Orlando, Florida—InBIA recognized two entrepreneurship centers as the recipients of its most prestigious awards, the Randall M. Whaley and the Dinah Adkins Awards, during the 35th annual International Conference on Business Incubation, which was held virtually April 26-30.  These awards were announced along with the Entrepreneurship Centers of the Year and Specialty Awards.

The Randall M. Whaley award is InBIA’s highest honor.  Dedicated to the memory of Dr. Whaley, who served as InBIA’s first chairman of the board from 1985 to 1988, the award is InBIA’s only endowed award and is sponsored by the Friends of the University City Science Center of Philadelphia. The University City Science Center is the urban research park and incubator Dr. Whaley managed for many years.

The Dinah Adkins award pays tribute to the accomplishments and contributions of Dinah Adkins, a pioneer in the business incubation industry. In 1982, Adkins became the Executive Director of the Ohio University Innovation Center, one of the earliest incubators established in the United States. Adkins was one of the founding members of InBIA when it was established in 1985 and appointed as the association’s president and CEO in 1988, a job she held until her retirement in 2009.

The University of Connecticut Technology Incubation Program (UCONN TIP) is the recipient of the 2021 Randall M. Whaley Award. Based in Storrs, Connecticut, UConn TIP accepts companies from the university as well as external ventures. The program has assisted over 120 companies and more than 40 companies currently enlisted for the 2020 spring session. The facility has over 30,000 square feet of state-of-the-art wet labs and offices in various sizes to meet the needs of growing startups.

The Slovak Business Agency is the recipient of the 2021 Dinah Adkins Award. Founded in 1993 by a common initiative of the European Union and the Government of the Slovak Republic, the Slovak Business Agency is the oldest specialized non-profit organization for the support of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Based in Bratislava, in the Slovak Republic, the agency’s mission is to improve the competitiveness of the SMEs within the single EU market as well as in the non-EU markets.

Each year, the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) honors entrepreneurship centers and their clients that exemplify the best of the entrepreneurial industry. These organizations and their outstanding companies have made important industry contributions through their products, services, programs, and examples. The recipients of the 2021 Entrepreneurship Centers of the Year Awards are:

  • 2021 Entrepreneurship Center of the Year Award Technology & Science: Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship
  • 2021 Entrepreneurship Center of the Year Award Mixed-Use: Slovak Business Agency
  • 2021 Entrepreneurship Center of the Year Award Sector Focused: Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute at Georgia State University

Specialty Awards recognizes excellence in specific activities and accomplishments. The recipients of the 2021 Specialty Awards are:

  • 2021 Specialty Award Most Innovative Program: Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute at Georgia State University
  • 2021 Specialty Awards Outstanding Client: University of South Florida (USF) Connect and their client company COI Energy
  • 2021 Specialty Awards Excellence in Communication: 36 Degrees North
  • 2021 Specialty Awards Soft Landings: Global Ventures at Florida Atlantic University