At the 29th National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) international conference in Denver, Colorado TEC Edmonton CEO Chris Lumb took part in a panel entitled “Best University Business Incubator Practices.”
The panelists represented those university-associated business incubators/accelerators considered by the University Business Incubator (UBI) Index to be among the best the world.
TEC Edmonton, based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, was ranked in the 2014 UBI Index as the tenth best university business incubator in the world.
The 100-plus in the panel audience were interested in three particular aspects of the TEC Edmonton incubator/accelerator operation.
- TEC Edmonton’s client outcome measurement system.
- TEC’s unique status as a joint venture between the University of Alberta and the City of Edmonton.
- TEC Edmonton’s use of Executives-in-Residence and Business Development Associates to deliver business services to its clients.
All three panel participants, Lumb says, emphasized the need to measure outcomes, to empirically show how their organizations have benefited their business clients.
“Some in the audience said they simply did not have the resources to measure their performance. Our universal answer was ‘you have no choice, you have to measure your performance.’
“Stakeholders need objective metrics to know how the organization they may fund or otherwise encourage is doing. That was an eye-opener for quite a few attendees.”
Lumb fielded several questions about TEC Edmonton’s governance, still quite unique, as a joint venture between the University of Alberta and the City of Edmonton to encourage and assist technology commercialization and business development at the University and from the community-at-large.
“Most were amazed that such a joint venture was possible,” says Lumb, “that such unity and cohesion of purpose could happen between a university and its city in support of the common cause.
“My response to ‘how did you do it?’ was that Edmonton is an exceptionally innovative city where both the University and the City believe entrepreneurship and innovation is critical to the long-term success of both. The lively spirit of the partnership speaks to the character of our city as a whole.”
TEC Edmonton’s policy of employing short-term Executives-in-Residence and Business Development Associates to deliver its business services interested many in the audience.
“Many questions were asked about our encouragement of TEC’s Executives-in-Residence and business associates to leave TEC and move to entrepreneurial ventures after a number of years.”
To learn more about TEC Edmonton, how it does business and measures its outcomes, please visit www.tecedmonton.com. Don’t hesitate to contact CEO Lumb at (001) 780-492-8318. Follow TEC Edmonton on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @tecedmonton.