New Venture Institute named best university incubator in Asia-Pacific

The New Venture Institute (NVI) at Flinders University has achieved global recognition by being named the ‘Top Challenger in the Asia-Pacific’ in the latest UBI World Benchmark Study.

The UBI World Benchmark Study is the world’s most extensive ranking exercise for university-linked business incubators and accelerators, and separates the wheat from the chaff in terms of entrepreneurial nous and long-term business success.

The New Venture Institute has delivered a stunning result by outperforming the top 10% of incubation programs worldwide in the category of talent retention and performing significantly above the global average in terms of economic impact, startup creation and post-incubation performance.

According to UBI Global, NVI also achieved an above average score regarding access to networks and program attractiveness.

“These results are exceptional considering NVI’s comparatively young age, and are testament to the world-class training and inspirational climate we have fostered at Flinders as the University’s home of entrepreneurship,” says NVI Director Matt Salier.

Founded in 2013, NVI has helped create 232 startups and trained more than 2,000 individuals in innovation and enterprise.

It has also generated Australia’s largest pre-accelerator program for aspiring entrepreneurs, the award-winning Venture Dorm initiative.

Chosen from 1,370 incubation programs around the world to be benchmarked, NVI has risen above a shortlist of 259 programs from 53 countries to achieve the top gong for the Asia-Pacific region.

“This latest accolade puts NVI on the world map and is further evidence that we are hitting it out of the park in terms of the relevance and quality of our programs,” Mr Salier says.

“We are the only hybrid incubator/accelerator program in Australia to receive two incubator support grants under the National Innovation and Science Agenda, and now we are recognised as a global leader in our field.

“Knowing that NVI produces more successful graduates than the Global Top Average of the world’s best incubation programs is a real boon and reflects the level of strategic investment that Flinders University has made in us,” Mr Salier says.

One of NVI’s greatest strengths is the exceptionally high number of alumni entrepreneurs that remain engaged with NVI and that locate their operations at the Tonsley Innovation Precinct upon graduation, where NVI is based.

Being located at Australia’s first Innovation District gives NVI students and clients the opportunity to access world-class research, training and networks in a single multi-use hub, and take full advantage of South Australia’s capabilities in health, renewable energy, technology and mining.

“The immersive experience we are able to provide at NVI by being based at Tonsley enables our clients to develop their capacity to leverage disruption and pursue valuable business opportunities in an educated, fearless way,” says Mr Salier.

Voxon Photonics graduated from NVI’s Venture Dorm program in 2014 and has gone on to secure more than $1 million in investment from Australian investors.

Their state-of-the art 3D Volumetric Display Technology is now being developed out of the eNVIsion space at Tonsley, where Voxon employs six full-time staff and enjoys sales across multiple markets.

“Being part of the New Venture Institute has connected us to a great network of entrepreneurs and academics and allowed us to demonstrate our technology to the numerous visitors who frequent the Tonsley Innovation Precinct,” says Voxon CEO Will Tamblyn.

“Over the last few years, the business model that we pitched at Venture Dorm has been expanded and verified and we are now shipping our product around the world.

“We were winners at the Venture Dorm pitch night and that gave us a seat on the eNVI.US Startup Tour of the United States – this in turn gave us the opportunity to meet the founders of some of Silicon Valley’s best companies, pitch at the amazing SXSW Festival and get a glimpse of the workings of some of New York’s biggest institutions, all of which provided us with invaluable experience,” Mr Tamblyn says.

Moving forward, NVI aims to provide all Flinders University students with an innovation and entrepreneurial experience, and will shortly be delivering a dynamic new training program for academic and professional staff at Flinders University, too.

This training will help embed a culture of innovation and enterprise in the workplace as well as across the student body.

The New Venture Institute remains committed to forging new and innovative ways of bringing South Australian research and industry together to commercialise new technologies and bolster job growth.

All awardees in the 2017-2018 UBI World Benchmark Study will be announced on 22 of February at the World Incubation Summit in Toronto, Canada.

This year marks the first year that NVI has been benchmarked in the UBI World Benchmark Study.

About UBI Global

UBI Global is a Swedish-based data and advisory firm that specialises in mapping and connecting the world of business incubation.

It has developed a research methodology to rank and benchmark university-linked business incubators and accelerators globally. It evaluates each incubation program’s absolute impact and relative performance across several dimensions and a comprehensive set of key performance indicators (KPIs).

The UBI World Benchmark Study is designed to identify distinguishing features of university-linked business incubators and accelerators and benchmark each program against industry averages.

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