The World Benchmark Study Begins Spring 2022

What you need to know about the next World Benchmark Study

Since 2013, UBI Global has conducted the World Benchmark Study, an analysis of the impact and performance of hundreds of business incubators and accelerators from around the world. Our members consist of over 1,200 business incubators, business accelerators, and corporate open innovation teams, who have come to look forward to the study for validation of their program’s impact on the local, regional, and global innovation ecosystem. The study, in other words, is of primary importance to UBI Global and to our members.

A post-COVID world

The sixth iteration of the study would have included data from 2020, one of the most disruptive years the world has ever experienced. Not only was the entire world brought to its knees by a pandemic, but there were also widespread global demonstrations demanding action on issues related to diversity and inclusion. If that wasn’t enough, the world also woke up to climate change and the serious consequences of the environmental issues affecting our planet.

All in all, you could say that 2020 was incomparable to any other. And that’s precisely the reason that the UBI Global team has decided to pause the World Benchmark Study until the spring of 2022.

Take a look back to innovation in 2020 with our Year In Review article here!

We have immense pride for all the success that UBI Global member programs have had despite an unprecedented year of challenge. But why does this mean that we’re pausing the World Benchmark Study? Here is just one example of how business as usual was disrupted for our member programs in 2020.

Virtually Overnight

In the current iteration of the World Benchmark Report 2019-2020, the data collected showed that the vast majority of client startups enrolled in business incubators or accelerators received most services on-site rather than via virtual events. In fact, 32% of the programs delivered all core services to client startups at a physical location and only 4% delivered such services in only a virtual environment.

Enter COVID-19, which meant that many of our member programs have had to adjust to delivering services on a virtual basis through webinars and team-building platforms and move pitch events to online demo days. The programs have also had to shift to conduct internal business virtually as most other industries did during widespread closures. Along with personnel moves, budget shakeups, and seismic shifts in sponsors and startups, members of our community have been disrupted in an unprecedented way.

To benchmark or not to benchmark

Ultimately, we cannot ignore all the challenges our members have triumphed over during the past year. It would be disrespectful to the hard work and accomplishments of our community and we would miss out on success stories and best practices that could inspire peer programs around the world. It would also be difficult to conduct a meaningful benchmark study within a framework that does not account for the dramatic changes in the way incubators and accelerators conduct their programs.

But we have exciting news! UBI Global has decided to study and recognize the accomplishments of our community in a different way that accounts for the challenges of 2020. In doing so, we will be able to adjust the study’s framework accordingly and gather new information for a bigger, better World Benchmark Study 2021-2022.

Announcing: the Triumph of Innovation 2021 study

Conducted as a precursor to the World Benchmark Study, the Triumph of Innovation 2021 study will be a future-forward examination of the new best practices and key concepts that carried the top-performing programs through a turbulent year. While the disruption is far from over and the enormous challenges keep coming, our industry has also witnessed incredible investment, amazing innovation, and determination to succeed.

The world has changed dramatically over the past year, and so have the business incubators, accelerators, and corporate innovation teams that normally participate in the World Benchmark Study 2022-2023. As the world made new demands on businesses of every shape and size, new startups sprung up to meet new challenges. In response, our community created new initiatives, designed new platforms, and innovated within their own programs to triumph for their ecosystem, no matter what the challenge.

Read more about the exciting new Triumph of Innovation 2021 study here!

This new study by UBI Global opens in August 2021

Join UBI Global as we examine the transformative year in innovation with the Triumph of Innovation impact study. This new study will identify success within the global innovation ecosystem despite the immense challenges brought on by the pandemic in 2020. By celebrating the transformations made in the global innovation ecosystem, the results of the study will highlight the triumph of innovation. What’s different about this study? Should your program participate?

When is the next World Benchmark Study? Click here for more information.

Innovation Always Wins!

While we are still preparing the details, we share that the Triumph of Innovation study is set to include:

Ready, Set, Study!

The Triumph of Innovation study will provide a high-tech, collaborative learning experience to all the participants, no matter where they are in the world. As a precursor to the next World Benchmark Study, this impact study is not-to-be-missed, so set your calendars :

April 2021 – Full study brief and updated website

August 2021 – Study opens

October 2021 – Study closes

December 2021 – Results and Report released at the World Expo in Dubai, UAE


Sign-up information will be coming soon, so stay tuned in UBI Connect, on our social media channels, and in this blog space!