Chris Lumb, CEO of TEC Edmonton
The University of Alberta’s business incubator is the 16th best in the world, according to the latest global ranking by the University Business Incubator Index.
TEC Edmonton, a joint venture of the U of A and the City of Edmonton (through Edmonton Economic Development), also ranked fourth in North America and third in Canada in 2015. The index is produced each year by the Swedish-based UBI Global, based on about 60 performance indicators that provide a benchmark for incubators around the world.
“The UBI Index awards are a key indication that Alberta’s university business incubators are effectively contributing to the diversification of Alberta’s economy, increasing our provincial economic growth and helping to build Alberta’s reputation as a great place to grow a business,” said Chris Lumb, CEO of TEC Edmonton.
The organization noted TEC Edmonton’s strong performance in providing value for clients and positively developing the local economy by catalyzing job creation.
The UBI ranking supports results from TEC Edmonton’s 2014-2015 annual client survey that shows its 128 active clients grow faster, raise more growth capital and have better survival rates than startups in the broader economy. And with an average job growth rate of 25 per cent per year, they significantly outperform Industry Canada’s benchmark job growth rates of one to five per cent per year for early-stage entrepreneurial ventures.
As the commercialization engine for U of A developed technologies, TEC Edmonton has helped create 22 U of A spinoff companies in the last five years. Its clients have generated more than $470 million in revenue, raised over $230 million in financing and invested $142 million in research and development. The U of A and TEC Edmonton’s focus is not just creating spinoffs, but also sustaining them by providing resources to help the new companies succeed and prosper. And the approach is working: the U of A currently has 88 spinoffs still operational.
“One way to ensure university research solutions provide the greatest benefit to society is via technology transfer and commercialization. When TEC Edmonton was launched in 2006, no other North American business accelerator merged university innovation with civic and university-based services for entrepreneurs,” says Lorne Babiuk, U of A vice-president (research). “A short nine years later, TEC Edmonton is named 16th in the world. We are very proud of this recognition and of our strong partnership with the City of Edmonton and TEC Edmonton.
“Congratulations to the TEC Edmonton team and thank you to our provincial and federal governments, industry and non-profit partners—and of course our researchers and innovators—all of whom have contributed to TEC Edmonton’s success. Congratulations as well to Canada’s other top-ranked university business incubators—Ryerson’s DMZ and Innovate Calgary. Together we will help build a better Canada and world.”