Monday, 1 February 2016

Guinness Enterprise Centre wins world’s ‘Top University Associated Business Incubator’ award in benchmark 2015 UBI Global Awards

The Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC) has been ranked the world’s Top University Associated Business Incubator in the prestigious UBI Global rankings. The award was presented at an awards ceremony in Stockholm. Selected from the 1,200 incubators worldwide which entered, the GEC scored 78/100 compared to a global average of 53/100. Contribution to job growth and support for graduate start-ups were highlighted among the GEC’s top attributes.

Collaboration with a large investor network was another key success factor. The GEC is managed by Dublin BIC, which also manages the AIB Seed Capital Fund and Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN), helping start-ups become investor ready, access finance and grow their companies domestically and internationally.

The UBI Global World Top University Business Incubator and Accelerator Rankings assess 1,200 university incubators around the world and rank them according to value for ecosystem, value for clients, and attractiveness. This year, 330 of the 1,200 incubator entrants, including the GEC, were benchmarked.

Three global awards are given out in total – University Associated Business Incubator, Top University Business Incubator and Top University Business Accelerator. The university associated section, won by GEC, is given to the highest-ranked incubator that works closely with, but has no formal affiliation to, the universities in its jurisdiction.

The GEC works closely with top universities and institutions in Ireland, including Trinity, DCU, DIT, UCD Smurfit, Ballyfermot College of Education. The centre also frequently collaborates with universities abroad including the University of Phoenix, Arizona; Northeastern University, Boston; and University of Padua, Italy.

More than 90 start-ups call the GEC home, with an additional 70 support companies housed in the centre. Many of these are graduate-led companies, started through collaboration with various universities. More than 370 people work in the incubator, with close to 1,000 employed globally by the start-ups it houses.

UBI Global also recognised the GEC for hosting events for its start-ups, ranging from investor networking opportunities, hackathons and tech meet-ups, and also yoga classes, golf trips, hiking and five-aside football games.

Richard Bruton T.D., Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, commented: “This is great news for the Guinness Enterprise Centre and a great boost for our efforts to make Ireland a great place to start a business. Business incubators in general, and those associated with universities in particular, are a crucial part of any country’s start-up environment, and we have made a concerted effort through our Action Plan for Jobs to improve the availability of these facilities in Ireland. I am delighted to congratulate Eamonn and all his team on this major award, and wish them every success in the future.”

Speaking about the award, David Varian, chairman, Guinness Enterprise Centre said: “We understand that our ability to help commercialise projects was a key factor behind our success. Working closely with universities has been a core part of what we do since the GEC was born in 1999. We hone the talents of ambitious graduate start-up leaders from Ireland and abroad to give them a base, help them develop their skills, and connect them with the right people to grow. Ireland is a globally recognised start-up hub and we’re delighted to play a part in this and be recognised for our work.”

Eamonn Sayers, GEC manager added: “The whole team at GEC is overjoyed with this and being recognised and ranked highest among incubators across the globe is a phenomenal achievement. We look forward to continuing to play a key role in the evolution of Dublin as a global entrepreneurial hub and to welcoming further Irish and international start-up and growth companies to our GEC community ”