New report: Incubators and accelerators in the UK

Written by Kate Beresford


According to the research, there are a total of 274 incubators and accelerators in the UK, of which 40 are corporate incubators and 80 are university incubators. The most diffused services provided are provision of physical spaces, networking services, access to finance and managerial support and training. 

Social Innovation Monitor (SIM), an international research team based at Politecnico di Torino university, in collaboration the Enterprise Educators UK Association and the UKSPA Association, has published the first report on the impact of incubators/accelerators in the UK. The research team has leveraged the successful publication of similar reports in Italy for three years and the support of Instilla, Experientia and Social Innovation Teams (SIT).

Click here for the report.

The Public Report presents the geographical distribution of incubators/accelerators in the UK, analyses the legal nature and the different types of incubators/accelerators and gives an overview of the services provided and the differences between the different incubation/acceleration programs. Moreover, it highlights characteristics and challenges faced by incubators/accelerators who support entrepreneurial teams and organizations with significant social and/or environmental impact.

According to the research, there are 274 incubators and accelerators in the UK, with an estimated number of employees of 2164. On average these incubators receive 122,8 applications per year and their main source of income is “Rental of business space”.

For British incubators and accelerators, the most important services are provision of physical spaces, networking services, access to finance and managerial support and training. The startups with a significant social and environmental impact most supported by incubators and accelerators in the UK are those in the Health & Wellness sector.

United Kingdom is not the only country analyzed by the Social Innovation Monitor (SIM) research team. In the coming weeks, SIM will publish, for the first time, a Report aggregating data on incubators/accelerators in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

As underlined by Professor Paolo Landoni of the Politecnico di Torino, Scientific Director of the Research, “We are pleased to have managed to carry out this research in five European countries in such a difficult period. We are grateful to the incubators and accelerators who participated and to our international partners. We are convinced that incubators and accelerators play a fundamental role in the European entrepreneurial ecosystem and it is important to create and compare their activities in Europe.

Moreover, Gareth Trainer, Chair, Enterprise Educators UK and Assistant Director for Enterprise & Entrepreneurship, Newcastle University, UK explained “It has been a pleasure to support the team in undertaking this insightful research and we are particularly pleased that it identifies the important role our member universities and their skilled educators and practitioners play in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the UK; a role that can only become increasingly crucial to the economy and society more broadly”.

The Report on European incubators/accelerators and the Full Reports of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK will be available soon. All Reports will be available in English. A webinar to present the European data will be announced in the coming weeks.

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