Incubator/12″/cw1st/mark2nd By SHELLY GARCIA Staff Reporter A group of San Fernando Valley business executives is ready to launch the first-ever entertainment incubator to help young companies break into Hollywood circles. Dubbed the Entertainment Technology Enterprise Center, the founders hope to attract about 12 young companies from all walks of show business film, multimedia and recording, as well as related support services. The companies will be able to network with one another and have access to the technical, financial and managerial support necessary to produce independent projects. “We’re creating the ability for a small business to function as if it were on a studio lot,” said Yvette N. Berke, a former purchasing executive for the Walt Disney Co., who began working on the incubator concept three years ago. Independent producers and those involved in support services, such as set design or special effects development, are often unable to work directly with the major studios, either because they don’t have the right industry contacts or because the cost of locating on a studio lot is prohibitive. By setting up shop within the incubator, these companies would be able to network with related businesses that are also incubator members and draw on the expertise of outside experts who would be hired through sponsors and grants. The incubator is designed to assist young companies in writing business plans, obtaining financing and helping with product marketing and distribution. “The independent market has, until now, not been very organized,” Berke said. “So we’re basically forming a cooperative and have all the services that you would need to produce a TV show, a music video, a film or even start a radio station.” Entertainment Technology Enterprise Center will operate from a 72,000-square-foot facility in North Hollywood. The building, the former home of Adolf’s meat tenderizer, was recently acquired by private investors who intend to lease the major portion of the building, including two sound stages, to full-paying customers. Another 15,000 square feet will be set aside for incubator companies, which will pay a reduced rent for their space. Leases will range from 75 cents to $2.25 a square foot per month, depending on the space. Plans for the incubator are still in the formative stages, and deals have been firmed up with only a few companies. But outsiders agree that the concept is overdue for the entertainment industry, which is notoriously inaccessible to newcomers. “It’s very difficult for new people to get involved in that industry,” said Dinah Adkins, executive director of the National Business Incubation Association, a non-profit group that assists incubators.