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Participating in this study helps your incubator or accelerator— and the entire innovation ecosystem— understand how business incubation and acceleration can become more efficient, sustainable, and competitive.

Data collected by UBI Global is analyzed according to whether your incubator or accelerator is linked to a university— or not. This is the first year we are analyzing impact and performance of privately-, publicly-, or corporate- run programs; analysis and ranking will be conducted on this group separately from those affiliated with, owned, or run by one or more universities. In effect, we are setting up different peer groups. The World Benchmark Study 2019-2020 provides data and practical tools that business incubators and accelerators can use to measure the impact of their work and catalyze an entrepreneurial ecosystem that can multiply impact. The study attracts more than 600 incubators and accelerators from over 90 countries to benchmark themselves against their peers and to enter the UBI Global world rankings and recognition of top-performing business incubators and accelerators.

Qatar Development Bank, a global leader in economic development, is sponsoring the World Benchmark Study 2019-2020, now in its 5th edition

QDB develops and empowers Qatari entrepreneurs and innovators to contribute to the diversification of the Qatari economy, through successful small and medium enterprises that are able to compete in global markets.

Doha, Qatar

Why should your incubator or accelerator participate?


Third-party Assessment

This is the 5th time the World Benchmark Study is conducted by the Swedish-based innovation intelligence company and community UBI Global. We use a proprietary analysis framework developed in close collaboration with our research advisory board comprised of industry experts and thought leaders in the field.

Rankings & Recognition

The study offers the opportunity to obtain national 
and international recognition as being a top-performing business incubator or accelerator within the global innovation ecosystem. Participating programs also gain publicity from international press and media.

Impact and Performance Analysis

Each participating program receives its own data-driven impact and performance analysis in the form of an intuitive scorecard infographic. This infographic is a perfect tool for stakeholder communication purposes - including annual reports, funding applications, client startup and partner acquisition, and of course social media.

Corporate Visibility

The profiles of participating incubators and accelerators as well as their client startups and alumni startups are promoted through various initiatives to multinational corporations that are seeking new technologies, innovation, talent, and investment opportunities.

Insights & Best Practices

Through customized slide decks, publications, webinars, workshops, white papers, guides, SaaS-tools, and UBI Connect - The Global Engagement Platform for Innovation Hubs, participating programs can access a wealth of incubation and acceleration information, insights and best-practices.

Network & Events

All participating programs are invited to attend the World Incubation Summit 2019 in Doha, Qatar (Oct. 28-31) where they can network with their peers and corporate innovation managers, build international partnerships, discuss trends, challenges and opportunities in the industry, learn the results of the study, and celebrate their achievements.

To participate in the World Benchmark Study, your incubator or accelerator must be a member of UBI Global’s interactive learning community. Please let us know if you are a current member in which case you automatically qualify to participate in the study or if you are applying to become a member.

We’re already members

  • Our incubator or accelerator is a new or current member of UBI Global’s community.
  • We may have participated in the study 
in the past.
  • We are interested in participating 
in the 2019-2020 study.
  • We have already selected Standard 
or Pro membership level.


Sign us up!

  • Our incubator or accelerator is not currently a member of UBI Global’s community.
  • We want to be eligible to participate in the World Benchmark Study 2019-2020.
  • Our program is either operated by one or more universities or by one or more public, private, or corporate entities.
  • We may have participated in the World Benchmark Study in the past, but do not have a current membership.
become a member


… but don’t take our word for it

  • 13 FEBRUARY Application Opens

  • 5 MARCH Benchmark Opens

  • 31 MAY Benchmark Closes

  • 16 JULY Preliminary Insights

  • 16-30 SEPTEMBER Individual Benchmark & Scorecard Infographic Results Delivered

  • 4 NOVEMBER World Incubation Summit 2019, Doha Qatar

  • 6 NOVEMBER Release! World Rankings Report 2019-2020

  • 30 JANUARY Release! World Benchmark Report 2019-2020


Providing crucial support to the next generation of entrepreneurs and their business ventures, incubators and accelerators play a pivotal role in innovation initiatives around the world.

At UBI Global we are dedicated to supporting these efforts by mapping incubators and accelerators, highlighting their achievements, analyzing their needs, and providing data-driven recommendations.

