(Quebec) Last week, Entrepreneurship Laval was crowned the first accelerator university companies in North America.
On 25 November, the nonprofit organization that contributed to the outbreak of 710 companies since its inception in 1993, Communauto iXmédia, Mattresses and Yuzu Sushi Dolphins, could be included in the ranking of the top 10 university business accelerator on the planet.
And why not in the front row?
“We cross our fingers,” sighs the CEO Entrepreneurship Laval, Yves Plourde.
It is indeed on 25 November, the United Kingdom, Ubi Global, an international research organization based in Stockholm and specialize in the comparative analysis of university incubators, will release its world’s top 10 business accelerators academics.
On November 3, he revealed the champion for North America.
Entrepreneurship Laval managed to stay ahead of prestigious institutions such as Mass Challenge (Boston University), York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (York University, Toronto) Launch Chapel Hill (University of North Carolina) and The Inkubator (Northern Kentucky University).
From a pool of more than a thousand incubators and accelerators of companies participating university, UBI Global has scrutinized the performance of more than 300 of them. Fifty indicators are used to compare them. Indicators which allow to measure, for example, the dynamics within the organization, its power of attraction and the benefits for academic customers.
“Entrepreneurship Laval is particularly illustrated in the category value for the ecosystem and attractiveness that include indicators such as retaining talent in the region and the provision of services,” says Yves Plourde pointing to the Sun qu’Entrepreneuriat Laval had given training and support services to more than 9500 students for 22 years.
It’s only been a few years that the accelerators and university business incubators around the world are evaluated and compared. “This is an important and challenging exercise that allows us to keep us updated on best practices and we are part of a continuous improvement process,” says Plourde.
Last year, in his first participation in the evaluation exercise UBI Global Entrepreneurship Laval did not appear in the table of the best.
Sixty new companies per year
Under the leadership of Yvon Gasse, Professor at the Faculty of Business Administration, Entrepreneurship Laval was born in the turmoil of a ruthless economic crisis in the early 90s.
Concerned by the lack of opportunities in the job market for graduates who were heading all, inevitably, to the office of the nearest unemployment insurance, student associations went knocking on the door of the University management to call for help.
During downturns, founding his company is often the only way out to reach succeed in winning its crust. It’s called necessity entrepreneurship.
Even if the wind shifted and that companies recruit in the region today, students even before they have earned their degree, the desire to carry on campus has not wavered.
Since the primary and secondary schools and colleges offering entrepreneurship as a career choice for young people and in the wake of competitions which are organized everywhere – including the Québec Entrepreneurship Contest – Entrepreneurship Laval speaks more , to customers who go into business is not an unattainable dream.
“Year after year, we are witnessing the birth of some sixty new businesses,” noted the CEO Entrepreneurship Laval, Yves Plourde, stating that entrepreneurship was not the preserve of students or graduates of the Faculty of Science of the administration or that of science and engineering, but also those from the faculties of letters and medicine.
Laval University already offers students several baccalaureate programs a Entrepreneurial profile enabling them to acquire the skills needed to establish and run a business.
In parallel, Entrepreneurship Laval appears rather as a stimulator of fresh and innovative ideas that lead to potentially start new companies and an attendant in the development of entrepreneurial skills of the members of the university community.
He does, particularly by offering workshops led by volunteer experts from business involving, each year, over 600 students and graduates and mentoring to those who decide to go into business.