"Since the last decade, the revolution in information technologies and liberalisation of trade regimes have created enormous opportunities for knowledge-based businesses as well as challenges for planners to create the one billion new jobs now needed the world over. The business incubation centre (BIC) helps tackle the obstacles faced by entrepreneurs and facilitates the venture creation process. While numbers are increasing - to around 3,500 worldwide including over 1,500 in the developing countries - their performance and sustainability are being questioned. The determinants of success in the Olympiad of venture creation can be expressed as five interlinked rings: public policy that stimulates entrepreneurial businesses and provides the business infrastructure; private sector partnerships for mentoring and marketing; knowledge base of learning and research; professional networking, national and global; and community involvement to promote entrepreneurism and cultural change. This paper outlines the distinguishing characteristics of incubators in selected developing countries. Based on recent experiences, good practices and the lessons (to be) learned are drawn. Case examples from China, Brazil and other developing countries indicate the variety of approaches."