National Business Incubation Association; Your source for knowledge and networks in business incubation

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Recent Projects & Partners

In addition to our U.S. conferences and training programs, NBIA has conducted domestic contract training and projects for the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (at multiple locations), the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Wisconsin Business Incubation Association, Maryland’s Technology Development Corp., Pennsylvania’s Ben Franklin Technology Partnership Program and others.

International consulting activities have included incubator feasibility studies, incubator program evaluation, and training programs in incubator development and best practices. NBIA has conducted projects for organizations such as United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the World Bank infoDev program, Kuwait Public Authority for Applied Education and Training, an American defense contractor, the Bulgarian Department of Labor and Social Policy, Japan External Trade Organization (a department of the Ministry of the Economy, Trade and Industry) and others.

NBIA has trained Japanese incubator managers both in the U.S. and in Japan, and has also trained at special forums and conferences of the Shanghai Business Incubator Network and in Pretoria, South Africa (funded by the Godisa Trust and the South African government).

NBIA Training Map

Recent Projects

Mexico, 2012: Certification Training for Mexican Business Incubator Managers, hosted by UNAM, Mexico City. NBIA produced and presented Spanish-language training for the business incubation managers at UNAM. The content included the workshops The Fundamentals of Incubator Management, Entrepreneurship, Serving Client Companies and Facilities Management.

Russia, 2012: Certification Training for Russian Business Incubator Managers, sponsored by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. NBIA conducted two-day training programs on incubator program management and facilities for 60 incubation professionals in Moscow, Petrozavodsk and Saratov.

Mexico, 2012: Second Latin-American Conference on Business Incubation, Guadalajara, Mexico. Developed by NBIA, infoDev and the Autonomous University of Guadalajara. The event brought together 250 incubator managers, stakeholders and policymakers for a four-day conference and networking event. NBIA produced two days of Spanish-language management training for 120 professionals from across Latin America.

Singapore, 2012: Study and Training Program for Singapore Incubators and Accelerators, sponsored by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore. NBIA created a comprehensive state of the industry survey and interviewed several incubators in preparation for a report on Singapore incubators, to be published in 2013. NBIA held a five-day training program on business incubation management for 22 managers from programs across Singapore.

Mexico, 2011 – 2012: State of Sonora Mexico, Incubator Program Evaluation and Training, sponsored by the state of Sonora, Mexico. NBIA conducted a survey of 14 incubators in Sonora, Mexico. This broad study of incubators – both independent programs and programs belonging to national networks – is representative of the models used in all of Mexico, and the subsequent report has informed incubation policy for the state government.

New Zealand, 2011: Soft Landings/International Business Incubation Training, sponsored by the World Incubation Network and hosted by the eCentre at Massey University. NBIA produced and presented a workshop on international incubation as part of the World Incubation Network’s annual conference in Auckland.

Northern Mexico, 2011: Assessment of Business Incubation Programs in Northern Mexico: Their Readiness for Clean Technology. Sponsored by USAid as part of the Mexico Competitiveness Program, NBIA conducted a study to identify whether incubators in the Northern Mexico border states have the capacity to incubate green tech start-ups. NBIA ranked 21 programs based on survey responses and visited six for final recommendations. Future support for incubation from USAid and the Mexico Competitiveness Project will be based on the results from this study.

Russia, 2011: Russian-American Forum on Business Incubation, sponsored by the Moscow State Institute of Foreign Relations, Moscow. NBIA developed and programmed a conference for 150 incubation professionals for Russian and former Soviet incubation managers.

Mexico, 2011: The Latin-American Conference on Business Incubation, Puebla, Mexico, developed by NBIA. The event brought together 200 incubator managers, stakeholders and policymakers for a four-day conference and networking event.

United States, 2008-2011: Incubating Success: Incubation Best Practices That Lead to Successful New Ventures, funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. In partnership with the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy, SUNY-Albany and Cybergroup Inc., NBIA participated in a national research effort that examined the relationship between incubator best practices and client outcomes, as measured by a number of factors. This project was the largest, most definitive study of business incubation since 1996.  

United States, 2008-2010: Business Incubation Operating Practices Benchmarking Tool and Peer-To-Peer Benchmarking, Appalachian Regional Commission and Tennessee Valley Authority. NBIA developed an online benchmarking tool for measuring constituent incubator performance. The online resource also includes a library of information on business incubation best practices. The tool improves macro-level impact assessment capabilities and improves regional adherence to business incubation best practices. NBIA also has developed tools and protocols for peer-to-peer evaluations involving site visits at individual incubators.

