Each year, the NBIA Incubation Awards honor the business incubators, client companies and graduates that exemplify the best in the industry. The diversity of our award winners is proof that excellence has many faces and that numbers alone never tell the whole story.
The NBIA Award Winners Showcase celebrates all that is possible through business incubation by highlighting these outstanding programs, clients and graduates.
Dinah Adkins Incubation Awards Fund
Dinah Adkins, president and CEO of the National Business Incubation Association from 1988 to 2009, retired as the Association's chief executive in August, 2009. Her name has been synonymous with business incubation since 1988, when she assumed management of the Association. Even before that time, she was an industry pioneer, working in the field since 1982 and becoming a founding member of NBIA in 1985.
To honor Dinah, a fund has been set up in her name to support NBIA's Incubation Awards Program. Incubator of the Year winners will receive increased recognition for their achievement through cash awards made in Dinah's honor each year.
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NBIA Awards are given yearly based on the following categories:
Incubator of the Year
This award honors exemplary NBIA member incubation programs. To qualify for the award, the incubator must have on-site management, provide a full range of business development services and have a policy that provides for graduating companies. There are two Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year award winners, one each in the "General and Special Focus" and "Technology Focus" categories.
From the two Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year winners, NBIA recognizes one incubator for its highest award, the Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year. This award, which recognizes overall excellence in business incubation programs, is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Whaley, NBIA's first board chairman. The Friends of University City Science Center, comprising prominent Philadelphia business people and academics who worked with Dr. Whaley, endowed this award.
Outstanding Incubator Client
This award recognizes outstanding client firms of NBIA member incubation programs. Incubator clients may be located on site or receive full incubation services through an affiliate (outreach) program. Companies that have participated only in a stand-alone program (microloan program, seminar open to public, etc.) are not eligible.
Outstanding Incubator Graduate
This award recognizes firms that are successful by anyone's measures. Incubator graduate companies have met the incubation program's specified exit criteria. They may have been either on-site clients or companies that received full incubation services through the incubator's affiliate (outreach) program. A candidate may be an anchor tenant that resides in the incubator but has ceased to use incubator business development services.
Incubator Innovation Award
The Incubator Innovation Award recognizes incubators that have developed and implemented innovative activities that help them better serve their clients or more effectively accomplish their missions. The project, program or activity can be of short or long duration, but the incubation program must have implemented the innovation for at least six months at the time of the application. In the case of shorter-term projects, the incubators must have completed and evaluated the success of the innovative project as of the entry deadline.
NBIA President's Award
First presented in 2010, this award honors individual NBIA members for lifetime achievement in the business incubation industry. The award does not have a formal, external nomination process but instead draws on the NBIA staff’s experiences with members who have contributed greatly to the industry and the association over the years.