You don't specify how you define "successful". To me that could mean any one of the following:
- Largest valuations in exits (sales of companies or IPOs)
- Highest success rate for small businesses staying in business after X number of years
- Most number of people or organizations given space/funding/etc
- Easiest access for faculty and students and local entrepeneurs to the facility and other resources
- Biggest names of successful ventures/most widely recognized
- most number of new jobs created
- Best PR/visibility for university
But even with an agreed-upon definition I don't think it is possible.
What you really should be focusing on is what are the goals that you are trying to meet?
- Promote a certain sector
- create jobs
- create low-cost environment for entrepreneurs
- encourage entrepreneurism in students and alums
There are many - I would just pick some to talk to or talk to local entrepreneurs and the students to see what they need/want.
I think you also need to define some basics first - what are the patent and ownership/royalties policies with work developed at/by university staff.
Let us know how it goes.
Why not start a pilot program right away - have a pitch contest and choose one or two and see how it goes - get feedback and try to apply it and keep track of all the problems and issues.
Go interview any incubator participants you can find. See where the problems are and what they think would make a better environment.
Stanford seems to have an active community - with students, professors and lovcal investors all participating in functions together. Look for the entrepreneur podcast from there and try to get in touch with those folks. I don't think I would classify it as an incubator, but the community is there.
I looked into an incubator at a local college here on Long Island. The benefits were not that great (not much discount on rent, and I think they valued the "Access to academic staff" far too much.) There was a long waiting list and the organization was extremely unresponsive to questions and requests for information. It was a real turn off.