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University business incubators provide best service for technology start-ups

Left to right: Simon Bond, SETsquared partnership Innovation Director, Nick Sturge, SETsquared’s Centre Director for the University of Bristol, Matt Perkins of FreeAgent, sponsor of that specific award, and on the floor, Tom Craine, comedian and host of the event.

Press release issued: 3 November 2014

SETsquared has been named as the best service provider for the West’s technology sector.

The partnership between the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey won the Best Service Provider award at TechSPARK’s SPARKies awards.

The award was set up to recognise an organisation that has provided a sustained level of support to the tech sector in Bristol, Bath and the broader West of England region.

This year SETsquared was ranked as the best university business incubator in Europe and second best in the world. Over the last 11 years it has nurtured over 1,000 high tech start-ups and helped them to raise £1bn in investment.

Entrepreneurs and start-ups that have received help from SETsquared have created world-changing technologies, including swine flu detection kits, ground-breaking crowd sourcing websites and microchips that help people in remote areas create their own phone networks.

The award was accepted by Nick Sturge, SETsquared’s Centre Director for the University of Bristol, based at Engine Shed, and Simon Bond, SETsquared’s Innovation Director.

Nick said: “It’s a great honour to have received this award and to be recognised for our achievements in the region. Every day we see the astounding technological talent in Bristol, Bath and the West and we’re very proud of the work we do to support start-ups and entrepreneurs in these sectors, and play the part that we do in the ecosystem.”

Five current or past members of SETsquared’s centres also came up trumps at the SPARKies with their own award wins:

-          Ultrahaptics – Start-up to watch in 2015 & “From chips to…” – The most innovative use of hardware

-          Wriggle – Best app

-          Zynstra – Best start-up

-          Handaxe (with Opposable Games) – The ‘good’ award – for the best use of technology for doing good

-          Coull – The ‘totally killing it’ award – for competing globally from the South West

SETsquared are also nominated for an award in the Entrepreneur Champion of the Year category at this year’s Great British Entrepreneur Awards. The winners will be announced on 19 November.

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.

In the last 11 years SETsquared has developed over 1,000 high tech start-ups that have generated some £1bn in investment. It is named by the UBI as the joint best university incubator in Europe and 4th best globally.

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