Tech hot spot re-opens doors for Bristol entrepreneurs
Press release issued: 8 March 2005
Technology entrepreneurs in Bristol are being invited by SETsquared to submit applications for office space in the SETsquared centre at the University of Bristol.
Technology entrepreneurs in Bristol are being invited by SETsquared to submit applications for office space in the SETsquared centre at the University of Bristol. The spaces have been created as a result of the successful growth of three of the ventures, Coull, Enable Interactive and Mobile Life. All three exiting companies spoke of the huge value of the acceleration process and the contacts and wider network they made through their year's membership.
SETsquared helps to accelerate early-stage, technology ventures with high growth potential. Demand is likely to be high given the FT’s report (7 March) that signs are emerging that the technology sector is seeing renewed interest and investment after five very difficult years.
The centre has actively supported over 60 entrepreneurs, helping them to raise over £6.5 million last year, and has involved more than 30 experienced entrepreneurs, business angels and professionals with those ventures. Places for SETsquared ventures are limited, not only because the organisation provides serviced office space from as little as £100 per month, but because entrepreneurs have free access to a host of high quality support services, including experienced technology entrepreneurs, funding routes and investors, and guidance from business support organisations and industry sector specialists.
Success has been rapid for one of the ventures, Coull, which recently signed its first major deal with Universal Music. Coull’s technology is enabling Universal Music’s video assets to be converted into revenue-generating portals. CEO Irfon Watkins has been delighted with the good advice and mentoring support offered by SETsquared: “Apart from having professional office space and facilities, the main benefit of being a SETsquared venture is the superb network of business contacts.”
This is echoed by Matt Connolly of Enable Interactive, a company specialising in website accessibility: “The subsidised office space has been superb, as have the networking opportunities which delivered genuine commercial return. But equally importanthas been the incredible passion and empathy for our business shown by the SETsquared team!”
“SETsquared provides invaluable support to technology start-ups. The hardest thing to achieve is getting people to find out about the technology you have, and the benefit it offers,” explains Steve Doyle, Director of Mobile Life - a company focused on helping businesses to benefit from the growing market for mobile based applications and services.
“SETsquared has helped me enormously by putting me in touch with a range of credible business contacts – people who may be customers, partners or investors. SETsquared helps companies make the transition from being an early stage company to being a company with the right foundations for growth. It is also extremely useful to be able to turn to someone credible and independent who you can ask for advice – safe in the knowledge that the only agenda is in helping you succeed.”
Peter Maxwell, Centre Manager for SETsquared at the University of Bristol summarises the approach: “SETsquared is focused on accelerating companies from initial idea to a viable business plan. Ventures such as Coull, Mobile Life and Enable Interactive spend around a year in the centre, after which their business has progressed to a state that it’s time to move to office space more suited to their growing businesses.”
Maxwell adds: “We can now invite applications from local entrepreneurs with technology ideas that they would like to develop and commercialise.
Applicants need not already be skilled entrepreneurs. Anyone who feels they have the potential to turn an idea for a technology business into reality is welcome!”
SETsquared is part of the enterprise partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey. The SETsquared centre in Bristol is actively supporting over 50 nascent entrepreneurs, offering services such as business development, mentoring and cost effective office space.