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UBI Index Benchmark & Ranking Methodology

The first and most reliable global ranking of Top University Business Incubators

The UBI Index Benchmark and Ranking Methodology offer detailed comparative performance information on the world’s top performing university business incubators. A broad range of performance indicators are measured using a unique research framework, all against an established and trusted methodology well developed by researchers, practitioners and industry experts. For more information contact us at info@ubiindex.com

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Table of Content

 How does UBI Index define a University Business Incubator?

 How does the UBI Index Research Framework look like?

 What is the sample size of the Global Benchmark 2014?

 Which countries are represented in the Global Benchmark 2014?

 How does the ranking process look like?

 How can UBI Index make sure that the data is valid and reliable?

 How does UBI Index compare so many different types of incubators?

 Who is included UBI Index Research Advisory Network?

How does UBI Index define a University Business Incubator?

A University Business Incubator is:

  • Managed (by) or affiliated to university (-ies)
  • Primary objective to facilitate entrepreneurship and support early stage (new) ventures through a systematic (mid-long term) and extensive incubation process that includes services and infrastructure
  • Quality controlled intake of clients (startups) and regular time bound exits in form of oograduate startup clients

ubi_220x180
Two (2) other types that is also considered in the UBI Index definition

Business Innovation Center

  • Managed (by) or affiliated to university(-ies)
  • Dedicate their efforts and resources to help entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, turn those ideas into viable, successful and sustainable businesses
  • Core mission is to accelerate innovative entrepreneurship at the local level, through the customized delivery of a comprehensive range of professional support and incubation services (pre-incubation, incubation, post-incubation) targeted at innovative start-ups, spin-offs, entrepreneurs and SMEs

Business Accelerator

  • Managed (by) or affiliated to university(-ies)
  • Provide support and service to catalyze growth of (commercialization stage) ventures
  • Through a short term and intense incubation process that focuses on competence development services (not focused on infrastructure)

How does the UBI Index Research Framework look like?

framework_280x320*Also known as Bhatli & Eriksson framework to measure incubator performance (2013)

The key to identify the top university business incubators lies in using the right criteria. UBI Index research team together with prominent top thinkers, experts and advisors believe that any such incubator must be measured on three global performance categories: A, its contribution to the ecosystem; B, its value to the startup clients; and C, its attractiveness quotient.

The performance categories (3 in total) is built upon sub-categories (7 in total) which consists of key performance indicators (60+ in total).

3 Performance Categories

Value for Ecosystem-01

Value for Ecosystem

Measures the economic impact that the incubator generates for its ecosystem

Value for Client-01

Value for Client

Measures the benefits and quality of services that the incubator provides to the startups clients

Attractiveness-01

Attractiveness

Measures the incubator’s attractiveness quotient driven by its post incubation performance and success stories

7 Performance Sub-categories

Value for Ecosystem

 Economy Enhancement
 Talent Retention

Important indicators measured such as job created by the client startups, the sales revenue of the client startups, funding available from all sources to the client startups, the investor network and startup client location.

Value for Client

 Competence Development
 Access to Funds
 Network enhancement

Important indicators measured such as number and activity of mentors and coaches, VC and angel funding availability, the investor network, network of sponsors & partners, the network relationships with large corporations; government; business providers and the size of the alumni network.

Attractiveness

 Incubator Offer
 Post Incubation Performance

Important indicators measured such as investment on client startup, equity stake, number of applications to the program, number of startup client graduated and the survivability & growth post incubation.

60+ Key Performance Indicators
# Active coaches, # Active mentors, # Applications, # Aquisition, # Clients graduated (5 years), # Contacts with business provider, # Contacts with seed capital firms, # Contacts with venture capital firms, # Contacts within large corporations, # Contacts within the government, # Events, # Hours coaches, # Hours mentors, # International partners, # International sponsors, # Invested on client, # Investors network, # IPOs, # Jobs created, # Mergers, # Partners, # Size alumni network, # Sponsors, # University staff, #International partners, $ Funding available (clients), $ Revenue (incubator), $ Sales revenue (clients), $ Seed fund, $ Size investment, % Client location (nation), % Client location (region), % Clients aquired, % Clients still running operations, % Clients that utilize coaching, % Clients that utilize mentoring, % Don’t need funding, % Equity stake, % Funding from incubator, % Have received funding, % Have received VC funding, % Need funding, % Non-local client, % Origin: faculty, % Origin: former employees large corporations, % Origin: former employees SMEs, % Origin: researcher, % Origin: serial entrepreneur, % Origin: student, % Paying customers, % Status: acquired, % Status: growing and profitable, % Status: surviving, % Status: surviving and growing, % Status: terminated, % VC or angel funding (5 years), Coach background, Coach compensation, Collaborative atmosphere, Evaluates mentor and coach, External contacts, Invest on client, Mentor background, Mentor compensation, Seed fund, Training and Support

What is the sample size of the Global Benchmark 2014?

