Benchmark Study 2019 – 2020

OUT NOW! World Benchmark Report 2019-2020


Tremendous demand for change is driving advancements in technology all over the world. These changes are making an impact on all aspects of business operations and regulations. Additionally, social changes have placed a new focus on individuality and empowerment. In combination, these drivers have created a motivation for great numbers of people to become entrepreneurs.

As entrepreneurs and startups seek to create new jobs and bring growth to their respective ecosystems, private entities, governments, and corporations have begun to support disruption to their own status quo by seeking innovation from within and from the wider world. Business incubators and accelerators have never been so important in the global scheme of innovation.

To create a holistic picture of the growing innovation landscape, and assess individual incubators and accelerators’ impact and performance, UBI Global invited university, public, private, and corporate programs to participate in the World Benchmark Study 2019 – 2020. As recognized during the World Incubation Summit 2019, programs are benchmarked within their own peer groups based on three categories, seven subcategories, and twenty-one KPIs to reach an overall impact and performance score.

We invite you to explore the rapid progress, innovation trends, and impressive impact incubators, accelerators, and their client startups generate around the world. Learn how the 364 assessed programs create value for their respective innovation ecosystems, their client and alumni startups, and for themselves!


Programs in this group primarily focus on supporting early-stage client startups in becoming viable and scalable businesses. Generally characterized by quality-controlled intakes of client startups and regular time-bound exits, they provide an array of support services and infrastructure through a systematic process. Such programs usually support client startups for one to five years.

Programs in this group share a set of characteristics that distinguish them from business incubators and other forms of capacity development services. They are generally fixed-term cohort-based programs, normally (but not always) focusing on catalyzing later-stage client startup growth. They provide intensive mentorship, training, networking, and access to investment. Intake of new client startups is often highly competitive, with regular time-bound exits, generally no later than six months after joining the program.

Of the 364 benchmarked incubators and accelerators, 116 programs provide both incubation and acceleration services. For the purpose of this study, these hybrid programs are categorized as either business incubators or business accelerators depending on their primary target audience and service portfolio focus.

  • University

    Incubators and accelerators that derive their business objectives primarily from one or more universities, by which they are often operated and primarily financed.
  • Public

    Incubators and accelerators that derive their business objectives primarily from one or more public entities by which they are often operated and primarily financed.
  • Private

    Incubators and accelerators that develop their business objectives largely independently, often operate autonomously, and primarily finance their own operations.
  • Corporate

    Incubators and accelerators that derive their business objectives primarily from one or more for-profit corporations, by which they are often operated and primarily financed.

Benchmark Landscape


Programs Assessed


Programs Applied


Programs Bechmarked

> 150,000

Jobs created & sustained

> 25,000

Graduates 2014-2018

> 13,000

New client startups 2018

> $6.7B

Sales revenue

> $12.5B

Investment attracted

North America
Latin America
Middle East & North Africa









Top 5 countries represented

United States

Business Model

  • University Business Incubator
  • Public Business Incubator
  • University Business Accelerator
  • Public Business Accelerator
  • Private Corporate Business Incubator
  • Private Corporate Business Accelerator
  • Govemment (competitive)
  • Space rental
  • Govemment (noncompetitive)
  • University (noncompetitive)
  • Service fees
  • Corporate Sponsors
  • Donations
  • Events
  • Foundations
  • Other
  • University (competitive)
  • Membership fees
  • ROI
  • Industry Associations

> $300K

Average budget per program

> $1.7B

Combined budget

> $210M

Total self-generated revenue

Budget allocation

Sector groups

  • Staff Salaries, HR
  • Building Maintenance
  • Consultants Contractors
  • Events
  • Investment Fund
  • Marketing Communication
  • Other
  • Furniture Equipment
  • Utilities
  • Staff Training
  • IT
  • Legal Accounting
  • Communication & Transportation
  • Creative & Cultural
  • Green & Energy
  • Health & Fitness
  • Retail & E-Commerce
  • Materials & Manufacturing
  • Education & Governance
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Other


364 Participating Programs from 82 Countries Including:

NEW! World Benchmark Report 2019 - 2020

The highly-anticipated report featuring information from the world's most in-depth study of the global innovation community!​

The UBI World Benchmark Report of University, Public, Private, and Corporate Business Incubators and Accelerators provides an overview of the most intriguing results of the UBI World Benchmark Study 2019 – 2020. It visualizes the state of the international innovation ecosystem, illustrates key challenges and opportunities faced by the participating programs, and highlights differences in impact and performance between programs both at the top of the scale and on average.

Available Now!

About UBI Global

We map, highlight, and connect the world of business incubation

UBI Global is a Stockholm-based data and advisory firm specializing in mapping and highlighting the world of business incubation and acceleration. Through a community of more than 1200 member organizations globally, we provide matchmaking, ranking, benchmarking, and research services to corporations, business incubators and accelerators, and other innovation ecosystem stakeholders. UBI Global measures the impact and performance of business incubation and acceleration programs with a proprietary evaluation model.  As part of its biennial world benchmark study, the company releases the world rankings of business incubators and accelerators, in which more than 900 organizations from over 90 countries have participated to date.

The research 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 in other media.

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