What is benchmarking?
Benchmarking is a comprehensive process that is used by the top performing business incubators and accelerators in the world. The data that UBI Global collects is invaluable to both new programs just getting started and to well-established, institutional programs that want to remain abreast of the latest paths to success. Benchmarking means comparing one’s processes and performance metrics to those of peers– and also to the best performers among them. Benchmarking, in the simplest definition, is a comparison and a way to improve performance.
For The World Benchmark study 2017-2018, there were 259 business incubators and accelerators from around the world who participated. The programs were assessed on 21 key performance indicators and benchmarked in three categories: Value for Ecosystem, Value for Client Startups, and Value for Program.
- Value for Ecosystem: This category assesses the performance of the incubators and accelerators and their client and alumni startups in retaining human capital and startups in the innovation ecosystem.
- Value for Client Startups: In this category, the number of services and the efficiency of those serviced provided by the programs were assessed along with the success rate in network building and community impact.
- Value for Program: This category is a measurement of the success of the program in attracting third-party support and deal flow as well as their ability to create successful companies.
Why benchmark your incubator or accelerator?
The World Benchmark Study 2019-2020 relies on you, our member incubators and accelerators, in order to be successful. By submitting your detailed information, you claim your spot in the greater innovation landscape and also give voice to your experiences wherever you may be based. (Data collection begins March 5th, but you can read about all important dates here.) Not yet a member of UBI Global’s interactive learning community? As a business incubator or accelerator, there is still time to apply- or even renew your membership!
Below are 10 benefits to benchmarking in The World Benchmark Study 2019-2020:
- Gain Knowledge of Peers –
Having knowledge of peer business incubators and accelerators will help you learn how to adapt and change, something essential to success in the innovation community. The study allows you to dive into the top performing programs and analyze key behaviors so you can emulate them yourself.
- Set the Right Correct Pace –
Growth issues are best addressed in the early stages. The World Benchmark Study 2019-2020 provides insights that demonstrate how to develop the right products or services at the right time. You will also learn how others are leveraging their programs and their support network to become integral parts of their local innovation community.
- Adopt a Culture of Continuous Improvement –
The World Benchmark Study will guide your business incubator or accelerator in creating an action plan with specific goals on how to improve all areas of your program. By following your action plan, your program’s productivity rate can improve as much as 40%. Setting expectations based on the benchmark, of your own program as well as others like you, creates an incentive to drive productivity and improvement to exceed the averages.
- Strengthen the Community –
Regardless of the size or maturity of the business incubator or accelerator, the same benchmark standards apply to all who participate in the studies. This allows each program to take an objective view of their internal processes. A strong bond is indeed created knowing that individual business incubation and acceleration endeavors are part of a greater community. We are all in this together!
- Holistic and Accurate Information –
The World Benchmark Study 2019-2020 is both quantitative and qualitative, which ensures accuracy in gaining knowledge of the entire picture of your program. You’ll be able to share and later read not just statistics and metrics but stories and explanations.
- Identify Strengths and Weaknesses –
Gain insight into your incubator’s or accelerator’s strengths and weaknesses, sometimes even before they happen. Without measuring against a benchmark, your program could be making decisions without knowledge and information.
- High Quality, Experience Assessment –
This is our fifth edition of The World Benchmark Study, which is known worldwide for insightful, valuable information for programs, corporations and startups alike. Like any activity that is worth doing, benchmarking takes time and effort, but our members realize the high-value data contained in the finished product helps their program but also the entire innovation community around the world. The World Benchmark Study will become a touchstone for an entire year of action planning, goal setting and success.
- Dig Deep into Profitability –
Rather than glossing over the important, tough challenges like raising funds and attracting sponsors, The World Benchmark Study 2019-2020 digs deep. Results and analysis provide detailed “action plan”-worthy items to improve upon, with examples how others have succeeded.
- Attract Funding and Support –
By providing your benchmark data to potential supporters, your program gains credibility and validation as a force in the innovation community. Being part of The World Benchmark Study 2019-2020 shows attention to detail and a commitment to innovation and startup success.
- Maintain Relationships –
Your program’s benchmark matters to your current sponsors, mentors and client partners. It reinforces their confidence in the processes and methods you are using to incubate or accelerate startups because you are measuring and comparing with others like you- as well as, “the best of the best”.
Are YOU Ready to Benchmark?
Of course you are! We’ve listed just ten of the many reasons why benchmarking is important to the success of your business incubator or accelerator. As a key player in the innovation landscape, if you have never benchmarked your program, you are missing out!
But there’s a first for everything, and taking part means you gain an understanding of where (and how) your program can improve. You also come to know what makes a top program so effective and what it is that holds the greater innovation community together.
It is vitally important to remember that the benchmarked programs have a higher rate of successful startups, which is definitely not a coincidence!
59% of startups in benchmarked business incubators and accelerators survived for an average of 5 years- which is 15% longer than those startups that are not part of a program. – World Benchmark Study, 2017-2018
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