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UBI Global at SOCAP15 – Recognising Top Social Incubators

More than 2500 participants attended SOCAP15 (Social Capital Markets) on October 6-9, the world’s leading conference on impact investing and social enterprise. This year the UBI Global team accepted their invitation to speak at the conference and made the 8616km journey from Stockholm to San Francisco where SOCAP is held annually.

SOCAP has created a platform where social impact leaders can connect and present their ideas to a global audience.The event brings together groundbreaking pioneers from different industries in the social innovation ecosystem; sharing ideas on the economy, health, and philanthropy to make the world a better place!

One of the primary purposes of our participation was to define the landscape of  Social Business Incubation Programs in the U.S., highlight best practices and give recognition to the best performers in the Social Innovation space. Together with Cisco Corporate Affairs UBI Global developed a comprehensive framework to measure Incubation Performance on social innovation, which was presented during a 90-min workshop session on Thursday afternoon (October 8th).

Dhruv Bhatli, UBI Global’s Director of Research, took the lead and presented the results of the benchmark study together with Mary de Wysocki, Sr. Director Corporate Affairs at Cisco Systems and Amanda Cumberland, Market Research Lead, Cisco Corporate Affairs at Cisco Systems. During the session, the landscape data was presented, and productive conversations regarding the importance of measuring impact for Social Incubators took place.


“Social incubators not only create economic impact but also have impact in other sectors, such as healthcare, education, and the environment. As the number of social incubation programs increase in the global incubation sector, there is a greater need to help programs improve and help others start”

said Tae Yoo, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs at Cisco Systems in her insightful piece in the Huffington Post. She continued “Benchmarking can help us understand best practices across social incubators and, in turn, help us make them better and create more jobs. Establishing a benchmark also enables the surfacing and sharing of data-driven best practices in order to catalyze a network of incubators for social innovation.”

Through the benchmark participating programs were able to grow together, collaborate and improve their performance in key performance areas. This in return will lead to more successful social startups that tackle social or environmental challenges around the world. Our highlight of the SOCAP15 conference was the Cisco and UBI Global networking reception where the awardees of UBI Global’s newest Benchmark Category were announced. With the sunset setting over the golden gate bridge, UBI Global’s CEO, Ali Amin, gave recognition to six Social High Impact Incubation Programs in the U.S.

High Impact Social Incubator

A High Impact Social Incubator is an incubator managed or formally affiliated with a university, that nurtures ‘social ventures’, that provide better value for the ecosystem and their startup clients than their regional or global peers. They stand out from average-performing incubators with better outcomes on economy enhancement, access to funds and post-incubation performance indicators.

The six High Impact Social Incubators in the U.S. 2015 are:

  • Fledge (“Fledge helps impactful entrepreneurs take their ideas and prototype-stage companies into reality, via an intense, 10-week program of guidance, education, and mentorship, plus a large and growing network of support from past fledglings and hundreds of mentors. Our goal is to help foster a wave of companies that make not just a measurable impact in the world, but a noticeable improvement in the lives of everyone on the planet.”)
  • GSBI (“The GSBI Accelerator prepares trailblazing social enterprises to scale. We provide quality, in-depth mentoring delivered by Silicon Valley business executives. Our mentors coach, educate, and encourage you for 2-3 hours a week for 10 months. You work together with 2 Silicon Valley mentors to improve every aspect of your organization.”)
  • Poptech (“Around the world, visionary change agents are hard at work incubating new approaches to the planet’s toughest challenges. Yet they’re often doing so without taking advantage of the latest tools and thinking in technology, communications, and innovation – or a network of experts, peers, and supporters who can help them truly change the world.The PopTech Social Innovation Fellows program is designed to help fill that gap – to equip world-changing innovators with the tools, insights, visibility and social network that can help them scale their impacts to new heights.”)
  • SEED SPOT (“SEED SPOT is a nonprofit organization with a mission to educate, accelerate, and invest in entrepreneurs who are creating solutions to social problems.”)
  • Techranch (“We focus on the entrepreneur and help create a community of peers that want to learn, practice and grow together.”
  • TUMML (“Tumml is an urban ventures accelerator with a mission to empower entrepreneurs to solve urban problems. With a hands-on approach, Tumml provides entrepreneurs with the tools to help scale their impact and enhance quality of life in cities everywhere”)

Get your free copy of Top Social Incubators in the U.S. – Social Benchmark 2015 here.

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