United States, 2008-2009: Comprehensive Survey and Impact Assessment of Local Incubators, Ohio Department of Development. NBIA produced a comprehensive survey and report of incubator programs in Ohio. The report examined all business incubation programs within the state – considering their demographics, client mix, sponsorship and funding – and provided an overall impact assessment. The study also included a gap analysis suggesting new communities that might be strategic sites for future business incubators.

Ghana, 2009: Certification Training for West African Business Incubator Managers, sponsored by UNDP and the city of Accra. NBIA developed and conducted a four-day certification-training program on business incubation for incubator managers in West Africa. The training included the NBIA certificate workshops, The Fundamentals of Incubator Management, Serving Client Companies and Facilities Management plus supplemental programming on technology commercialization and international programming.

China, 2009: Certification Training for Chinese Incubator Managers, sponsored by the Dalian Business Incubator Association. NBIA developed and conducted a two-day certification training program on business incubation for incubator managers in Dalian, China. The training was based on two NBIA certificate workshops, The Fundamentals of Incubator Management and Serving Client Companies, plus supplemental programming.

Malaysia, 2009-2010: Biotechnology Incubator Training for Malaysian Incubator Managers, sponsored by the Government of Malaysia. NBIA developed and coordinated a weeklong tour and training program for 22 biotechnology incubator managers in the United States, followed by a two-day training program in Malaysia. Comprehensive training covered best practices in biotechnology business incubation, client management and financing, and insights into the biotechnology industry, as well as incubator operations.

Saudi Arabia, 2009: Technology Incubator Development Training for Saudi Arabian Incubator, sponsored by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. NBIA developed and presented two days of training on entrepreneurship, intellectual property and technology commercialization, research parks, business incubators, cluster development, and other development-related strategies.

New Zealand 2006: Evaluation of New Zealand Incubators and Related Government Support Programs, New Zealand Department of Trade and Enterprise. NBIA-associated consultants evaluated New Zealand’s incubation capacity and government-funded incubators and produced a report for NZTE recommending development strategies.

Bulgaria, 2005: Impact Assessment of JOBS Project Business Incubators, JOBS Project, United Nations Development Program and Bulgarian Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. NBIA conducted a comprehensive evaluation of JOBS-affiliated incubators and developed recommendations for program improvements. The final report included recommendations to JOBS program management and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization to increase program effectiveness and improve client services and impacts.

Europe/Australia, 2005: Midterm Evaluation of iDISC Web Site and Toolkit, World Bank. NBIA evaluated a World Bank-funded Web site devoted to incubator development and management and provided a written report with recommendations to improve content, access and usability.

Japan, 2000-2005: National Incubation Industry Development and Training, Japanese External Trade Organization and Japan’s Ministry of the Economy, Trade and Industry. NBIA advised JETRO and its U.S. counterparts on developing and implementing business incubation strategies. On its behalf, NBIA researched and produced a guide on business incubation best practices geared specifically to the needs of Japanese incubator managers and published a brief history of the business incubation industry. Both documents were translated into Japanese for wide distribution to relevant stakeholders.

United States, 2002-2003: National Benchmarking Analysis of Technology Business Incubators, U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Technology Policy. NBIA, in conjunction with a team of industry researchers, conducted a national assessment of 79 U.S. technology incubation programs through data collection and interpretation as well as interviews with best-in-class programs. Through this effort, the team was able to gain a better understanding of technology business incubation best practices.

United States, 2001: Best Practice Guide for Incubator Management, Maryland Technology Development Corp. The association’s senior-level staff and a consultant assessed national and international best practices and identified and reviewed innovative models for incubating emerging technology ventures. NBIA later published a book based on the project. In addition to developing the manual and report, association staff and affiliates advised TEDCO staff and Maryland incubator managers on their concerns.

Project Partners

Appalachian Regional Commission
Ben Franklin Partnership Program
Dalian Business Incubation Association
EuropeAid/European Commission
Godisa Trust
Government of Accra, Ghana
Government of Bulgaria
Government of Chihuahua, Mexico
Government of Japan
Government of Kuwait
Government of Malaysia
Government of New Zealand
Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Infocomm Development Authority Singapore
International Economic Development Council
Japanese External Trade Organization
Maryland Technology Development Corp.
Maryland Business Incubation Association
Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO)
Ohio Department of Development
State of Sonora, Mexico
Technopolicy Institute
Tennessee Valley Authority
United Nations Development Program
U.S. Department of Commerce
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Economic Development Administration
Wendeng City Government, China
Wisconsin Business Incubation Association
World Bank
World Incubation Network
Yes Foundation, Macedonia

Contact NBIA

Phone: (740) 593-4331
Fax: (740) 593-1996
PO Box 959
Athens, OH 45701-1565

If you would like additional information about customized training, studies and research, send an e-mail to