University of Michigan

University at Albany



EDA Study Home

The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA), a longtime financial supporter of business incubators, funded a research study to examine the relationship between incubator best practices and client outcomes. This research - conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy; the State University of New York at Albany, the National Business Incubation Association, and Cybergroup Inc. - used a robust methodology to collect and statistically analyze data, and determine specific relationships between how an incubation program operates and how its client companies perform, as measured by a number of outcomes.

The purpose of this study is to test whether there is a causal relationship between business incubation practices and client firm success, particularly after these firms have moved out of - or graduated - from the incubation program. Using the results of this study, the research team also created a Web-based tool for incubation practitioners that measures their program's performance compared with industry best practices and provides feedback about how they can improve their performance, and a brochure that highlights the study's findings.