businesses, investors and other regional resources to ensure our plans under development co-exist meaningfully in the regional business community.


We  focus on various solutions for the marketplace that result in a maximum opportunity to produce employment at a professional class status. We curate intellectual property in a way that maximizes financial benefit to the incubator, the inventor and all other stakeholders to the project.

We are ‘Percolators’. 

In this way, we are turning the meaningless idea of the pitch contest on its head. We seek leadership candidates and we train and develop the future employees bringing to bear strategic relationships, namely with our regional academic institutions (Mount Wachusett Community College, Fitchburg State University) and workforce organizations (MassHire, North Central Workforce Board).  This core programming is our response to real-time experience we’re encountering in our regional business community. We believe our approach is sound and is replicable in a number of regional scenarios. We are committed to the singular purpose of discovering what comes next for Gardner and its neighbors. Our clients, funders, academic peers and citizens deserve no less.

For Inventors

• The WBI approach ensures a focus on getting your IP to market.

• The WBI does not ask for a controlling interest in your business. Our proposals are fair to all

parties allowing you the opportunity to retain control of your business.

• Focus on what you do best. Generate ideas while the WBI brings your ideas to market.

For Investors

• WBI retains IP in order to mitigate risk to you and to all stakeholders.

• The WBI curates intellectual Property for maximum benefit to all stakeholders.

• WBI empowers leadership candidates and future employees creating the right team.

Want to learn more? Contact us today regarding the benefits of working with the Wachusett  Business Incubator.



Scott M. Graves is Executive Director of the Wachusett Business Incubator and founder of Smash Music, an independent music education and merchandising company in Massachusetts.  Find out how you can benefit from the WBI’s Leadership Candidates Program.

Why Here? Why Us? Why Now?

There is a disease infecting thousands of cities and towns in the United States, effecting the lives of millions of our citizens.  This article brings to light this phenomenon and what one small organization, our organization is doing to combat this infection and answer the question, ‘What Comes Next’?

De-Industrialization came late to our little city of Gardner, MA, the smallest chartered city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A process that for some began more than a century ago began for most of us within living memory of a significant portion of our adult population.  For the rest of our younger population, the effects of economic deprivation have profoundly effected their lives in a myriad number of ways.

No characteristic of this recent deprivation is felt more by MORE of us in this community than the psychological one.  Entrepreneurs and other change makers know what I refer to.

So in this article I want to answer the question Why here, why us, why now? Why Gardner and what makes you think something new will work here?

“This curious world in which we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient; more beautiful than it is useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used.”  -Henry David Thoreau 

There has never been a time in recent memory when localized change is more important and more possible.  Many of our most important institutions are repeatedly letting our population down.  Corporatization of major systems like energy, food and transportation have placed significant pressure on independent, diversified and employee-centric business. While it would be easy to despair, may we consider that this environment presents an opportunity and a responsibility.

A responsibility we have to each other to enact great change.  This is necessary as the stakes to our environment and ourselves is so great.

An opportunity due to the lack of attention being given us by governmental and industrial concerns.  It is necessary for us to dive headlong into new economic opportunities.  These opportunities should embrace the idea that predatory business models need not apply; that degradation of our environment, our land, our people in the name of profit is not a winning model; that the de-centralization of major energy, food and industrial systems that creates wide opportunity to entrepreneurs presents a worthwhile effort.

This explanation settles the question of  why us and why now?  Now we get to why here?

This requires a simple explanation.  We must believe first that we deserve as a community and as individuals success in our lives together.  That the core of such success must come from a place of deep meaning and of love and pleasure.  Specifically, I refer to the kind of pleasure and love derived from the satisfaction of taking part in a dynamic and consciously lead effort which values humanity.  Farmers instinctively understand this.

Henry David Thoreau said it better than me in addressing his graduating class at Harvard in 1837, “This curious world in which we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient; more beautiful than it is useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used.”

So why here?  Because we’re here.  You and I are here.  This place has been inhabited for centuries by hard working people.  Because they deserve a legacy.  Because we deserve success.

The effort made every day by the great folks of our Wachusett Business Incubator exemplify these ideas.  We’re proud of this place and we have designed programs to help you discover this.  We invite you to work together.


