Running a business incubator or accelerator is not easy, and those in charge of organizing program activities work tirelessly to help entire cohorts of startups set up their companies, establish their brand identities, and then launch themselves with a solid business plan and processes. Startups in turn, depend on business incubators and accelerators for funding, mentoring, working space, and a positive outlook toward a bright, successful future. Startups also rely on programs to connect them with investors, media, and even additional talent. In short, these programs are vital to the innovation ecosystem. In fact, study after study shows that well-run incubators and accelerators make a long-lasting impact on the success and lifetime of their startup clients.
There is no perfect formula for running an incubation program, but flexibility is one key to success, as is providing and proving value to multiple players in the innovation ecosystem.
Our latest edition in our Insight Series is aimed at helping these impact-makers. Filled with “tips you can’t afford to skip”, the whitepaper identifies success recipes from top programs as identified by The World Benchmark Study 2017 – 2018.
Each incubator or accelerator has its own unique curriculum and mission statement. They differ greatly in personality, location, mission, and staff. However, what they all have in common is that each program must demonstrate effectiveness for their startup clients, their local ecosystem, and their own organization. These effects can be measured with the help of different quantitative key performance indicators – like the number of jobs their client and alumni startups have created – to the overall level of investment achieved. There are additional qualitative, experiential assessments as well. Whether a program has contributed to, for example, economic revitalization and a renewed interest in entrepreneurship, is another measurement of impact. One factor is certain, based on UBI Global’s own research – startups that participated in an incubation or acceleration program are much more likely to succeed.
59% of startups in benchmarked business incubation and acceleration programs survived for an average of 5 years, which is 15% longer than those that are not part of a program. Source: The World Benchmark Study 2017-2018 by UBI Global
UBI Global conducted extensive interviews with the CEOs, managers, and directors of 24 incubators and accelerators identified as the top programs globally in the World Benchmark Study 2017-2018. We published the results in “The Best Practices at University-linked Business Incubators and Accelerators” reports, presented in two volumes. Hailing from around the world, these case studies demonstrate the winning approaches in terms of set up, operations, business models, target audiences, and more.
In this edition of our Insight Series, we present the 15 tips we extracted from these pages of insights, to guide business incubators and accelerators to get – and stay – on the path of success. Bringing new elements into your organization can be challenging, so we have broken down what works into 15 approachable tips. We hope that applying them will help incubators and accelerators create value for their program and their local ecosystem. After all, an entrepreneur’s experience with his or her program leads to a lifetime of business ownership and a cycle of job creation. Providing the right foundation is crucial for the entire community!
Insights we share with the innovation ecosystem about recipes for success, as learned from top incubators and accelerators are thanks to The World Benchmark Study. UBI Global is currently conducting the 5th iteration of this gold standard research initiative that measures the impact and performance of incubators and accelerators around the world. There’s still time to participate as a member of UBI Global’s interactive learning community.
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – UBI Global opens the 5th iteration of its gold standard, international study of performance and impact by business incubators and accelerators. The World Benchmark Study 2019 – 2020 is sponsored this round by Qatar Development Bank (QDB), an innovation-focused economic development institution.
Since 2013, the UBI Global World Benchmark has evaluated more than 600 business incubators and accelerators, uncovering best practices and helping programs improve and become more competitive. UBI Global has built an extensive community across more than 90 countries and releases unique world rankings of top-performing incubation and acceleration programs.
“We work tirelessly towards supporting innovation worldwide. We found the same passion in Qatar Development Bank and are proud to partner with them towards that goal”, says Ali Amin, CEO, and co-founder of UBI Global.
UBI Global is a thought leader in the innovation space touting its insights and relationship-based approach to “Activate Your Innovation”. Previously, UBI Global partnered with Cisco (The World Benchmark Study 2017 – 2018). Results and rankings are traditionally presented at an international conference called the World Incubation Summit. In 2019, the conference will be held in Doha, Qatar as part of the sponsorship by QDB.
“At UBI Global, we map, assess, and promote incubators and accelerators worldwide. Our World Benchmark Study is an integral part of our efforts to connect these organizations with peer programs, startups, corporations, and innovation agencies. With the WBS, we provide all stakeholders in the global innovation ecosystem actionable insights into the state, best practices, challenges, and opportunities of the global incubation and acceleration industry,” says Holger Meyer, Head of Research at UBI Global.
