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£13 million up for grabs as SETsquared marks 10 years of success

Press release issued: 27 November 2013

Bristol’s most exciting tech companies are exhibiting at SETsquared's 10th anniversary Accelerating Growth Showcase in London today [27 November]. The event will see 21 cutting-edge companies from the SETsquared business incubators, based at five UK universities, pitch for more than £13 million of investment.

The event will see 21 cutting-edge companies from the SETsquared business incubators, based at five UK universities, pitch for more than £13 million of investment.

XCD HR, an online human resources software company based at the Bristol SETsquared Centre, will present its pitch live on stage for 10 minutes, battling for funding from investment giants like Intel, Scottish Equity Partners and Qualcomm Ventures Europe.

Other Bristol companies seeking investment today are:

  • Fusion Processing, which designs intelligent systems that benefit from combining the inputs of radar sensors, image sensors and other devices. It developed CycleEye, a cyclist detection system for drivers of buses and HGVs.
  • nu desine, creators of the AlphaSphere, an electronic musical instrument.
  • WriteLaTeX, which makes science and R&D faster, more open and more transparent by bringing the whole scientific process into the cloud, from idea to writing to review to publication.

The 10th anniversary Accelerating Growth Showcase comes as the Bristol SETsquared Centre prepares to launch its new home at Brunel’s Engine Shed, by Temple Meads station, on Monday thanks to a £1.7 million transformation of the historic building in partnership with Bristol City Council and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The SETsquared Partnership is an enterprise collaboration between five of the leading UK research universities - Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey - designed to develop new businesses from university research and support early-stage technology companies with high growth potential.

In the past 10 years, the partnership has incubated more than 1,000 technology companies which have attracted around £1 billion of investment, making a major contribution to the growth of UK PLC and creating a significant number of high-value jobs.

A further 32 companies previously supported by SETsquared, representing the cream of the UK's latest crop of cutting edge businesses, along with some emerging technologies from the five universities' research base, will be exhibiting their innovations in an unmissable technology showcase.

The landmark event will also see a panel of leading industry figures, including Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, debate the support required for UK tech start-ups to turn them into tomorrow's Apple or IBM.

Nick Sturge, Director of Engine Shed, said: “SETsquared has grown from a seed or an idea to a mighty oak – just like the businesses we work with. By focussing on quality – and in business that is about focussing on the people within the business – we have achieved a great reputation for growing businesses.

“It has been important to run the Bristol SETsquared Centre as a ‘lean start-up’ within the great institution of the University and this approach has served us well. We look forward to the next 10 years within Engine Shed at Temple Meads.”

Further information

About SETsquared

SETsquared is a collaboration between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey which partners in enterprise activities and collectively supports the growth and success of new business opportunities through spin-outs, licensing, incubation and education. The partnership also works with industry through research collaboration and consultancy.

The University Business Incubator (UBI) Index has listed the SETsquared incubator as the best in Europe, alongside jointly-placed NDRC LaunchPad in the Republic of Ireland. The ranking puts SETsquared fourth in the world, with the only other higher ranking counterparts hailing from the US.

Earlier this year SETsquared was hailed as a ‘best practice’ model for business incubation in a paper presented at the first International Entrepreneurship Research Exemplars Conference. The document, Management, Strategy and Policy suggestions for European academic incubators: the Creation of a Start-ups’ Ecosystem in the South West England, was authored by Angelo Miglietta and Dario Peirone and copies are available via Carswell Gould on the details below.

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