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REVEALED! The World’s Top University-linked Business Incubators & Accelerators 17/18

UBI Global Presents the World Top University-linked Business Incubator and Accelerator Rankings in Toronto, Canada.

TORONTO, CANADA, February 22, 2018 – UBI Global, the Stockholm-based research and advisory firm known for its regional and global studies that map and evaluate the world of business incubation, will release its biyearly rankings at the World Incubation Summit 2018 in Toronto, Canada on February 22. This year’s event is co-hosted by the DMZ at Ryerson University, one of Canada’s leading incubation programs.

“The well-recognized ‘World Incubation Summit’ by UBI Global brings together the best of the best to share ways to better support leading tech companies go global. We are excited to host this year’s events and help further catalyze the innovation that will drive our sector’s knowledge economy,”

says Abdullah Snobar, Executive Director of the DMZ at Ryerson University.

According to UBI Global, a top university-linked incubation program is a business incubator or accelerator connected to an institution of higher education that achieves outstanding impact and performance relative to its global peers. The program outperforms its global peers with regard to the value it provides to its innovation ecosystem and its client startups, as well as the attractiveness of the program itself.

“Following a rigorous data-driven approach, we assessed and benchmarked incubation programs across the world,” says Holger Meyer, Director of Research at UBI Global.

”Our biyearly world benchmark study visualizes the state of the international incubation ecosystem and illustrates key challenges and opportunities faced by the participating programs.”

The UBI Global World Benchmark Study 2017/2018 reveals that the participating incubation programs accepted over 10,000 new client startups in the year of 2016. Their current client and recent alumni startups have over 72,000 employees on the payroll today. Furthermore, over the past five years, these same ventures generated over $3.2billion in sales revenue and raised a combined total of over $4.7billion in funding.

UBI Global CEO and Co-founder, Ali Amin adds, 

“Our goal is to visualize the many great accomplishments achieved by the business incubation community. By highlighting the impact and performance of these programs, we are not only helping incubators and accelerators to become more efficient, but we are also assisting government officials in developing their respective innovation ecosystems. The benchmark and rankings also enable corporations to make informed partnership and investment decisions about the incubation programs and the startups they intend to engage with.”

This year the final participants were selected after assessing a total of 1370 programs, 259 of these programs, located in 53 countries, were retained for the benchmark. One of the outcomes of benchmark study is identifying top incubation programs, which four ranking categories are generated from, these include:

  1. World Top Business Incubator – Managed by University
  2. World Top Business Incubator – Affiliated with University
  3. World Top Business Incubator – Collaborating with University
  4. World Top Business Accelerator – Linked to University

CEO of Chicago based technology and entrepreneurship center 1871, Howard Tullman expressed his expert view on the rankings

“UBI Global is the gold standard, and the only credible and authentic global ranking resource for incubators at a time where there are so many variations, alternatives, choices, and spaces aspiring to attract entrepreneurs. Being acknowledged and ranked by UBI Global as part of a larger substantive benchmarking process has been a critical advantage and differentiation for 1871. This has helped set us thoughtfully apart from the many others out there to do the job properly, and provide the support and services which entrepreneurs and innovators everywhere deserve.”

The award ceremony was held in the heart of Toronto in the beautiful Berkeley Church Event Venue, where each top-performing incubation program was recognized for its outstanding performance in nurturing entrepreneurship and innovation. Chief Digital Officer Ontario, Hillary Hartley, and Canadian Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, Reza Moridi, were among other distinguished guests present at the gala dinner. In attendance were business incubation professionals from 5 continents and over 30 countries. Looking at the top five in each category the impact of business incubation is clearly visible in the international representation of award-winning programs.


The Top Five Incubation Programs in each category:

World Top Business Incubator – Managed by University – business incubators in this subgroup are directly operated by one or more universities.

#1 – The SETsquared Partnership, United Kingdom – jointly shared with –
The DMZ at Ryerson University, Canada
#3 – PoliHub – Startup District & Incubator, Italy
#4 – University of Toronto Entrepreneurship, Canada
#5 – Incubadora de Alto Impacto del Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus León (TEC LEAN), Mexico


World Top Business Incubator – Affiliated with University – business incubators in this subgroup are not directly operated by but formally affiliated with one or more partner universities based on a contractual agreement.

#1 – 1871 – Chicago’s Technology & Entrepreneurship Center, United States
#2 – YES!Delft, Netherlands
#3 – İTÜ Çekirdek, Turkey
#4 – Uppsala Innovation Centre, Sweden
#5 – IPN Incubadora, Portugal


World Top Business Incubator – Collaborating with University business incubators in this subgroup have no formal affiliation, but closely collaborate with one or more partner universities, generally based on a memorandum of understanding.

#1 – Guinness Enterprise Centre, Ireland
#2 – Montpellier BIC, France
#3 – Shell Iniciativa Jovem, Brazil
#4 – Peninsula, Spain – jointly shared with – MIDI Tecnológico, Brazil


World Top Business Accelerator – Linked to University – business accelerators that are managed by, affiliated with, or collaborate with one or more universities are ranked together on the group level.

#1 – York Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Canada
#2 – Entrepreneuriat Laval inc., Canada
#3 – TEC Edmonton, Canada
#4 – The Accelerator Centre, Canada – jointly shared with – imec, Belgium


For full rankings please visit:


About UBI Global

UBI Global is a Swedish-based data and advisory firm specializing in mapping, highlighting, and connecting the world of business incubation. Through a network of more than 500 member organizations from over 90 countries globally, UBI Global provides matchmaking, ranking, benchmarking, and research services to corporations and business incubation programs.

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:
Andrew Murray, Communications Coordinator
[email protected]

UBI Global
Jakobsbergsgatan 22, 111 44 Stockholm, Sweden
E: [email protected], W:

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