Aussie tech hub beats world to win “Top Incubator in the World”

Aussie incubator, Cicada Innovations, have been name the “Top Incubator in the World” by global peak industry association for entrepreneurship programs, the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) in Dallas, USA.

The finalists were selected from over 2,200 InBIA member incubators, accelerators, and entrepreneurship centers from across the globe, with Cicada Innovations being the only Australian in the running. Applicants were ranked across economic and social impact-based metrics, such as the number of startup entrants and successful exits, jobs created, patents filed, new products and services launched, investment dollars received, value and impact of companies created, depth of collaboration, and much more.

Australia’s technologists are typically well regarded internationally and being internationally recognised is something our country should be proud of. 

CEO of Cicada Innovations, Petra Andrén said,

“Our primary point of difference at Cicada is our program-driven leadership in deep technologies. 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.

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.

Being program-driven and taking a ‘create, validate, and incubate’ approach allows us to provide longer-term support until our promising startups reach scale-up phase, which can take many years.

We ‘create’ businesses by sourcing world-changing IP and qualified researchers and tech founders through commercialisation training programs, such as the Medical Device Commercialisation Training Progam (MDTCP) for medtech.

We then ’validate’ their proof of concept by running businesses through specialised accelerator programs, testing early stage ideas for real-world applications, before considering them for long-term incubation. Our GrowLab accelerator program is an example of one such program that feeds directly into the Cicada incubator.

Once residing inside Cicada, we ‘incubate’ these businesses through access to specialised infrastructure such as labs, hardware spaces, and cleanrooms. They also receive tailored business support services such as mentorship programs from alumni founder entrepreneurs and domain experts offering free assistance on such matters as legal or IP requirements, networking events, easy access to talent in the form of PhD placement programs, access to highly specialized capabilities from our University shareholders,  and much more.”

Cicada Innovations is the only incubator in Australia to be classified as a “super hub” by InBIA, who defines this as one that blends “several models of entrepreneurial growth into a single location, supporting technology entrepreneurs with a wide range of critical services” throughout their entrepreneurial journey until graduation.

This also creates the all-important pay-it-forward culture that only works in a hyper-connected cluster where collaboration thrives.

Gladys Berejiklian, NSW Premier said,

“As a Government we strongly support the start-up industry as it drives innovation and jobs right across the State. 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.”

Alan Finkel AO, Australia’s Chief Scientist said,

“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.”

Bill Ferris AC, Chairman of Innovation and Science Australia, said,

In my role as Chair of Innovation and Science Australia, I have been privileged to participate in Cicada’s Nobel Awards events in 2016 and 2017.  CICADA’s focus on incubating a portfolio of deep science innovators has delivered outstanding results.  I join others in congratulating Petra and her dedicated team and wish them well as a finalist for the ‘Top Technology  Incubator in the World’ award.”

The InBIA awards were held at The Sheraton Hotel in Dallas, Texas at InBIA’s 32nd International Conference on Business Incubation running 21-25 April 2018.

Cicada Innovations was also shortlisted in the smaller categories of “Top Technology Incubator in the World” and “Top Super Incubator in the World” awards, and also recently also won InBIA’s February 2018 Technology Incubator of the Month” prior to this event.

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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