Benchmark & Ranking Methodology

The first and most reliable global benchmark of Top University Business Incubators

The UBI Global methodology offer detailed comparative performance information on the world’s top performing university and university associated business incubators (in 2015 expanding to University Business Accelerators). A broad range of performance indicators are measured using a unique research framework, all against an established and trusted methodology well developed by researchers, practitioners and industry experts. For more information contact us at info@ubiindex.com

Download our methodology (in PDF):

UBI Index Method




University Business Incubator

How does UBI Global define a University Business Incubator ?

A University Business Incubator is:

  • Managed (by) or affiliated to university (-ies)
  • Primary objective is to facilitate entrepreneurship and support early stage (new) ventures through a systematic (mid-long term) and extensive incubation process that includes services and infrastructure
  • Quality controlled intake of clients (startups) and regular time bound exits in form of graduate startup clients

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Two (2) other types that is also considered in the UBI Global definition

  • Managed (by) or affiliated to university(-ies)
  • Dedicate their efforts and resources to help entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, turn those ideas into viable, successful and sustainable businesses
  • Core mission is to accelerate innovative entrepreneurship at the local level, through the customized delivery of a comprehensive range of professional support and incubation services (pre-incubation, incubation, post-incubation) targeted at innovative start-ups, spin-offs, entrepreneurs and SMEs
  • Managed by, affiliated to or informal affiliation with university (-ies)
  • A fixed cohort-based program that focuses on catalyzing growth of ventures through an array of intensive mentorship and educational services to prepare client startups for market access
  • Quality controlled intake of clients (startups) and regular time bound exits in form of graduates

Research Framework

How does the UBI Global Research Framework look like ?

framework
*Also known as Bhatli & Eriksson framework to measure incubator performance (2013)

The key to identify the top university business incubators lies in using the right criteria. UBI Global research team together with prominent top thinkers, experts and advisors believe that any such incubator must be measured on three global performance categories: A, its contribution to the ecosystem; B, its value to the startup clients; and C, its attractiveness quotient.

The performance categories (3 in total) is built upon sub-categories (7 in total) which consists of key performance indicators (60+ in total).

Value-for-EcosystemValue for EcosystemMeasures the economic impact that the incubator generates for its ecosystem
Value-for-ClientValue for ClientMeasures the benefits and quality of services that the incubator provides to the startups clients
AttractivenessAttractivenessMeasures the incubator’s attractiveness quotient driven by its post incubation performance and success stories
Value for Ecosystem

  • Economy Enhancement
  • Talent Retention

Important indicators measured such as job created by the client startups, the sales revenue of the client startups, funding available from all sources to the client startups, the investor network and startup client location.

Value for Client

  • Competence Development
  • Access to Funds
  • Network enhancement

Important indicators measured such as number and activity of mentors and coaches, VC and angel funding availability, the investor network, network of sponsors & partners, the network relationships with large corporations; government; business providers and the size of the alumni network.

Attractiveness

  • Incubation Offer
  • Post Incubation Performance

Important indicators measured such as investment on client startup, equity stake, number of applications to the program, number of startup client graduated and the survivability & growth post incubation.

# Active coaches, # Active mentors, # Applications, # Aquisition, # Clients graduated (5 years), # Contacts with business provider, # Contacts with seed capital firms, # Contacts with venture capital firms, # Contacts within large corporations, # Contacts within the government, # Events, # Hours coaches, # Hours mentors, # International partners, # International sponsors, # Invested on client, # Investors network, # IPOs, # Jobs created, # Mergers, # Partners, # Size alumni network, # Sponsors, # University staff, #International partners, $ Funding available (clients), $ Revenue (incubator), $ Sales revenue (clients), $ Seed fund, $ Size investment, % Client location (nation), % Client location (region), % Clients aquired, % Clients still running operations, % Clients that utilize coaching, % Clients that utilize mentoring, % Don’t need funding, % Equity stake, % Funding from incubator, % Have received funding, % Have received VC funding, % Need funding, % Non-local client, % Origin: faculty, % Origin: former employees large corporations, % Origin: former employees SMEs, % Origin: researcher, % Origin: serial entrepreneur, % Origin: student, % Paying customers, % Status: acquired, % Status: growing and profitable, % Status: surviving, % Status: surviving and growing, % Status: terminated, % VC or angel funding (5 years), Coach background, Coach compensation, Collaborative atmosphere, Evaluates mentor and coach, External contacts, Invest on client, Mentor background, Mentor compensation, Seed fund, Training and Support

Which countries were represented in the Global Benchmark 2014?