The World Benchmark Study is designed to help individual programs in evaluating and improving their own impact and performance, thus becoming more sustainable, effective, and competitive.

The key benefit for most participants is receiving an unbiased, research-driven, third-party assessment of their program’s absolute impact and relative performance. Many programs appreciate the actionable insights and best practices produced by the study. Others value the increased visibility and public recognition of their remarkable efforts – to potential future client startups, partners, investors, and other stakeholders.

All incubators and accelerators that participate in the World Benchmark Study 2019 – 2020 receive:

  1. A personalized performance scorecard infographic.
  2. The full World Benchmark Report 2019-2020, actionable insights and best practices.
  3. Access to an extensive international network of incubators, accelerators, industry associations, corporate partners, research experts, and other key stakeholders through UBI Connect, events, and matchmaking activities.
  4. The opportunity to get ranked, recognized, and promoted as a top-performing business incubator or accelerator in a variety of categories.
  5. Guaranteed seats at the World Incubation Summit 2019 in Doha, Qatar.
  6. The option to acquire additional customized impact and performance reporting materials tailored to different stakeholder and investor communication purposes.

Since 2013, more than 600 incubators and accelerators from over 90 countries have participated in our benchmark studies. Per study, we attract about 300 participants who are eager to understand their impact and performance and share their stories with the larger innovation landscape.

Previous iterations of the World Benchmark Study centered on university-linked incubators and accelerators. This group continues to be our research focus. However, to create a holistic picture of the innovation landscape, we invite public, private, and corporate programs to participate in the World Benchmark Study 2019-2020. To ensure comparability, all programs are ranked and benchmarked within their respective peer groups.

All participants receive a directory of all incubators and accelerators that participated in the WBS1920.

In close collaboration with industry experts from around the world, we have developed a proprietary research framework that measures the impact and performance of business incubators and accelerators in 3 categories and seven 7 subcategories, utilizing 21 key performance indicators (KPIs).

Integrating the latest research, the framework is updated and refined for each iteration of the World Benchmark Study with the help of our Research Advisory Board.

You can find more information about the research here:

A program is ranked depending on:

  1. Program type (business incubator, accelerator, or hybrid program) and
  2. Program group (university, public, private, or corporate incubator).

Ranking categories and sub-categories vary from study to study, depending on sample size and composition.

Previous rankings and ranking categories can be found here.

You will be able to complete the benchmark survey in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin. The results will primarily be given in English.

Yes of course, but this should not be necessary. UBI Global’s published rankings only reveal the top 10%-20% in each category. Our research team never reveals the other positions publicly, not even internally to our operations team.

All incubators and accelerators that are ranked below the top-ranked programs are privately informed about their ranking percentile and receive further information about their relative performance in the study.

However, if you still wish to be excluded, just let us know as part of your participation, and we will remove you from our lists.

Your data is the most valuable asset we have. We take data protection and privacy very seriously.

First, we differentiate between profile (or descriptive) data and impact and performance data.
Profile data is usually public information available on your website and other public channels. We standardize this data and make it available to the network as part of best-practice cases, directories, tools, and other services.

We do not publish individual impact and performance data without explicit written approval by the program in question (For instance, top-ranked programs sign a special terms and conditions agreement allowing us to reveal certain data points for recognition purposes). Instead, such data is released in anonymized or aggregate form.

Likewise, UBI Global only complies with third party requests for any kind of individual impact and performance data after informing and receiving an explicit written approval from the program in question.

You can read our full Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy here.

To be eligible for participation in the World Benchmark Study 2019-2020, your program must:

  1. Be a business incubator or accelerator according to our definitions (click here)
  2. Be a member of our community (click here)


Your individual result will be available in September. Depending on your membership level, the depth of your result delivery varies.

Full information on the different membership levels and benefits can be found here.

The World Incubation Summit 2019 will take place in Doha, Qatar, 04-07 November.

More info here: The World Incubation Summit 2019

There are some deadlines to keep in mind:

  • 5 March – We send the benchmark survey out and recommend it be returned within 2 weeks.
  • 31 May – The world benchmark closes.

