Despite competing against the likes of Silicon Valley and other global tech hubs, an Australian incubator has been declared the world’s best in a prestigious awards program.
The International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), which describes itself as the peak global industry association for entrepreneurship and innovation programs, trawled through 2,200 business accelerators, incubators and entrepreneur growth centres worldwide.
All applicants were ranked on a range of metrics, including the number of jobs created and patents filed, investment received, the value of businesses created and the number of successful start-ups, to select its winner of the “top incubator in the world” title.
That winner was Cicada Innovations, based in Sydney’s tech hub in Redfern.
Cicada Innovations CEO Petra Andrén said it was the incubator’s focus on “program-driven leadership in deep technologies” which helped it to stand out.
“These science-based innovations create solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing our planet today, such as food security, climate change, and an aging population,” Ms Andrén said.
“They also need longer time to market, and greater access to domain expertise and STEM talent to scale. This is where Cicada’s shareholder universities – USYD, ANU, UTS, UNSW – and its ecosystem of industry partners and local and overseas investors come into play.”
Australia’s chief scientist Alan Finkel AO praised Cicada for its approach in nurturing new start-ups.
“Innovation is doing things differently and doing them better. Cicada is an innovator amongst incubators, doing it differently through their programs to attract the best commercialisable ideas, and doing it better by using alumni and industry experts to provide business, legal and financial acumen to the founders to support their validated scientific ideas,” Mr Finkel said.
Meanwhile, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the win highlighted the depth of innovation currently being explored within Australia, and in NSW in particular.
“We already have more than 40 per cent of the nation’s start-ups here in NSW and with the success of incubators like Cicada Innovations we expect to see this number grow,” she said.
The InBIA awards were heled in Dallas in the US as part of its annual International Conference on Business Incubation.