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Guide to best practice

Manual for the monitoring and evaluation of pre-incubators

The University of Strathclyde, Dr. Margaret Sheen, in collaboration with their subcontractor Charles Broadfoot from UXL Ltd. has developed a manual for the monitoring and evaluation of pre-incubators, which proved to be very useful to examine the progress of setting up the new pre-incubators in Valencia and Paris. The manual provides a structure to help stakeholders conduct an evaluation of the process of establishing a pre-incubator associated with a university. The guidelines on how to conduct an evaluation of the pre-incubator sets out five key areas for evaluation:

  1. Analysis of Strategic Fit - Examining of the strategic fit between the pre-incubator activities with the other University commercialisation activities.
  2. Validation of the pre-incubator - Confirming that the infrastructure to support the pre-incubator processes is established.
  3. Product /Technology Positioning - Assessing that the product, technology or service is suitable for inclusion in the pre-incubator.
  4. Pre-incubator Services - Evaluating the quality and efficiency of the functional process offered to Entrepreneurs within the pre-incubator.
  5. Entrepreneur Issues - Appraising the abilities of the Entrepreneurs to build a successful Profit Centre (PC) within the pre-incubator.

 

Pre-incubator core features

The University of Strathclyde has identified the core features that put together are what gives the pre-incubator its uniqueness: that uniqueness is in its ability to trade and test the market before company formation, and by offering real experiential learning which lowers the risk of market failure. Pre-incubator core features:

  • Ownership: Private limited company
  • Public/private finance
  • Legal status
  • 'Profit' centres with capacity to trade
  • Learning by doing
  • Timely access to expertise
  • Indemnity
  • Capacity to Market test
  • Capacity for concept development

 

Best practice guidelines of pre-incubation

A key issue for the USINE project has been the transferability of this model.From the project experience it is clear that each region or institution will have to find its own solution to how a pre-incubator can best be established. The guide to pre-incubator "best practice" developed by Strathclyde University within the framework of the USINE project offers a set of pointers towards principles of "best practice", which can be adopted within a diverse set of circumstances. 
"Best practice" guidelines have been grouped under the following headings:

  • Strategic fit
  • Infrastructure
  • Organisation and Management
  • Services to spin-off
  • Entrepreneurs

The guidelines towards best practice are available for download:

Guide to best practice

 

For further information on best practice guidelines referring to pre-incubation please contact: Ms. Maggie Sheen

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