What do serious professionals in the innovation landscape really need?
Social networking and communication platforms are a dime a dozen these days, right? Most everyone belongs to at least one, and most people are only somewhat active, posting- or reacting to others’ posts- occasionally. And despite invitation-only contact lists and “friending”, it seems one is still bombarded with unwelcome guests (advertisers). Perhaps the level of user inactivity (or boredom) is because of a lack of relevant content?
We considered the average experience within the online communication space and then asked ourselves: what do serious professionals in the global innovation landscape need? What’s currently available to just them to really help them get better at what they do? What kind of content would be most useful- and interesting?
Get ready to Activate Your Innovation with UBI Connect
The product of our brainstorming and countless rounds of input from business incubators and accelerators is now being launched. Meet UBI Connect – The Global Engagement Platform for Innovation Hubs.
We designed it to be the only online platform of its kind, designed specifically to support and enable the global incubation ecosystem to be effective and successful in fostering and launching their startups. UBI Connect is now available to UBI Global Members, and we are proud to say that, although it is a work in progress (we never stop taking input from our community!) it is set to become not just an online place to communicate (or simply react to posts) but the place to engage with your peers in the worldwide innovation ecosystem. Members will be able to share, receive- and enjoy content- that is interesting, relevant, and ad-free.
UBI Global members will be able to collaborate, get smarter, and share best practices. Through the platform, we will offer news, insights, and event updates, as well as program-specific, secure transfer of personalized information- such as program rankings and benchmarking information.
UBI Connect embodies everything powerful about being a UBI Global Member. Not only will incubation programs have access to peers and their advice but will be able to reciprocate by becoming contributors, thus sharing their own best practices. Users will also be able to search UBI Connect for peer-level programs to emulate, plus top-ranked programs to contact directly for introductions and advice.
In short: UBI Connect will cut through the noise found on the average social network and get down to what really matters: innovation and all the interesting conversations about how to support it, from members of your own community around the world!
Connections matter- and that’s why we built UBI Connect
From the start, UBI Global recognized the importance of connecting and networking with peers. We saw a clear need to be better able (and more easily!) share, promote, and motivate one another within the worldwide incubation ecosystem. This is what we heard from program after program; that geographical distances had become a hindrance to developing connections. So within the UBI Connect engagement platform, members will be able to connect with one another digitally- of course.
They will also be able to engage with each other and with useful information from each other. This includes original research and insights from UBI Global (including the World Benchmark Study and the Best Practices and Startup Success Stories Reports). The information contained in these original reports has inspired other programs to increase their own value to their ecosystem, by improving services to their client startups and to their university partners and other stakeholders. We saw that sharing information- and learning- is a key way to connect, too.
In sum: UBI Connect embodies the five biggest benefits of connecting with your peers in the incubation community, which are:
- Peer Advice – Tap into knowledge not otherwise accessible from the innovation community at large. Getting to know the best performing incubators and accelerators means gaining their advice and learning their approaches. This practical information from fellow professionals supports initiatives for improvement, growth, and sustainability.
- Business Opportunities – You never know what opportunities are around the next corner. Becoming visible and heard in the global ecosystem, is an easy way to meet peers and uncover chances for impactful collaborations. Meeting in real life becomes targeted and effective, after establishing a connection online first.
- Friendship – Like-minded innovators exchanging information and experiences within the UBI Connect platform will encourage each other, meet regularly at events such as the World Incubation Summit, and form a strong bond of friendship and support. Surrounding yourself with positive people, after all, encourages one to grow and thrive.
- Personal Growth – Regularly sharing knowledge and useful information makes one smarter and increases one’s reputation as a thought leader. Relationships developed thanks to UBI Connect can further careers, too. Missed opportunities to improve, operate more effectively, or learn of useful coaching will no longer be a bother.
- New Ideas – Perhaps the most obvious benefit of becoming active in UBI Connect, is being able to connect with peers in the same community and build relationships. From these connections and the trust they are built upon, come new ideas and opportunities for growth- unrestricted by borders or geographies.
Great functionality, and more
UBI Connect offers an easy to navigate menu that is both intuitive and smart. Sharing ideas and posting thoughts on UBI Connect is easy through the Live Feed area of the platform. For longer discussions, there is a Forum section with categorized topics. The Forum is where we would like member feedback and thoughts about the platform. Separate sections for News and Events are used to inform users of the exciting activities that programs are participating in all over the world. Finally, the Incubators & Accelerators, People and Companies areas of the platforms are where users can find important networking contacts, post new ideas and best practices, and share useful solutions.
Exclusively for members, by members
UBI Connect is the only platform of its kind for the innovation community, designed to meet requirements and overcome challenges faced by incubators and accelerators alike. Unlike other B2B or social networks, UBI Connect will not allow advertisements or targeted communications from outsiders but instead focus on offering access to relevant, interesting information. UBI Connect will be populated with information and insights from UBI Global and senior level influencers and decision makers in the world of innovation.
The engagement platform offers a strategic, focused way to interact in the wider community on a new level. Discussions with peers are more productive because everyone is on the same page, with deliberate connections and potential contacts that evolve into long-term partnerships. UBI Connect will build genuine authenticity with its forum discussions and provide value for the members
See and be seen, as they say!
Because UBI Connect is exclusive to the incubation community and accessible only by UBI Global members, including incubator and accelerator programs, universities and soon, corporate partners, it becomes the place to see and be seen. All the news and updates are completely tailored to incubation professionals, and conversations and interactions create a hive buzzing with ideas. Ultimately, it is not about whom you know, but rather who knows you that can lead to future opportunities for both parties in terms of advice, motivation, and innovation. For those of you who are too busy or have too many budget constraints to attend live networking events, UBI Connect brings the network and all its benefits right to you.
Members of UBI Global can make the most out of the UBI Connect experience by following these four rules of networking:
- Be authentic and be yourself
- Listen and be curious about others
- Make an effort to stay in touch on the platform
- Share useful information and be someone the community can count on
Remember: participation fuels innovation
Networking on a global scale has its own challenges, and building the perfect platform takes some time- which is why we are inviting our members to create their profiles now, while UBI Connect is still in the beta test stage. Members can create their profiles with the login details sent by the UBI Connect system. Each can populate his or her profile with all the important information about the organization, its leadership, and the startups supported. Just like in other social media platforms, the more detailed the user profile, the more easily understood one becomes- and in one’s own voice. Members: This is your chance to share your success stories, list your projects, and more!
After profiles are completed, we invite members to explore UBI Connect and give us feedback through the Feedback Forum section. Feedback is vital to us so that we can finetune and refine the direction of the platform. We want the UBI Global members using the platform to have an experience as impactful as the platform itself! Our goal is to spark collaborations, spread relevant information, highlight successes, and foster relationships. But before we launch the final version in January, we welcome member comments and suggestions to ensure we did not miss any ideas or desired functionalities. Innovation takes a village!
Not yet a UBI Global member? It’s easy to apply.
If you are not already a UBI Global member, it is not too late to apply to join your peers in over 700 incubation programs in more than 70 countries. With membership, you will be able to access opportunities for impactful collaborations, and these are certainly captured in UBI Connect. Other exciting opportunities to activate your innovation through membership include UBI Global’s World Benchmark Study, the World Incubation Summit, and even the World Startup Challenge. Learn how we can support your program through membership within the UBI Global interactive learning community.