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Local Connectedness; what is it and why is Google interested?

As a professional in the corporate world, your “to do” list is longer than your daily agenda. On top of this, you are expected to network with peers, stakeholders and competitors. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to create that connected ecosystem that all the professional development magazines tell you that you need. Before you panic, consider the facts; not all connected ecosystems are created equal.

 

What is an ecosystem?

In terms of startup companies, an ecosystem is a group of people interacting with a common goal; to create and scale up a new company. Included in the ecosystem are universities, support organizations such as incubators and accelerators, corporate sponsors, research professionals and service providers such as lawyers and accountants.

Working together, this ecosystem is in control of the following tasks:

  • Creation of ideas
  • Inventions
  • Research
  • Advisement
  • Mentorship
  • Investment

Participants in the ecosystem link themselves through activities, interactions, events and locations, either virtual or local. Resources such as time, money and specific knowledge skills are essential to the ecosystem and freely shared through interaction. Solid interaction between advisors, investors and mentors to the creators and inventors strengthens the bond of the community.

“We know that founders in this highly regulated sector must rely on the expertise of others and we believe Chicago has more industry veterans and experience than any other city.” – Howard Tullman, CEO, 1871, Chicago, Illinois USA

Howard was speaking on the Fintech sector for the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2018 (GSER), released in partnership with Global Entrepreneurship Network. Financial technology or fintech is one of the fastest growing sectors in the startup world. As the CEO of one of UBI Global’s Top Programs, Howard knows that relying on expertise of mentors and advisors is the key to success in this and other sectors.

What is local connectedness?

A new category in 2018’s GSER is Local Connectedness. Defined as a sense of community, local connectedness is an ecosystem with a high level of local relationships. These tight-knit ecosystems have higher indictors of overall success in performance values such as startup output and value. Though a startup might exist in a small local market and have a global target, their interaction with the local community investment and expertise is what propels them to higher success.

Startups that introduce innovative new ideas and disruptive technologies to large corporations don’t only exist in big, mature ecosystems. The ones that rise to the top are focusing on high-level local relationships and expertise. The GSER also quotes Dan McEleny, co-founder of Gfycat, an AI tech startup fostered by TEC Edmonton, a UBI Global Member and Top Program:

“When asking people in Edmonton for help, their response isn’t, ‘What’s in it for me?’. Instead, they ask, ‘how can I help?’ It’s incredible to have that kind of support when you are just starting out.” – Dan McEleney, Co-Found at Gfycat

Fintech, Healthtech, AI, Adtech; while all these exciting, high-growth sectors require technology, they also require knowledge of other industries that are unrelated. A startup founder with the next big idea in healthtech, for example, may spin their wheels without health care industry expertise. Where can they find mentorship, sponsorship and guidance? Through networking, of course. Beyond building quality relationships with investors, experts and future customers, creating a locally connected ecosystem pays off in the success of the startup through key resources such as experience, insider knowledge and know-how.

Why is Google fostering local connectedness?

Google has recognized the value of a connected ecosystem that provides support on different levels to a startup company. Last month, Google, one of the largest companies in the world, announced that it is launching an investment capital program that will include a wealth of resources. Startups who build applications within the Google ecosystem are, of course, the focus of this community. By creating a community and providing startups with advice from engineers, product experts and designers, Google will give access to new tools and features as well as promotional support.

The corporate giant is putting no cap on the investments, saying they will invest as much as they see fit. Google is doing all this through a Community Group program that will support the startup every step of the way to give them traction in the world market. These close-knit relationships will rely on milestones to prove the engagement with users and community. A system that includes meetings, knowledge, training, recognition of success, branding support and networking is mapped out for every participant.

What does this mean for corporations?

Google hasn’t gotten to be this successful by being late to the party. Instead, they set the trends and encourage disruptive technologies that make industries think differently. A solid, local community that shares knowledge and fosters new ideas is the key to global success. As a corporation, it can be complicated to find quality startups as well as a fantastic business incubator or accelerator program that will help you foster local connectedness and launch an exciting new part of your company.

Fortunately, UBI Global is an expert in making connections for corporations in the world of business incubation and acceleration. We are also the world leader in ranking, benchmarking and researching these programs. In the UBI Global World Rankings 17/18 report, we compiled data and ranked the top business incubators and accelerators according to their achievement scores. A portion of the scores is based on how successful these programs were in creating value for their ecosystems. Below, we have listed the top three in each program category:

 

University Managed Incubators – these programs are directly operated by one or more universities. Listed below are the top three performers, who outrank their global peers with regard to the value they contribute to the ecosystem, the value they provide to their startup clients and how attractive they have made their program for sponsors.

Ranking Program Location
#1 The SETsquared Partnership United Kingdom
#1 The DMZ at Ryerson University Canada
#3 PoliHub Italy

 

University Affiliated Incubators – these programs are affiliated with one or more universities but are not directly managed by them. Listed below are the top three performers, who outrank their global peers with regard to the value they contribute to the ecosystem, the value they provide to their startup clients and how attractive they have made their program for sponsors.

Ranking Program Location
#1 1871 United States
#2 YES!Delft Netherlands
#3 İTÜ Çekirdek Turkey

 

Incubators Collaborating with Universities – these programs closely collaborate with one or more universities but have no formal affiliation or management with them. Listed below are the top three performers, who outrank their global peers with regard to the value they contribute to the ecosystem, the value they provide to their startup clients and how attractive they have made their program for sponsors.

Ranking Program Location
#1 Guinness Enterprise Centre Ireland
#2 Montpellier BIC France
#3 Shell Iniciativa Jovem Brazil

 

University Linked Accelerators – these programs are linked in some way with one or more universities, either by affiliation, management or collaboration. Listed below are the top three performers, who outrank their global peers with regard to the value they contribute to the ecosystem, the value they provide to their startup clients and how attractive they have made their program for sponsors.

Ranking Program Location
#1 York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) Canada
#2 Entrepreneuriat Laval inc. Canada
#3 TEC Edmonton Canada

 

UBI Global will find you the best performing business incubator or accelerator program that will give your company with fresh, new ideas and put you miles ahead of the competition. With member programs in over 70 countries, we can offer you exclusive sponsorship of a locally connected, idea-rich startup and program that accurately suits you goals and requirements.

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