Business acceleration, The Bristol SETsquared Centre

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SETsquared Business Acceleration provides start-ups and growth SMEs (small and medium-sized Enterprises) with the ideal location to develop and grow their businesses. Contact SETsquared

About SETsquared

The Bristol SETsquared centre, set up by the University of Bristol and based at Engine Shed in the heart of the Enterprise Zone, is the largest of the SETsquared centres and is home to around 65 innovative ventures.

The Bristol centre provides a dynamic, modern and supportive environment to grow your high-tech business. Whether from the private sector or University spin-outs, all can benefit from our high quality support environment, guidance on business growth and strong links to university expertise.

When it comes to your business, one size does not fit all. We offer business development services which are tailored to stage, size, needs and product/services offering of your company. SETsquared Bristol has supported 184 companies across many different technology sectors including semiconductors, telecoms, automotive, biotech, clean tech and security to mention but a few.

In November 2015, SETsquared won the top accolade of Global Number 1 University Business Incubator, awarded by UBI Global. The Bristol SETsquared Centre has also previously won the prestigious Established Business Incubator of the Year and Best Designed Business Incubator award from the industry trade body, UKBI.

But don’t take our word for it:

“They’ve provided everything we need from a home: support, advice, connections, guidance and training” Steve Cliffe, CEO, Ultrahaptics

“Becoming a SETsquared member at this important time for Interactive Scientific has provided a rigorous framework to drive the business and me (as MD) to our next steps. SETsquared has unlocked opportunities networks and relationships that are helping us to launch.” Becky Sage, Managing Director, Interactive Scientific

“YellowDog wouldn’t be where it is today without SETsquared Bristol. From opportunities to pitch and meet investors, to guidance and support from the Entrepreneurs in Residence, access to a wide business support network, to the incredible location, and peer support from the other folk building their businesses, SETsquared Bristol is an incredible place to start a business.” Gareth Williams, Founder, YellowDog

Watch a trailer or full video from our 2016 Annual Innovation Showcase event to find out more about the Bristol SETsquared Centre, or visit the University of Bristol business acceleration pages.

Support Features

Bespoke business support services are accessible through flexible membership types including virtual and alumni, and include:

  • coaching - two experienced Entrepreneur in Residence specialising in technology-focused business development)
  • mentoring - chose a mentor from our network who is a right fit for your business
  • advisor in residence clinics (professional service firms and services)
  • extensive workshop programme
  • investor readiness training
  • events (including investment showcase)
  • business review panels
  • supportive community
  • reception service
  • representation on website
  • access to our extended community and global network (investors and corporates)

 Physical Features

The facility is on the top floor of the Engine Shed building, at a highly connected location, adjacent to the UK's most connected transport hub, Bristol Temple Meads station. The centre is a short walk or bus-ride to the University of Bristol's precinct and a 10 minute walk from the city centre.

We provide:

  • access to the Engine Shed Business Lounge
  • unique and quality, air-conditioned offices with 24/7 secure access;
  • 12  desks and storage pedestals in the pre-incubation shared office space
  • 17 dedicated offices - each with 3-14 desks with storage pedestals
  • 3 free of charge meeting rooms with AV facilities and real time online booking system
  • 100 Mbs broadband internet access, wireless LAN and telecoms
  • access to the Bristol is Open experimental network
  • 65% discount on room hire of Brunel’s original Boardroom Suite
  • reception facility with telephone answering and call forwarding (between 8.30 am -5.30 pm Monday to Friday)
  • photocopying and printing facilities
  • kitchen
  • showers and lockers
  • secure indoor cycle parking for tenants, free limited visitor car parking, limited tenant car parking spaces at cost

Our current scheduleofservices-setsquared (PDF, 1,037kB) lays out what we offer and at what cost.

To register your interest, please complete a no-obligation application.


Virtual membership: uncapped.

Residential: 12 desks in shared pre-incubation space, 91 desks in cellular incubation space.

We accept application from companies at any stage up to 10 people.

Key Academic Research Themes

Wireless communications; computer science; cardiovascular science; neuroscience; nanoscience and quantum information; epidemiology; advanced composites; applied quantitative social science; ethnicity and migration.