 

800
400
300

Incubators assessed

A pre-assessment of 800 incubators was done to ensure eligibility and quality

Incubators accepted

After pre-assessment only a select number of incubators were accepted to participate in the benchmark

Incubators benchmarked

A selection of accepted incubators were benchmarked against each other to identify the top performing incubators

Which countries are represented in the Global Benchmark 2014?

map-01

67 Countries from 5 Geographic Regions

Europe

Armenia
Austria
Belgium
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Netherlands
Norway
Portugal
Romania
Russia
Slovakia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Turkey
Ukraine
United Kingdom

South America

Argentina
Bolivia
Brazil
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
Ecuador
El Salvador
Guatemala
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Uruguay
Venezuela

Asia & Oceania

China
India
Iran
Israel
Japan
Jordan
Malaysia
Pakistan
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
South Korea
Taiwan
Australia

North America

Canada
Mexico
United States

Africa

Chad
Egypt
Ghana
Kenya
Morocco
Nigeria
Senegal
South Africa
Uganda
Zambia

How does the ranking process look like?

1. Data collection

Step-1

A diverse and well balanced sample of incubators selected and high quality data collected

2. Data treatment

Step-2 

Using reliable statistical methods the data is cleaned, treated and normalized. Outliers checked, cap set and cheaters (and incomplete data) removed

3. Cumulating

Step-3

Normalized and comparable data is correlated and statistically cumulated to provide a performance score for each participant

4. Validating

Step-4

Top performing incubators are asked to hand in support documents on exceptional performance indicators

5. Rankings

Step-5

Cumulated score of each incubator participant is adjusted on 4 additional variables; incubator type, incubator ecosystem, incubator age and incubator sector to prepare ranking of top performing incubators

How can UBI Index make sure that the data is valid and reliable?

Self-reported-data

Self reported data

Some steps taken to adjust any emerging bias from self reported data

  • Cheaters rejected
  • Outliers adjusted and cap set
  • Supporting documents sought

Non-similar-ecosystems

Non similar ecosystems

Some steps taken to adjust any skewed results due to non-similar ecosystems of participants

  • Secondary sources of data used to adjust ecosystem bias (e.g. Startup ecosystem report, GEDI Index)
  • Incubator classified into 5 ecosystem types, i.e. from developed to under-developed,  then used to remove bias (Source: GEDI Index)

Many-variables

Many variables

Some steps taken to ensure accurate comparisons

  • Universal variables considered
  • Variables grouped and statistically normalized
  • Measures taken to standardize variables

Weighting-and-KPIs

Weighting and KPIs

Some steps taken to ensure right Weighting and the right Key Performing Indicators

  • Industry experts and incubator managers consulted to identify relevant KPIs
  • Research advisory board and external experts engaged to monitor the weighting process

How does UBI Index compare so many different types of incubators?

adjustments_280x210

By making adjustments

For enabling comparison and to remove bias – qualitative and mathematical adjustments are made on incubator type, age, size, sector belonging and on university affiliation to make them comparable on a global ranking.

Incubator Type

Adjustments are made on the type of an incubator

3 Incubator types identified

  • Business Incubator
  • Business Innovation Centre
  • Business Accelerator

Incubator Age

Adjustments are made on the age of the incubator

Incubators divided into 3 age segments

  • 0-5 years – young
  • 6-10 years – mid aged
  • 11+ years – mature

Incubator Size

Adjustments are made on the size of the incubator

Incubator classified into different sizes based on

  • Inc. budget
  • # Inc. employees
  • # Inc. client (startups)

Incubator Sector

Adjustments are made on the sector belonging of the incubator

Incubators divided into 5 sectors

  • Biotech
  • ICT (Web & Mobile)
  • Cleantech
  • Life Sciences
  • Non-specialized

University Affiliation

Depending on university affiliation an incubator will be ranked in 2 different rankings

University Business Incubator Ranking

UBI_JUNE24Includes Business Incubators that fall into:

 University managed - Majorly operated by the university

 University affiliated - Not managed by the university but has a formal affiliation with the university

University Associated Business Incubator Ranking

UABI_SEPTEMBER16Includes Business Incubators that fall into:

 University non affiliation - Works closely with the university but has no formal affiliation with any university

Who is included in the UBI Index Research Advisory Network?

externalpeople_600x300

The UBI Index Research Advisory Network includes industry experts, practitioners, incubator managers, consultants, researchers and top thinkers with expertise knowledge in business incubation and entrepreneurship.