More than 300 university and university associated business incubation programs

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67 Countries from 5 Geographic Regions

Armenia
Austria
Belgium
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Netherlands
Norway
Portugal
Romania
Russia
Slovakia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Turkey
Ukraine
United Kingdom
Argentina
Bolivia
Brazil
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
Ecuador
El Salvador
Guatemala
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Uruguay
Venezuela
China
India
Iran
Israel
Japan
Jordan
Malaysia
Pakistan
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
South Korea
Taiwan
Australia
Canada
Mexico
United States
Chad
Egypt
Ghana
Kenya
Morocco
Nigeria
Senegal
South Africa
Uganda
Zambia

Benchmark Process

To Benchmark Your Incubation Program 2015

Application

Submit your application via our website during March - April

Application

Send the application via our website or email us during January – April to join the Global Benchmark 2015

Assessment

Get assessed for eligibility to participate

Assessment

Our assessment team will contact you for a 30-minute call to see if your incubation program is eligible to join the Global Benchmark 2015

Benchmark Survey

Complete the Official Benchmark Survey within two weeks

Benchmark Survey

After acceptance you will have two weeks to complete and submit your response. A select sample of the incubators will be asked for in-depth interviews in April

Presentation

The result will be presented through a video conference

Presentation

The incubator’s benchmark performance will be presented through a 30-minute video conference

Ranking Process

How does the Ranking Process look like?

Validity & Reliability

How can UBI Global make sure that the data is valid and reliable?

Self-reported-data

Some steps taken to adjust any emerging bias from self reported data

  • Cheaters rejected
  • Outliers adjusted and cap set
  • Supporting documents sought

Non-similar-ecosystems

ome steps taken to adjust any skewed results due to non-similar ecosystems of participants

  • Secondary sources of data used to adjust ecosystem bias (e.g. Startup ecosystem report, GEDI Index)
  • Incubator classified into 5 ecosystem types, i.e. from developed to under-developed, then used to remove bias (Source: GEDI Index)

Many-variables

Some steps taken to ensure accurate comparisons

  • Universal variables considered
  • Variables grouped and statistically normalized
  • Measures taken to standardize variables

Weighting-and-KPIs

Some steps taken to ensure right Weighting and the right Key Performing Indicators

  • Industry experts and incubator managers consulted to identify relevant KPIs
  • Research advisory board and external experts engaged to monitor the weighting process

Comparison

How does UBI Global compare so many different types of incubators?

adjustments

By making adjustments

For enabling comparison and to remove bias – qualitative and mathematical adjustments are made on incubator type, age, size, sector belonging and on university affiliation to make them comparable on a global ranking.

Depending on university affiliation an incubator will be ranked in 2 different rankings:

University Business Incubator Ranking

Includes Business Incubators that fall into:

  • University managed – Majorly operated by the university
  • University affiliated – Not managed by the university but has a formal affiliation with the university
University Associated Business Incubator Ranking

Includes Business Incubators that fall into:

  • University non affiliation – Works closely with the university but has no formal affiliation with any university

In 2015 a third category has been added:

University Accelerator Ranking

Includes Business Accelerators that fall into:

  • University managed – Majorly operated by the university
  • University affiliated – Not managed by the university but has a formal affiliation with the university

Have any questions ?

Our research team will be glad to discuss with you

dhruv
Dhruv Bhatli
Director of Research at UBI Global

No matter if there’s a big or a small question – our team is here to assist! The UBI Global research team consists of business incubation experts with several years of experience within the industry.