The Evidence Network CEO Describes New Tools to Help Incubator Managers Support Funding Decisions

May 29, 2014.
Dr. Brian Barge, CEO, spoke recently at the National Business Incubator Association’s (NBIA) 2014 Conference in New Orleans

Dr. Brian Barge, CEO, spoke recently at the National Business Incubator Association’s (NBIA) 2014 Conference in New Orleans

Toronto, Ontario – May 29, 2014 – Dr. Brian Barge, President and CEO of The Evidence Network (TEN), a global leader in the assessment of innovation impact, spoke recently at the NBIA International Conference on Business Incubation. Nearly 600 business incubator managers and economic development professionals attended this conference.

Measuring the portion of company growth attributed to an incubator (shown on right) is key to justifying funding. In this example, management showed that their client companies would have created 58 fewer jobs if this incubator didn’t exist.

In a session entitled How are you really impacting clients? Dr. Barge spoke about the need for incubator leaders to communicate their real impact to key stakeholders, including funders.

“20 to 50% of incubators lose their funding or have their funding reduced each year,” said Dr. Barge. “Incubator managers lose funding because traditional methods don’t tell the whole impact story. Our clients recognize this to be a real and immediate issue.”

Dr. Barge described how incubator managers are ensuring their future funding by capturing and showing attributed impact – the portion of company growth that the companies themselves attribute to their incubator. Growth numbers without attribution are not enough. He quoted a TEN customer – “If my clients say I have specific impacts, then I have those impacts.”

Dr. Barge also described how incubator leaders further enrich their impact story using measures of their incubator’s impact on the resources and capabilities of their clients. Incubators’ impacts on, for example, operational knowledge, strategic knowledge, access to facilities, business linkages, and access to financing help tell their whole impact story.

“Incubator managers can now rethink their approaches to communicating their impact,” said Dr. Barge. “Measuring attributed impact on company performance, and impact on company resources and capabilities are two powerful, now proven, approaches to ensuring funding.”

TEN also announced today that it is offering 20% discounts to any new client projects started before August 31, 2014.

About The Evidence Network

The Evidence Network provides assessments of the impacts that business, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship support programs have on companies. TEN elicits attributed impacts directly from client companies, and determines: impact on companies’ resources and capabilities, impact on companies’ performance, economic impact indicators, and the relationship between services, impact on companies’ performance, and impact on the economy.

About The National Business Incubation Association:

The National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) is the world’s leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship. Each year, it provides thousands of professionals with information, education, advocacy, and networking resources to bring excellence to the process of assisting early-stage companies.

About Brian Barge:

Dr. Barge is co-founder, President and CEO of The Evidence Network. He has served as President & CEO of three leading innovation intermediaries in Canada. He led CMC Microsystems (2000-2006) in its provision of advanced tools, technologies and services for microsystems research and innovation at universities across Canada, the Ottawa Economic Development Corporation (1996-2000) in support of the growth of Ottawa’s economy, and the Alberta Research Council (1991-1996) in the development and commercialization of technology.

Over his 40-year career in innovation management, often in a global context, Brian has forged numerous innovative initiatives among universities, industries and governments that have stimulated the formation and growth of countless technology-intensive firms.

For Media Inquiries Contact:

  • Cameron Miller
  • Director, Marketing
  • The Evidence Network
  • miller@ten.loc
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