The data verification period occurs right after you send your completed survey

  • 1-30 September – Individual benchmark results are delivered. We will deliver all your benchmark related materials at the latest on September 30th. Depending on your membership level, your individual results are to be delivered in various formats. Extensive insights and in-depth analysis are provided to Pro members
  • 04-07 November – The official ranking announcement takes place at the World Incubation Summit 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Registration is not yet open.) We all hope to see you there.

At UBI Global, we do the following:

Step 1 – Assessment
Our operations team interviews all new members with a 30-minute phone call to assess the eligibility of the program. Current members are automatically eligible to participate.

Step 2 – Verification
A PDF verification is sent to all participants to verify with a handwritten signature that the information provided is correct and accurate. In-depth verification and phone interviews are conducted with the top 15% and the bottom 5% of incubators and accelerators.

Step 3 – Analysis
The data is cleaned, translated and shaped to put into our data warehouse for further analysis. Using proprietary framework and research algorithms, results are being produced. Extensive research on the analysis is made internally and with the Research Advisory Board.

Step 4 – Production
Individual scorecard infographics are created for all participants. Individual slide decks are created for Pro Members. Benchmark results are put into the UBI Incubation Data Platform.

Step 5 – Delivery
Top-ranked incubators are informed about their position in early September. All participants receive notification and send-out of their individual results in September. 2-3 weeks post delivery, the UBI Global operations team follow-up on the results given to receive feedback and comments.

To participate in the World Benchmark Study 2019-2020 is free of charge.

If you choose the Standard membership level: rankings, scorecard info graphic, newsletter, and invitation to events are included at no cost.

For more in-depth analysis, digital tools, insights & best practices, corporate visibility, startup activities, guaranteed seats at events and conferences – we recommend selecting Pro membership.

Full information on the different membership levels and benefits can be found here.

As of May 9, 2019







University Incubators & Accelerators


Public/Private/Corporate -Run Incubators & Accelerators




The World Benchmark Study of Business Incubators & Accelerators 2019 - 2020 is powered by UBI Global, 
a Swedish-based innovation intelligence company and community

It is the 5th time the study is conducted that has attracted over 1200 incubators and accelerators from more than 90 countries to participate in. UBI Global is using a proprietary analysis framework developed in close collaboration with its Research Advisory Board consisting of industry experts and thought leaders in the field, to help business incubators become more efficient and competitive.

Mapping the global incubation landscape and revealing best practices will help universities, governments, innovation agencies and corporations to improve the incubators they support. Research, analysis, and knowledge-sharing thanks to the World Benchmark Study enables sustainable economic impact and growth.

Ali Amin

CEO, UBI Global


UBI Global and leading local actors from across the globe collaborate to better understand, engage, and nurture the global business incubation and acceleration ecosystem. Innovation Ambassadors help strengthen their national or regional ecosystems. By sharing best practices and insights, they increase operational knowledge, show economic impact, and promote international relations.

Connect with us if you are interested in becoming an Innovation Ambassador, or if you would like to recommend a national leading actor who can represent your innovation ecosystem in the program.

Current Innovation Ambassadors

Yan Zhenjun

World Intelligent Incubation Network (WIIN), Represents: China

Shahida Saleem

Pakistan Impact Network - Promotion of Education in Pakistan (PEP Foundation), Represents: Pakistan

Alex Ariho

African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN), Represents: Africa

Jane Liu

Chinese Business Incubation Association (CBIA), Represents: Taiwan

Giovanni Perrone

PINCube, Represents: Italy


These nine leading business incubation researchers, consultants, and practitioners play a central role in refining the research methodology and the extensive data validation and verification processess underlying the World Benchmark Study 2019 – 2020.

Dr. Marcio Cruz

Senior Economist, The World Bank

Valerie Fox

Chief Innovation Consultant, The Pivotal Point

Ozan Sönmez

Managing Director, Growth Circuit

Dr. Alex Ariho

CEO, African Agribusiness Incubators Network

Kjell Håkan Närfelt

Chief Strategy Officer, Vinnova

Shahida Saleem

Managing Trustee,
PEP Foundation

Dr. Flávio Wagner

Professor, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

Ian Forsythe

Research Analyst & Grants Coordinator,
TEC Edmonton

Dr. Lee Zane

Visiting Professor,
Rowan University