Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship named No. 1 university business incubator in the world

Rice Alliance earns top spot two years in a row


Today the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship was named No. 1 among the top university business incubators for the second year in a row by UBI Index, a Swedish research initiative.

UBI Index last year became the first to compare business incubators worldwide. For this year's extended edition, more than 300 university-affiliated business incubators in 67 countries were compared in three performance categories: the value to the “ecosystem,” the value to the client (startups) and the attractiveness of the incubation program. In total, more than 60 key performance indexes have been used to compare the incubation programs worldwide.

“Rice University has had a long culture as an entrepreneurial university, having been founded by one of Houston’s most successful entrepreneurs – William Marsh Rice – over 100 years ago," said Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance. "The Rice Alliance is proud to support the educational mission of the university in teaching entrepreneurship while providing mentoring and an entrepreneurial ecosystem for aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the university, throughout Houston and throughout the Texas region to create startups and jobs, and to help build a robust economy. We are honored to be recognized for our efforts by UBI Index."

The study discovered some interesting trends, including that the world’s top universities do not always generate the best business incubators. In addition, the study found that Asian incubators create more jobs than the European ones despite significantly less funding. “This proves our hypothesis -- that creating a competitive business incubation program requires a clear focus from the university,” said Dhruv Bhatli, co-founder and director of research at UBI Index.

"Rice University combines many strengths that are essential to creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem: a strong engineering school, a strong natural sciences program and a strong business school program," said Yael Hochberg, the Ralph S. O’Connor Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business and the Rice Alliance’s academic director. "Combining that with the resources available in Houston, the energy sector and the Texas Medical Center, the Rice Alliance has been able to build an extremely strong platform for helping to grow the next generation of innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. We are honored to be at the top of the UBI Index, and we will always keep striving for continued momentum and growth moving forward."

The Rice Alliance is host to the Rice Business Plan Competition, the world’s largest and richest student startup competition with nearly $3 million in prizes. The Rice Alliance also hosts the flagship Technology Venture Forums (venture capital conferences) and is a supporter of the Rice OwlSpark Accelerator, a student-led startup accelerator, along with many other programs. Over the past 14 years, the mission of the Rice Alliance has been to support technology commercialization, entrepreneurship education and the launch of technology companies. During this time, more than 1,500 startup companies have benefited from Rice Alliance programs, and these companies have raised more than $2.9 billion in funding.

For the complete index list and more information, visit www.ubiindex.com.

— Jeff Falk, Rice News