InBIA Awards

Success Stories

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NBIA’s 2005 Randall Whaley Incubator of the Year, was invaluable to LBTC. Because of the award, we received national, regional and local attention that has helped us attract quality entrepreneurs to our program, additional funding and sponsorships for our events, and increased reputation among my stakeholders.

Charles D'Agostino,
Executive Director
Louisiana Business & Technology Center, Baton Rouge
2017 InBIA Annual Conference Preview Registration Ratrs
Each year, the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) honors business incubation programs, clients and graduates, and others in the entrepreneurial ecosystem who exemplify the best of the industry. These organizations and their outstanding companies have made important industry contributions through their products, services, programs and examples.  InBIA's awards are about the heart of business incubation and innovation. Urban or rural, specialized or mixed-use, U.S.-based or international, we're looking for the next champions of entrepreneurship support.

Dinah Adkins Incubation Awards Fund

Dinah Adkins, president and CEO of the National Business Incubation Association from 1988 to 2009, retired as the Association's chief executive in August, 2009. Her name has been synonymous with business incubation since 1988, when she assumed management of the Association. Even before that time, she was an industry pioneer, working in the field since 1982 and becoming a founding member of NBIA in 1985.

To honor Dinah, a fund has been set up in her name to support InBIA's Incubation Awards Program. Incubator of the Year winners will receive increased recognition for their achievement through cash awards made in Dinah's honor each year.

Questions? Please contact Cheryl Brink at 407.965.5653 Ext. 500 or send an email to [email protected].

InBIA Awards are given yearly based on the following categories:

All InBIA members and their current clients and recent graduate companies are eligible to apply. The member Incubator awards recognize overall excellence in business incubation within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. These awards recognize a program that has developed a particularly effective innovation that helps the program better serve clients or more effectively accomplish its mission.

Incubator Awards

This award honors exemplary InBIA member incubation programs. To qualify for the award, the incubator must have on-site management, provide a full range of business development services and have a policy that provides for graduating companies. There are several award categories:

  • Best Soft Landings Program
  • Best Makerspace
  • Accelerator Program of the Year
  • Best Student Entrepreneurship Program
  • Food Incubator of the Year
  • Rural Incubator of the Year
  • Biotech Incubator of the Year
  • Mixed-use Incubator of the Year
  • Technology/IT Incubator of the Year
  • University Incubator of the Year
  • Incubator Innovation Award

The winner in each category above will compete for one of these two awards:

  • Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year - Technology and Science Focus
  • Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year - General and Special Focus
From the two Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year winners, InBIA recognizes one incubator for its highest award, the Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year. This award, which recognizes overall excellence in business incubation programs, is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Whaley, InBIA's first board chairman. The Friends of University City Science Center, comprising prominent Philadelphia business people and academics who worked with Dr. Whaley, endowed this award.


Outstanding Incubator Client

This award recognizes outstanding client firms of InBIA member incubation programs. Incubator clients may be located on site or receive full incubation services through an affiliate (outreach) program. Companies that have participated only in a stand-alone program (microloan program, seminar open to public, etc.) are not eligible.

Outstanding Incubator Graduate

This award recognizes firms that are successful by anyone's measures. Incubator graduate companies have met the incubation program's specified exit criteria. They may have been either on-site clients or companies that received full incubation services through the incubator's affiliate (outreach) program. A candidate may be an anchor tenant that resides in the incubator but has ceased to use incubator business development services.

Incubator Innovation Award

The Incubator Innovation Award recognizes incubators that have developed and implemented innovative activities that help them better serve their clients or more effectively accomplish their missions. The project, program or activity can be of short or long duration, but the incubation program must have implemented the innovation for at least six months at the time of the application. In the case of shorter-term projects, the incubators must have completed and evaluated the success of the innovative project as of the entry deadline.

InBIA President's Award

First presented in 2010, this award honors individual InBIA members for lifetime achievement in the business incubation industry. The award does not have a formal, external nomination process but instead draws on the InBIA staff’s experiences with members who have contributed greatly to the industry and the association over the years.


The International Business Innovation Association