PoliHub is among the world’s top five university incubators

It is the only Italian incubator in the Top 10 of the UBI Global’s World University-Linked Business Incubator Rankings


For the third consecutive year, Politecnico di Milano Innovation District & Startup Accelerator, PoliHub, which is managed by Fondazione Politecnico di Milano, has been named among the world’s top five university incubators in the UBI Global ranking.

The result was announced during the World Incubation Summit in Doha. The Summit is an event for sharing international best practices in the business creation field. The ranking was prepared and presented by UBI Global – an independent Swedish association which has measured the performance of incubators since 2013.

The British SETSquared Partnership, an incubator resulting from an alliance between the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, was awarded first place. In addition to PoliHub, the other Top five were  Canadian DMZ of Ryerson University in Toronto, the Turkish İTÜ Çekirdek of Istanbul Technical University and the Dutch YES!Delft of the Delft University of Technology.

The 2019/2020 UBI Global World Rankings assessment analysed 1,580 projects worldwide, and 591 participated in the audit. After the evaluation there were 364 projects from 78 different countries left.

Projects were ranked by programme type (between incubators and accelerators) and by nature (between university, company, or public administration projects). The public administration category was added this year.

The new ranking categories were following: University Business Incubators, Public Business Incubators, Private Business Incubators, University Business Accelerators, Public Business Accelerators and Private Business Accelerators.

PoliHub belongs to the first category, University Business Incubators, which was the most competitive and made up more than 40 per cent of the sample. This category performance has the most significant impact on the innovation ecosystem and, for this reason, UBI considers it the benchmark reference category.

The assessment method was  based on three main areas: the ecosystem value generated (e.g. number of incubated start-ups, start-ups turnover, jobs, financing obtained, etc.), the incubated start-upsvalue (e.g. quantity and quality of services offered to the start-ups, number of relationships with companies, universities, and financing institutions, etc.) and the start-ups’ attractiveness and the ecosystem (e.g. number of ideas evaluated, start-ups growth and survival rate, and the number of incubator partners, etc.).

PoliHub's performance values grew this year. The benchmark showed high scores in the area of value created for start-ups, particularly in the subcategory of skills development and ability to attract capital that favours acquisition operations by consolidated companies (three exit operations monitored during the monitoring period of the current benchmark). It is a hybrid business model because the Politecnico di Milano incubator has expanded its activities from traditional incubation services to acceleration programmes using the Poli360Venture Capital Fund.

PoliHub distinguished itself by the quality of the technology transfer services developed in its scouting platforms, in partnership with other Universities and Research Institutes, and for acting in close synergy with the Politecnico di Milano Innovation District.

The PoliHub award is the confirmation of the 'Politecnico system' effectiveness. It recognises that only by establishing a competitive partnership, it is possible to obtain more significant results than working alone

Politecnico di Milano Rector Ferruccio Resta, said: "The prize awarded today in Doha is thanks to the city of Milan. Our ability to attract talent and ideas is growing along with the city, and it is an advantage which is down to the Lombardy Region, which practically invests in the development of the Bovisa Innovation District. It is also due to the companies that are starting to set up here to take advantage of the mechanisms of knowledge sharing and partnership between the public and private sectors. These are the only way to affirm our ability to do business, grow in size and skills, and stimulate the market to invest in universities as a development lever. PoliHub is at the centre of a real ecosystem capable of competing internationally.

PoliHub CEO Stefano Mainetti, who attended the World Incubation Summit 2019 with General Manager Claudia Pingue, and Investment Manager Federica Biancon said: "We are proud of this result. Participating in initiatives like this, based on objective assessment parameters, is fundamental because making an international comparison creates a difference."

PoliHub is an Italian reference point, but this is no longer enough. Our challenge is to operate at the same quality level as the best international ecosystems, enhancing the Italian features and excellence. The interactions and debates held during the Summit have confirmed that we are working in the right direction