About UBI Global
UBI Global is an innovation intelligence company and community, founded in 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden to identify where innovation hubs were located worldwide and to learn and share what makes them successful. It conducts the World Benchmark Study biennially for business incubators and accelerators and helps programs with assessment, best practices, and recognition. UBI Global engages its interactive learning community with international events, competitions, and awards, as well as a suite of education materials, original research, and management tools. Members worldwide collaborate and exchange information through the UBI Connect engagement platform. To further its impact, UBI Global links corporations and governments to innovation hubs and their startups to uncover business opportunities for economic development. The vetted network consists of over 1200 incubation and acceleration programs, that are linked to universities or are privately-, publicly-, or corporate run. These members represent 20,000+ startups and are located in 90 countries and counting.
Previous results from UBI Global’s studies have been featured on BBC Radio, The Chicago Tribune, Le Figaro, Der Standard, The Huffington Post, The Irish Times, France 3, and other media.
For more information, please contact:
Samara H. Johansson, Head of Communications
Kungsgatan 60, 111 22 Stockholm, Sweden
E: [email protected], W: https://ubi-global.com
There is a humorous quote by Warren Buffet, “Only when the tide goes out, do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” This quote probably gives you a hilarious mental image, but “The Oracle of Omaha” was talking about the importance of measuring yourself and your company. With his colorful expression, he was referring to the importance of benchmarking.
Benchmarking involves taking a deep dive into an organization’s processes to analyze data and communicate performance and impact– as compared to peers. It is a daunting undertaking to design a meaningful methodology and provide an impartial, accurate picture of an organization relative to a larger group.
Most companies do not even attempt such an undertaking, but UBI Global has been daring to do this for many years in the form of The World Benchmark Study. And doing it well. The study has been recognized as the gold standard of assessing performance and impact in the global innovation landscape.
The World Benchmark Study is UBI Global’s signature research initiative to map the innovation ecosystem through analysis of impact and performance of business incubators and accelerators. The study is in its 5th iteration and is being sponsored by Qatar Development Bank, a global leader in economic development.
The study provides data and practical tools that incubators and accelerators can use to fine-tune their efforts, understand the recipes for success, and set goals- all to better support and drive innovation. The study attracts more than 600 programs from over 90 countries to benchmark themselves against their peers. Through participation, programs enter the UBI Global world rankings and recognition of top-performing incubation and acceleration programs. The study is administered online in the form of a benchmark survey.
For the first time, we are expanding the invitation list to include university-linked incubators and accelerators and those programs that are publicly-, privately-, and corporate- run. (We will not compare these groups against one another but maintain our peer-model of performance ranking.) Nine innovation experts from around the world comprise the Research Advisory Board. We work with them to ensures the soundness of our research methodology. They also help with data processes and data verification. The study measures the impact and performance of business incubators and accelerators in three main categories, seven sub-categories, and twenty-one KPIs.
The World Benchmark Study 2019-2020 is open for participation by business incubators and accelerators that are members in our interactive learning community. The study attracts over 600 programs of all sizes, located in more than 90 countries. Programs that are linked to universities, as well as those that are publicly-, privately-, and corporate- run are invited to take part. Not yet a member of our network of impact-makers? There is still time to apply for membership so as to qualify to participate in the World Benchmark Study 2019 – 2020 upon acceptance.
Business incubators and accelerators, like any organization, need to stay relevant and dynamic. It is essential to assess your program and understand its place in the local and global innovation ecosystem. While your program may be generating performance data, UBI Global is the expert on turning it into meaningful, intelligent analysis. Programs who participate in the study gain knowledge of their peers that would be almost impossible to get on their own. With the information gained, programs can adopt a culture of continuous improvement including pace setting, community building, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and assessing profitability
We can list at least ten compelling reasons why incubators and accelerators should benchmark their program here.
“Business incubators and accelerators who have participated in the World Benchmark Study tell us that its value is felt in three key areas:
- understanding one’s place in the global innovation landscape
- gaining information to help with setting goals and making improvements
- obtaining credibility and recognition to help with funding and partnerships.
Year after year, we receive positive feedback from participants who say that the process of taking the survey and the richness of the results prove invaluable in their growth and ability to make an impact.” – Dr. Holger Meyer, Head of Research, UBI Global
The study is taken online, and it is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, or Mandarin. If your incubator or accelerator is not yet a member of our interactive learning community, there is still time to apply for membership and get involved in the study upon acceptance. Apply for membership here. Members automatically qualify to participate and will be sent the benchmarking survey starting March 5th. We provide a guide to help participants go through the steps.
On 5 March, we will send the survey out to all qualified members with a return-by date of 19 March. Individual results and scorecard infographics will be delivered to each participant in September.
During the World Incubation Summit 2019, taking place at the end of October in Doha, Qatar, the world rankings will be released. The top business incubation and acceleration programs will be recognized during the event. In mid-December, we will release the full report to the world.
P.S. The next study takes place in 2021- so don’t delay your quest for knowledge by another two years!