Wharton | Mr. Social Impact CPA
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Chicago Booth | Ms. RA For MBA
GMAT 710, GPA 3.80
Stanford GSB | Mr. Economics To Business
GRE 331, GPA 3.99
INSEAD | Mr. Tesla Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.7
Foster School of Business | Mr. Tesla Gigafactory
GMAT 720, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Financial Services
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. African Entrepreneur
GRE 317, GPA 2.6
Stanford GSB | Mr. Tesla Intern
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Looking To Learn
GMAT 760, GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Infrastructure
GMAT 770, GPA 3.05
Chicago Booth | Mr. Asian Veteran
GRE 315, GPA 3.14
Stanford GSB | Ms. Artistic Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 9.49/10
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Emporio Armani
GMAT 780, GPA 3.03
Harvard | Mr. Future Gates Foundation
GMAT 720, GPA 7.92
Harvard | Mr. Amazon Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. MBB Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
USC Marshall | Mr. Utilitarian Mobility
GMAT 740, GPA 2.67
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Second Chances
GRE 310, GPA 2.5
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Account Executive
GMAT 560, GPA 3.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. Data Mastermind
GMAT N/A; will be taking in May, GPA 3.6
London Business School | Mr. Aussie Analyst
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Sustainable Real Estate
GRE SAT 1950 (90th Percentile), GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Entrepreneurial Bassist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.61
Cornell Johnson | Mr. IT To IB
GMAT 660, GPA 3.60
Harvard | Ms. Lucky Charm
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
Tuck | Ms. Green Biz
GRE 326, GPA 3.15
Harvard | Ms. URM
GRE 325, GPA 3.6

The Top University Business Incubators

SETsquared

SETsquared Centre in Bristol (UK)

At some point, most professionals dream of starting a business. It’s certainly a tantalizing proposition. On paper, you’re free to do whatever you want – and do it the way you want. Like all pioneers, you can savor the creation of something that grows and makes a difference.

Alas, entrepreneurship comes with serious caveats. The odds are daunting, with eight of 10 new businesses failing in the first 18 months. During that time, you’ll slog through 80-hour weeks, burning through cash as you’re beaten down from constant rejection. You may launch a business intending to innovate. During those early months, your real goal is to survive.

In America alone, small businesses have accounted for 65% of job growth over the past twenty years. And that includes companies like Google, a 1995 startup that now employs more than 52,000 people and generates over $50 billion in annual revenue. And that begs a question: How can the private and public sectors partner to reduce risk and better grow promising startups?

INCUBATORS FOSTER GROWTH

ATP Innovations in Australia

ATP Innovations in Australia

Universities have attempted to take the lead, with many forming business incubators for would-be entrepreneurs. Here,  schools provide systematic operational and financial support to startups and early stage companies to help accelerate their growth and create jobs in communities and industries. Aside from receiving low cost space and a WI-FI connection, entrepreneurs enjoy mentoring and support in areas like marketing and legal services. Even more, they can tap into their sponsor’s business partnerships and alumni network, opening doors to potential funding sources. By being surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs in incubators, fledgling companies can draw best practices and inspiration from each other.

For some, incubators are competitors to business schools. But you’ll also  find business schools such as the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and Columbia Business School managing their own incubators. Like MBA programs, entrepreneurs apply for admission to incubators, with selection determined by the business plans they submit along with team members’ expertise and track records. And incubators are quite selective, with the top 300 university incubators – as measured by UBI Index – accepting roughly one in five of the 18,000 companies that applied for spots.

That said, incubators aren’t social welfare for talkers and dreamers. Hosts heavily scrutinize company performance, operating off a deliver-or-depart line. Generally, companies remain in incubators for two-to-three years, exiting when they have the finances and infrastructure to stand on their own (or be acquired).

UBI Index

Business incubators have also emerged as big business. For example, Y-Combinator, a private incubator and accelerator founded in 2005, has produced companies worth a collective $7.78 billion dollars according to Forbes, with alumni including Reddit, Dropbox, and Scribd. Among the top 300 university-managed and university-affiliated incubators, startups racked up over $24 billion in sales over the past five years. And they created over 100,000 jobs over that same period according to UBI Index.

HOW DO YOU MEASURE INCUBATORS?

But not all incubators are created equal. Some excel at delivering services. Others sustain stronger networks. Of course, most differ on the economic impact their graduate companies deliver over time. To identify the top incubators – and evaluate their performance over time – UBI Index was formed. Based in Stockholm, Sweden, UBI Index consists of a renowned international research team that assesses and ranks over 300 incubators in 67 countries. The UBI Index team is also supported by a panel of international incubation experts, including Jonathan Bradford (Director, Techstars London), Paolo Borella (Director Microsoft Nokia AppCampus) and Kjell Hakan Narfelt (Chief Strategist, Vinnova, Swedish Innovation Agency).