The World Benchmark Study of Business Incubators & Accelerators 2019 - 2020
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The exciting reasons UBI Global is going On Tour


This November, UBI Global is going On Tour, thanks to collaboration with the Silicon Valley Forum. In addition to our signature event, the World Incubation Summit, we are holding an exclusive, members-only road show. Why are we going on tour? You might be surprised to learn the reasons…

1. Our members

Obviously, our number one reason for holding UBI On Tour is you, a valued member of UBI Global, and how important it is to give you access to special networking events. To maximize the opportunity, UBI On Tour is being kept exclusive, with a limited sign-up of only 2 people from each incubation program. Why? The total number of attendees is limited to only 25 people to give those that join us greatest benefit. That’s right – only 25 people will have access to some of the most important corporate innovators in Silicon Valley during UBI On Tour.

Some may think that we are being too exclusive, but we believe that part of the value of UBI On Tour is that it is intimate. You have sat in an auditorium for slideshow presentations, listening to an impressive speaker, but knowing that you could only hope to connect with them in person. Why would that excite you? UBI On Tour is a different kind of event, where attendees are more than just audience members. Participating in UBI On Tour guarantees intensive and effective networking opportunities for ambitious incubation programs and potential corporate partners eager to connect.

2. The location

Silicon Valley may be quite far from us here in Stockholm, Sweden, but only in miles. Our mutual way of thinking is as close as you can possibly get. Silicon Valley is the world’s hub of technology innovation. Home to 39 of the Fortune 1000 businesses, Silicon Valley is also rich in startup companies.  Accounting for one-third of all US venture capital, Silicon Valley is the perfect location for UBI On Tour.

Located in the beautiful southern San Francisco Bay area of Northern California, the valley originally got its name from the large number of innovators that settled there to make silicon chips for the high-tech industries in the region. The term Silicon Valley is now synonymous with the American high-tech economic sector. Because of this long-standing reputation, Silicon Valley has a robust startup community, including a wealth of eager investors.

3. Our Hosts

Silicon Valley Forum is UBI Global’s partner and host for the On Tour event. SVF has a long history of facilitating resources, connections and information to entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. A perfect UBI On Tour partner, Silicon Valley Forum has a proven track record of hosting impactful events for startups, incubation programs and their corporate partners. UBI Global is eager for our members to experience the excitement of the SVF hub of innovation.

SVF has a solid history of holding pitch events with incubation programs around the world in order to put them in front of the most important Silicon Valley investors. Their success stories include Taiwan Stadium, Startup Brazil, NEDO Japan and the Canadian Technology Accelerator, just to name a few. For more facts about our hosts, see their website here. For an inspiring story of NEDO Japan, as hosted by SVF:

Registration ends September 1    

Sign up today to reserve your place at UBI On Tour. This will be our most exclusive networking event for incubators and corporates this year. We will send you event updates and exciting details as speakers and topics are announced. Registration is limited to 2 participants per incubation program and a maximum of 25 attendees total.

As it is a first come, first served event, register today to avoid disappointment. Just a $200 deposit secures your place at UBI On Tour this November! You cannot afford to miss such an exciting opportunity to be up close and personal with a room of high-profile corporate innovators and game changers. For more information, please contact Telma at

                                                                                                    * Preliminary partners



Incubators and corporates collaborate for many reasons, not the least of which are funding, expertise, networking and innovation. During this collaboration, many partnerships face challenges that can make or break the relationship. There may be a culture clash, struggle for control or even a search for independence that can distract from the main goal. Fortunately, UBI Global has studied incubation programs around the world and can pass on to you the best practices for successful incubator/corporate partnerships.

What is the function of an incubator?

An incubation program builds a bridge from startup to corporate that maintains the independence and freedom of the startup while offering their corporate partners innovation they could not otherwise afford on their own. Incubator programs are often directly or indirectly linked to universities, which increases their capacity to deliver services, talent, and resources for both startups and corporates. University-linked incubation programs have stellar reputations and are able to offer long term, intensive support for startups and corporate partners.

What are the best practices?

Obviously, this is not a quick, easy answer but we can outline the major conflicts that occur between startups and corporates during the incubation process. They are:

  • Speed of decision-making process
  • Evolving strategy on both sides
  • Misaligned expectations
  • Set goals

To manage these conflicts, it is a best practice for the corporation to set explicit and transparent long-term goals. The corporate should have an overriding consensus within their own company structure on the desired level of collaboration and incubation process and the objectives that must be achieved during incubation. Preferably set before the incubation process begins, this gives a clear set of corporate goals to both the startup and the incubation program. With this set of goals in mind, the three conflicts listed above can be avoided.

Grow the ecosystem

A central objective of many incubation programs is the creation and maintenance of a local innovation ecosystem. The value of the ecosystem is ultimately regarded as an indicator of the incubation program’s success. By merging talent, investment, support, and guidance from corporates with young startups, the incubation program can further nurture the ecosystem to flourish and grow. In turn, the successful ecosystem attracts more corporates and more startups with successful paths to market.

Nurture the partnership

Business incubators and accelerators are facilitators of the fruitful collaboration between startups and corporations. The incubation programs that UBI Global works with are responsible for thousands of startups in over 70 countries around the world. Thanks to today’s technology, partnerships between startups, incubation programs and corporates can happen across the globe just as well as across the street. Incubation programs make sure a mutually beneficial relationship is established between startup and corporate.


