European Incubators Positioned To Win, According to IDC

AMSTERDAM — DECEMBER 12, 2000 — IDC sees a sustainable role for incubators in Europe, with 15 to 20 strong pan-European incubators to emerge over the next three to five years. These companies will challenge the status quo and are positioned to create real value in Europe`s new economy. IDC expects dynamic, overlapping networks to evolve around the successful incubators.


According to John Ferrier, IDC`s leading European incubator analyst, the backlash against incubators following the spring 2000 market correction was only partially justified. "Many companies that called themselves incubators never had plans broader than cashing in on the B2C ecommerce IPO frenzy, and those that do focus solely on this area face a serious challenge for survival. However, Europe`s more progressive incubators were developing a broad and interesting variety of startup businesses including B2B and B2C initiatives, software and hardware development as well as businesses positioned around mobile innovation.

There is more to this than etailing," Ferrier said.

"Entrepreneurs are compelled to race to market with products and services before another entrepreneur gets there or before technological evolution makes the venture obsolete," Ferrier said. "This is where an incubator can make all the difference for an entrepreneur. The right incubator can shorten time to market/trade sale/IPO, while increasing the odds of success. This is particularly true in Europe where the process of starting a new business is so much more complicated."

Looking to the future, IDC believes that there is a good argument for segmentation in the incubator industry based on European region, vertical market, and ebusiness model market. "Some players are better positioned than others to tap into these segments. There is also the question of which players are better positioned to work with corporate or pure play entrepreneurs," Ferrier said. According to IDC, flexibility is a good strategy for incubators at this point in time because repeatable, best practices are only beginning to emerge in this exciting market.

European Incubators: Sowing the Seeds of Europe`s New Economy (IDC #RC01G) is IDC`s first report on the emerging industry for incubators in Europe and will aid understanding on how the competitive environment surrounding incubators and entrepreneurialism is developing. The report examines the European incubator as a viable new business model occupying a void in the startup value chain before the venture capitalist, while analyzing the sustainability of the model based on business and economic forces at work. In addition, the study includes 10 company profiles that analyze incubation offerings based on company, description, strategy, professional and financial network, differentiating characteristics, and future plans. This report is available to purchase from your local IDC office.

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world`s leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.