Where to Focus a University Incubator

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Fueled by the success of Silicon Valley startups and other success stories, there probably isn’t a single university today which would not like to foster startups from their student ranks. There is a lot to be said about how to do that, but before all operational decisions, a university incubator needs to know where to focus, and this is easy to get wrong.

The figure above shows my thinking on a key aspect of the subject: The type of student to spend your efforts on. A university incubator should focus on those students (and teach them and make it easier) who are sitting on the fence. It should ignore those whole will never do it and it should neglect those who will always find a way, no matter what.


  1. Christoph Heynen Avatar

    In my opinion students that fit in the category “always” should not be neglected. They are important for creating entrepreneurial spirit within the ecosystem of an university incubator and can act as role models for the “maybes” and the “maybe nots”.

    1. Dirk Riehle Avatar

      I agree. With “focus” I did not imply a 100% focus while excluding everyone else.

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