Three Canadian university incubators have been named to UBI Global’s annual list of the top 10 university incubators in the world.
Two Canadian organizations made the top five list: McGill’s Dobson Centre and the University of Toronto Entrepreneurship, while Montréal-based Centech also made the top ten. Kitchener-Waterloo’s Accelerator Centre and York Entrepreneurship Development Institute were also named among the top five public or private business accelerators.
Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Genesis was named a “top challenger” in North America.
UBI Global is a research group based in Sweden that specializes in evaluating and mapping business incubators and accelerators globally. More than 1,200 incubators and accelerators from over 90 countries are members of UBI Global. The organization assessed more than 1,800 programs as part of its rankings, which are based on key performance indicators, such as economy enhancement, talent retention, competence development, access to funds, access to network, program attractiveness, and post-graduate performance.
In addition to the Canadian programs that were named on the top five and ten lists, Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Genesis was named a “top challenger” in North America. This UBI Global category refers to incubation or acceleration programs that “stand out due to their impressive overall impact and performance achievements relative to their respective regional peers.”
Canadian organizations are no strangers to UBI Global rankings. Accelerator Centre has been named on previous lists, as has the DMZ, which in 2018 was called the number one university incubator globally. The DMZ also inked a partnership with UBI Global in 2020 to become the official consultant-on-record for the latter’s members.
Canada was the only country with three programs named to the top ten list, with Turkey having the next highest number at two. It was also the only country to have two programs listed among the top five public or private business accelerators. Québec had the next showing in Canada with both Centech and McGill’s Dobson Centre.
“This ranking gives Québec visibility around the world and is in line with our goal of becoming one of the most innovative societies in the world,” said Luc Sirois, Québec’s chief innovation officer. “We need to better market our expertise and create more world-class tech companies. This type of news is proof that we have the tools to successfully achieve that goal.”
With six programs named to various rankings, Canada had a strong showing in UBI Global’s top rankings. Interestingly only two American university incubators were noted in the report, but as top North American challengers alongside Genesis. Canada’s showing may be due in part to the DMZ’s work with the organization, which noted that the DMZ “provided invaluable insights to the UBI Global Research team as we developed this edition of the Study.”