C4C New Ventures Facility recognized among world’s top business incubators

Story by Clare LaFond
Photos by Conrado Tapado

C4C’s New Ventures Facility at Fluke Hall, University of Washington

C4C’s New Ventures Facility at Fluke Hall

The C4C New Ventures Facility (NVF) at UW has been named in a ranking of the top university business incubators in the world by the 2013 University Business Incubators (UBI) Global Index, a new research initiative led by a study group based in Stockholm, Sweden. The UW’s NVF programs were among the top 10 globally and the top 5 nationally in the areas of Network Enhancement (Index 11) and Internal Environment and Services (Index 13), which ranked the entrepreneurial atmosphere of incubators and their ability to provide start-up clients with the integrated programs, support and resources needed to accelerate the movement of lab discoveries to the marketplace.

This year marks the first release of the UBI Index ranking, which provides a comprehensive benchmark and assessment of the performance and best practices of university business incubators worldwide. The UBI Index reviewed 550 university incubators around the world and performed a study of 150 incubators across 22 countries. Incubators were analyzed according to a set of 50 performance indicators that measured the value the incubator created for their ecosystem and their start-up company clients.

Located in Fluke Hall on the UW-Seattle campus, C4C’s New Ventures Facility opened in February 2012 as a business incubator that provides UW start-ups access to critical lab and office space on the UW campus.

“We are thrilled to be top-ranked in the areas of network enhancement and internal environment after only a year and a half of operation,” said C4C’s Director of New Ventures Patrick Shelby. “These are two critical areas, and we plan to enhance this standing by introducing even more programs and services to our start-ups in the coming year.”

C4C’s New Ventures Facility currently hosts 14 companies, with space for 25 companies once renovations, set to begin next Spring, are completed in 2015. The expanded space will offer 11,500 square feet of laboratory space and 7,000 square feet of office and meeting space.

Photo of Andrew Ko and Jacob Wobbrock of Qazzow, an e-commerce website service. Photo by Conrado Tapado

Andrew Ko and Jacob Wobbrock working on Qazzow, an e-commerce website service

The New Ventures Facility is one key element in C4C’s larger commercialization initiative dedicated to maximizing UW’s contribution to the Washington state economy by spinning out start-up companies that bring to the marketplace innovations in life sciences, clean technology, alternative energy and information technology.

“This global recognition as a top university business incubator further enhances the UW’s reputation as a leader in taking ideas to impact,” said Linden Rhoads, Vice Provost for the UW Center for Commercialization. “From our #1 national ranking in the number of licenses signed, to the increasing number of inventions disclosed, patents filed, and start-up companies generated, we are helping to translate scientific discovery into products, services, therapies, diagnostics and cures that can help millions of people worldwide.”

In February 2012, at the opening of the New Ventures Facility, UW President Michael K. Young set a goal to double the number of UW start-ups in three years. C4C launched 17 new start-up companies in the past fiscal year based on UW research technologies, making FY 13 the UW’s single most productive year for start-up formation, and placing the UW among the top schools in the nation for commercialization efforts, along with MIT, the University of Illinois, the University of Utah, UCLA and Columbia University.