Through their own benchmarking system, the incubation program monitors key points in the progress of the relationship. What is important for both startups and corporates to remember is to look for incubation programs that offer value and engagement. An incubation program that only offers workspace without mentorship, guidance and resources is not a good value and will not contribute much to the success of the partnership.

Corporates searching for an innovative startup partner need to work with UBI Global. We have done the work of gathering data, compiling benchmark studies and detailing the best practices of the top incubation programs in the world. By matching incubation programs with corporations hungry for innovation, UBI Global has been the catalyst of positive affiliations in almost every country. If your corporation is ready to lend their visibility and expertise in exchange for new, disruptive technology, UBI Global can guide you into the best incubation program and startup for your partnership in the innovation ecosystem.

For more information, you may contact Nick Stafunski at



Selecting high-potential startup companies to work with can be a matter of attracting the right types of businesses for your ecosystem. From there, evaluating the potential success of the startup may be both difficult and demanding. All too often, we have seen startup companies that look attractive on paper and count big investors among their supporters, only to eventually fail. Fortunately, UBI Global has interviewed the top university-linked incubation programs in the world and can provide you with solid information on how to attract, evaluate and select startup companies and entrepreneurs to your program.

High-potential startups

When you think of a “high-potential” startup, do you think of unicorn businesses like Uber, Twitter and AirBnB? Perhaps you think of a hard-working entrepreneur who has built a small organization on her own and established steady growth. Defining what it means to be a “high-potential” startup may not be easy from the outside looking in. While numbers such as margin, acquisition cost, churn, or profit may give an indication of the health of the startup, it is really a one-dimensional way of looking at the potential. Consider the following points in addition to the numbers:


Profit and revenue are the result of a positive impact that the startup has had on their industry. Measuring success of a startup by the impact they have had and the difference they have made in an emerging market or established industry can form a picture of success.


A startup company with satisfied customers means that they will keep attracting new business through great word of mouth. Satisfying their customers by building a solid product with high potential in the market and responding to feedback shows the attention to detail that startups need to build successful companies.


Startups with freedom in choosing where they are located, how they spend their time and how they create their product or service tend to be more successful over time. Freedom is an important trait to remember when choosing a successful startup partner and moving forward with incubation.


When putting together our Case Studies 2018 report, UBI Global was keen to ask our top incubation programs how they attract, evaluate and select high-potential client startups. Guinness Enterprise Centre in Dublin, Ireland, is a top incubator with a dynamic environment and impressive scores in Program Attractiveness.

“In short, our culture attracts start-ups; the biggest promoters of our work are our current clients and alumni as well as the quality programs we run here.” – Eamonn Sayers, Manager, Guinness Enterprise Centre

According to Eamonn, part of the attraction of working with GEC is the reputation of their programs, given credibility through word of mouth. He further goes on to say that their social media is an important part of keeping GEC’s message in front of the proper audience and increasing their world of mouth. Incubation programs, therefore, should harness the power of their university partners, their alumni and graduates to spread the world on the quality and success of the program. Word of mouth driven by successful graduates is one of the most powerful testimonials an incubator program can have.


Financial numbers, impact, satisfaction and freedom aside, the evaluation of a startup should keep the long-term success in mind. The business model that a startup follows can be the factor in determining whether they will sink or swim through the incubation process.

Begin by gathering information on the overall strategy of the startup company and how they have defined their market. Then discover what the startup contributes to the market in terms of product or service and how they will break into the market they have defined. From there, determine how the startup attracts and satisfies their customers. Keep in mind that, as a startup, most of this will be experimental and will evolve and grow with the startup.

To simplify the evaluation process, sort their business plan into four areas:

  1. Margin (cost vs. selling price)
  2. Customer attraction, support and retention
  3. Market attraction
  4. Overhead (development and scale-up costs)

The health of these four areas in the startup can determine if it will scale up and graduate within a reasonable amount of time or at all, in some cases.


When you reach the point of selection of a high-potential startup, you should expect that the startup would be evaluating you at this stage. If they are not, this may be a red flag. At the very least, your potential startup partner should expect the following five things from you at the selection stage:

  1. In-person interview
  2. Discuss the network and the success of past support
  3. Discuss how they will be measured and evaluated
  4. Stress the hard skills provided by your program, such as legal support, financial modeling, investment management, due diligence, public relations, etc.
  5. Disclose ROI requirements and goals

“For us, it’s all about building relationships, treating people with respect and developing a genuine personal interest in the startups.” – Eamonn Sayers, Manager, Guinness Enterprise Centre

After the due diligence is finished and you have made your selection, keep Eamonn’s words in mind and build a strong, lasting relationship. The success of the startup and the experience they have during incubation will reflect on your program in the long term. This credibility and successful track record will pay your program back by attracting more high-potential startups.

At UBI Global, we devote ourselves to creating successful member relationships. If your incubation program wants more startup applicants, you can count on UBI Global to guide you in how to attract, evaluate and select high-potential, successful partners. Become a Pro Member and enjoy a worldwide network of peers, corporations and startups and gain access to even more valuable knowledge and advice. To become a Pro Member of UBI Global, see our membership page here. To purchase a copy of our World Benchmark Report or Case Studies for 2017/2018, click here.