They have been consulted to identify relevant KPIs, co-create the UBI Index Framework, engaged to monitor the weighting process and assisting in the development of the incubation of tomorrow.

Research Team

Dhruv Bhatli

Dhruv Bhatli
Director of Research at UBI Index

LinkedIn

Over 5 years of experience in conducting and managing complex qualitative and quantitative research projects. Published research in reputed journals and international research conferences

Lauro Carnicelli

Lauro Carnicelli
External Support – Data Analyst

LinkedIn

Alumni of prestigious Bocconi, Milan, Lauro is a specialist in microeconometrics and quantitiative data analysis

Rachel Rivera

Rachel Rivera
External Research Support

LinkedIn

Top student from Université Paris Est helping with desk research of existing incubation literature. The objective of the research has been to refine the UBI framework and the key performance indicators

Robert Caruntu

Robert Caruntu
External Research Support

LinkedIn

Another top student from Université Paris Est helping with desk research of existing incubation literature. The objective of the research has been to refine the UBI framework and the key performance indicators

Research Advisory Board

Kjell Håkan Närfelt

Kjell Håkan Närfelt
VINNOVA

LinkedIn

Leading incubation strategist working for Vinnova – main agency for governmental innovation. Brings extensive research experience and contacts from government innovation and incubation agencies in the world.

Paolo Borella

Paolo Borella
AppCampus

LinkedIn

Leading expert on ICT incubators. Currently running AppCampus, a €18m Microsoft, Nokia initiative. Advisor to numerous incubators in Italy, Russia, Denmark etc. Brings product development perspective and extensive first hand experience of incubation.

Jelena Angelis

Jelena Angelis
Technopolis Group

LinkedIn

Leading expert in incubation research. Brings policy makers perspective to the research team.

Joel Eriksson

Joel Eriksson Enquist
Creandum

LinkedIn

Young entrepreneur with the vision to disrupt the traditional incubation view. Works at Creandum – leading Nordic VC firm for early stage startups. Brings the perspective of Venture capitalism.

Expert Advisors

Sussane Grossauer

Susanne Grossauer
Universum Group

LinkedIn

Brings extensive research experience in conducting and managing global surveys and preparing rankings. Also brings expertise in related to treatment of data and analysis of results. 

Oriol Pascual

Oriol Pascual
Enviu Barcelona

LinkedIn

Leading thinker in the world on Clean web incubators. Has extensive practical experience to start, run and manage an incubator. Also an expert in product development strategies.

Regina Summers

Regina Summers
SNITTS

LinkedIn

General manager with insights and support from the Tech Transfer Office perspective on how to highlight the impact from academia and research institutes into the world of incubation.

Ilkka Kivimaki

Ilkka Kivimäki
Inventure

LinkedIn

Established VC with hands on experience in managing incubators and mentoring new ventures. Brings VC, incubator manager and startup viewpoint.

Expert Contributors

Ray Leach (CEO, Jumpstart & Innovation Advisor to President Barack Obama), Lena Ramfelt (Researcher, Stanford University), Danny Holtschke (Project Leader, Startup Genome), Bob Karr (Founder, Link Silicon Valley), Pär Hedberg (CEO, Stockholm Innovation and Growth), Poh Kam Wong (Director of NUS Entrepreneurship, National University of Singapore), Mats Lundqvist (Director, Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship), Desai Arcot Narasimhalu (Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Singapore Management University), Martin Lackéus (Venture Creation Program Researcher, Chalmers University of Technology), Andreas Larsson (Growth Policy Analyst, Embassy of Sweden), Søren Therkelsen (Co-founder, ScaleIT), Morgan Skarin (CEO, Encubator), Patti Breedlove (Director, UF Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator), Keith Segerson (Executive Director, The Mason Enterprise Center at George Mason University), Boris Nordenström (Mentor, JFDI), Kati Nikopensius (Incubator Manager, Technopol), Chris Burry (US Market Access Center), Graham Hewson (Incubator Manager, Imperial Innovations), Jonas Björkman (Venture Catalyst, Expanding Ventures), Christian Berger (Incubator Manager, LEAD Incubator), Gideon Kunda (Professor, Tel Aviv University), Henrik Berglund (Assistant Professor, Chalmers University of Technology), Thomas Hedner (Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University)

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