Scott M. Graves is Executive Director of the Wachusett Business Incubator and founder of Smash Music, an independent music education and merchandising company in Massachusetts.  Find out how you can benefit from the WBI’s Leadership Candidates Program.



Why Commonwealth Matters?

Entrepreneurship has lead me down many professional and intellectual paths.  Upon reflection I want to share my views on what we are when we are at our best.  It is important to all  towns large and small, independent business and for building strong communities.

Commonwealth Journal, June 26, 2018

As we approach another July fourth celebration I feel strongly that we should consider focusing in on how we celebrate this holiday.  Namely, I think we should use this annual holiday as a time to reflect on and renew our vows to the living idea of a Commonwealth.

The english who settled this great land came from both sides of a horrible and complicated Civil War.  From the rolls of Royalists and Parliamentarians, hordes chose to relocate to North America.  They did so for many reasons.  As it happened, two very different Americas emerged from that great dislocation.

What predominated in North America is the concept of the Commonwealth.  I believe that when the citizens of the United State are at their best they are living the vows that tie us to this most worthwhile legacy.

A community that attempts to live out the legacy of Commonwealth is a community whose economy is a real economy.  When I refer to a real economy I am referring to the economy of thrift, conservation.  An economy based on the passions and talents of real people.  People who value each others capability to work at labor that is often hard but always what that person was meant to do; avocation as vocation.  In this economy we employ people at that which they are most meant to do.  To eliminate jobs in the name of progress is the opposite of progress.  To ignore the needs of people and other organisms is to dishonor the Commonwealth.  To kick the can down the road, to abuse any part of the ecosystem in service to ‘a better future’ through the use of technology would be disallowed in such an economy.

This community values and acknowledges the mystery of complexity that surrounds us.  The small-hold independent farmer, reliant largely on solar power for the farm to sustain itself works within the complex but elegant dance between life and death, domestic and wild.  Science can express much of what this cycle represents and how it works, but science in this community isn’t used to create an oversimplified ‘solution’ which works to disrupt nature.  By oversimplifying any part of this cycle is to interrupt that which we know works and sustains us for all time.  I refer here to the stewardship of soil health, animal husbandry, fertilization and ultimately people.

This concept can be applied to all other work.  To see work strictly as a quantitative and not qualitative circumstance is to dishonor the ideals of a Commonwealth.  Education systems would be considered as more than just in service to job re-training.  Universities would not create intellectual property that works in service against the precepts of a Commonwealth.  People would demand more out of their work than just a paycheck that gets smaller over time.  Prices of goods would not be artificially set to reward far away corporate interests.  The entire transaction of all goods and services  would stay as local as possible.  This would empower each of our communities.  The excess would be exported elsewhere, but only after the needs of the immediate environs were met.

I am proud to be the Executive Director of this, Wachusett Business Incubator.  I am also an indepandant business owner in my own right.   In all of our endeavors we have two tenants that dictate our behavior.  Craftsmanship and Stewardship.  In order to move forward with every decision large and small staff and I consciously ask each other, ‘will this work in service to craftsmanship and will it work in service to stewardship of our community’.  If the new decision will not work in service to these tenants we do not move forward.

I’m asking a lot of my neighbors.  To live the ideals of a Commonwealth, the ideals of stewardship and to celebrate the craftsmanship of our neighbors is in our time an uphill battle.  I am asking us to make sacrifices in the here and now that will cause short term pain for many of us.  For multiple generations we have been inculcated with the ideals of corporatization of nearly all aspects of our life.  We are living with the consequences.  Poor work opportunities, degradation of the environment we are a part of, suicide, an uneven distribution of wealth, disempowerment writ large has become the norm for too many of our fellow citizens.

I believe we are capable to renew our vows to the ideals of Commonwealth.  Consider renewing your vows.  What role will you play in building back the community you know we are capable of being?


Scott M. Graves is Executive Director of the Wachusett Business Incubator and founder of Smash Music, an independent music education and merchandising company in Massachusetts.  Find out how you can benefit from the WBI’s Leadership Candidates Program.