Bristol celebrates first year of high-tech enterprise
Press release issued: 4 June 2004
Guests from the region's business and academic communities celebrated the success of SETsquared, the support programme for early stage, high-tech ventures, with a garden party to mark its first year anniversary.
To date, 25 entrepreneurs, from both within and outside the university, have received support to help develop the early-stage businesses that will go on to become some of the region's key employers in the next few years.
Among the 100 or so guests who attended were Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, Professor Sir John Beringer, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University and Phillip Tellwright, network director of South West Angel Investor Network.
Mick Canavan of EyeGaze, an enterprise developing technology to give equal access of information and communication to deaf people, said: "The quality of the support we've had for our business idea and the natural collaboration that comes from working alongside the other members have been invaluable. We have benefited enormously from our association with SETsquared and really do thank them for all they have done so far."
Chris Clemence of Bristol-based Adiuri, which provides information access services, added: "We left the SETsquared centre at the end of last week and, as one of its first 'graduates', we have benefited significantly from the support that is offered. There is no doubt in my mind of the value and quality of the facilities available and we made considerably greater and quicker progress because of them."
Nick Smailes, Director of SETsquared, said: "This year passed all our expectations both in terms of the numbers of ventures we have been able to help and the subsequent successes of those ventures. Indeed in the last six months we have helped our ventures raise some £5.5m in initial funding.
"But it's not just been about funding - thanks to the quality of the private sector support provided by our Bristol business partners, many of our members have been able to meet first customers, enter licencing agreements and raise funds through consultancy work."
Professor Eric Thomas, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, added: "This is an excellent example of how universities can work together. With support from SETsquared at the Universities of Bristol and Bath, some 40 new ventures have got off the ground in the last year. This provides a great opportunity for the University of Bristol to use its skills, knowledge and resources to support early stage entrepreneurs both from within the University and from the local area - essential if a sound and thriving entrepreneurial community is to develop."