Benchmarking of Business Incubators

Are you a fledgling company looking for a business incubator to help you hatch a successful business operation?

Are you wondering what are some benchmark criteria to help you know whether a prospective business incubator is worth going after? Read from our guide basic tips on which business incubator to choose.

Business incubators are agencies and organizations that help startup companies become successful by providing the necessary resources and support they needed to become self-sufficient and profitable. The support includes business advice, financial support, technical support and trainings. Business incubators are of various profiles. They may come from be government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, or for-profit companies. What sets them apart from other organizations are: they focus on assisting companies that are newly formed (usually within the first two years of operations and are not yet profitable) and the program participant doesn’t necessarily have to be large (as usually helped by science parks).

A business incubators’ success is quantified by the percentage of graduates from the number of applicants it has accepted under its program. A high percentage of graduates means a high rate of success. It further means the achievement of the goal by the business incubator. A business incubator’s good track record is what makes it attractive to new applicants looking for support in many forms. Business incubators, to be considered top rate, must score high in certain benchmarked criteria. These performance indicators are outlined below.

Business Incubator Performance Criteria

It must be able to implement projects cost effectively. The cost of its financial, energy, material and technological inputs for a project should be justified by the ensuing success of that project. If the cost tends to outweigh the success, then a business incubator could not be considered truly successful.

Its program must be greatly useful to the participant. It must be able to fulfil client needs and improve performance. One way this can be measured is by the level of satisfaction a client gets from the performance of the business incubator.

It must be efficient in implementing strategies to achieve its goals for every client. This criterion could be measured in terms of average client turnover time. The shorter the time the client spends with the business incubator until it graduates from the program, the higher the efficiency rating of the business incubator is.

It must be able to help the client achieve long-term goals. Not only should the business incubator help the client achieve profitability in the short term, but is should help it build a foundation for the client’s success in the years and years to come.

Lastly, since one of the main contributions of business incubators to society is economic development (one way through job creations), a business incubator can be considered highly successful if its programs also promote the economic agenda of its city.


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