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SETsquared partners with SWAIN to kick-start the economy

7 July 2011

SETsquared, a collaboration between the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey that supports new business activities through spin-outs, licensing and incubation, has formed a new partnership with South West Angel and Investor Network (SWAIN) in a bid to accelerate investment in the region’s most exciting business opportunities.

Early-stage companies have struggled to raise investment during the recession and high-tech companies have suffered particularly badly. By combining the reputation and expertise of the expanding network of SETsquared Business Acceleration Centres and the expertise and existing network of angel investors in SWAIN, the new partnership expects to see a doubling of angel investing activity in the Bath and Bristol area over the next year. SWAIN will work with SETsquared to deliver new hi-tech-focused investment forums.

The collaboration was announced at the annual SETsquared Garden Party and Investment Showcase on 6 July, where 16 early-stage, high-tech, high-growth companies were showcased to over 40 investors, representatives of 10 large corporates, including Logica, Microsoft, IBM, HP, Freescale, ST Microelectronics and NXP.

SETsquared also announced that SWAIN would be opening an office within the Bristol SETsquared Centre, enabling earlier and closer interaction between early-stage companies and investment expertise. SWAIN will be SETsquared’s local ‘Funder-in-Residence’.

Nick Sturge, Director of the Bristol SETsquared Centre, commented: ‘This more formal partnership is the natural progression after so many years of working together. When SWAIN launched six years ago its first three investments were SETsquared companies. We have done well with venture capital investment recently, but there are many companies for whom angel investment is more appropriate and we are excited about accelerating this.’

Philip Tellwright, Managing Director of SWAIN, added: ‘SWAIN has enjoyed a long-standing working relationship with SETsquared and now is the time to formalise our association. Sharing offices with young dynamic businesses will enable SWAIN to get closer to our target market and running technology specific events will have significant appeal to investors known to both SWAIN and SETsquared.’

For more information, please contact Nick Sturge,, tel 0117 903 1120, or Philip Tellwright,, tel 07799 346651.

Further information

SWAIN connects private investors (business angels), with companies looking for investment. It operates throughout the South West. SWAIN is an independent, not-for-profit company and is supported by the South West RDA. It focuses on deal sizes ranging from £25,000 to £750,000. SWAIN opens the door to successful investment in new and growing businesses by providing low-cost, professional and informal support to companies and investors. The SETsquared Business Acceleration Centres are part of the SETsquared Partnership, a collaboration of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey that supports early-stage technology, high-growth potential ventures from both within and outside the universities to accelerate their businesses. Each centre provides office space and business mentoring and guidance to entrepreneurs and business professionals. Four out of every five ventures developed in the partnership originate from the local communities. To date, the partnership has helped new ventures to raise more than £150 million of early-stage funding. Over 50 ventures a year are supported with a network of more than 450 seasoned technology entrepreneurs, investors and support professionals.
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