£5million enterprise initiative launched in Bristol
Press release issued: 10 April 2003
SETsquared, a new initiative which provides local entrepreneurs with support to turn innovative ideas into companies with viable business and marketing plans, was launched in Bristol tonight.
SETsquared will offer local budding entrepreneurs low cost serviced office space, business mentoring, guidance and a network, known as the Bristol Enterprise Network (BEN), to assist them in making the vital yet difficult move from initial idea to viable business.
The initative will also seek support from local business people ranging from, professional service organisations to established entrepreneurs, in order to grow the network and provide on-going help for early-stage entrepreneurs.
More than 100 key players from the local business community attended the launch event and Nick Smailes, Director of SETsquared, said: "This is the first of many networking events that will be running locally. Anyone interested in high-tech innovation and enterprise should contact us and get involved. We have serviced office space available today for early stage entrepreneurs. We are keen to hear from people starting businesses who feel they could benefit from our services."
Professor Eric Thomas, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, outlined the role played by the University in supporting the local community to help develop new knowledge-based, high-growth-potential enterprises: "SETsquared provides a great opportunity for the University to use its skills, knowledge and resources to support early stage entrepreneurs, both from within the University and from the local area. We are also glad to have the opportunity to collaborate with the universities in Bath, Southampton and Surrey as part of a larger regional network."
The Bristol SETsquared centre is based at the University of Bristol. Entrepreneurs joining the initiative will be able to meet, share ideas and do business together far more easily than before, as well as being able to draw on university expertise and a range of tailor-made support services. SETsquared provides:
- Serviced office space
- Business mentoring and guidance
- Events and networking opportunities
The launch is the first of a programme of local and regional events led by entrepreneurs and the local business community which will be supported by an online community website. One such entrepreneur, James Coupland of Coupland RDC who attended the launch, said: "I think this is not only a great opportunity, but also an essential service if we are to develop Bristol as a centre for innovation and enterprise in the area. It also provides a very useful platform for more established enterprises to share experiences and information."