Sid Martin Biotechnology Institute (SMBI), the leading biotechnology incubator at the University of Florida, has been awarded the Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year award for 2017, the highest award given by the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA). InBIA is the world’s leading organization for advancing business incubation, acceleration and entrepreneurship.
SMBI was named Incubator of the Year among more than 7,500 incubators worldwide. The annual award, sponsored by the Friends of the University Science Center in Philadelphia, recognizes the top global business incubation program and includes a cash prize.
“Sid Martin Biotechnology Institute’s ranking as Incubator of the Year by the International Business Innovation Association underscores what Greater Gainesville’s business community already knows: The Institute is and has been a major, vital force in establishing Greater Gainesville as Florida’s premier hub for biotechnology and entrepreneurship,” said Chamber Board Chair Rory Causseaux. “The Institute’s demonstrated ability to nurture biotechnology startups into successful, publicly traded companies makes it an unmatched asset that elevates Greater Gainesville’s competitiveness on the global stage.”
The award was presented on March 28th at the InBIA’s 31st Annual International Conference on Business Incubation. Accepting the award for SMBI were Mark S. Long, Director, and Merrie Shaw, Assistant Director. SMBI also received another award, the 2017 Technology/Science Entrepreneurship Center Program.
Over the past 21 years, SMBI has served more than 100 startup companies in biotechnology, biomedicine and bioagriculture. The Institute has created more than 2,200 high-tech jobs since its inception, and SMBI resident companies have accumulated over$1.62B in capital and M&A activity. There is a 93% survival rate for companies that entered the SMBI program since March of 2003, and an overall 78% survival rate for all companies served over the past 21 years.
Since becoming Director of SMBI in January 2016, Long has overseen the admission of 13 new companies, and the graduation of three companies. “We continue to see the growth of North Central Florida as a biotech hub,” said Long. “As part of the University of Florida’s Research Foundation, we are able to offer new biotechnology startups a tremendous wealth of resources, advisement and equipment. We are proud to be recognized by our peers as the top incubation program in the world.”