University of Bristol tech incubator raises £40.2 million in 2020

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By Roya Shahidi, News Reporter

SETsquared Bristol, a University of Bristol-led technology incubator has announced that its members raised a combined £40.2 million in 2020.

Over half of Setsquared’s 80 members secured funding in 2020, a record figure for the incubator. These include six student start-ups and spin-outs from the University of Bristol.

Forming part of an enterprise collaboration between five universities, the aim of SETsquared Bristol is to support founders who want to grow their own businesses.

Kaedim, a University of Bristol spin-out which develops AI technology to make it simpler, faster and cheaper to create digital 3D assets, is one of the investment successes.

Konstantina Psoma, the Co-Founder and CEO, said: ‘We are really grateful for the advice and support from the University of Bristol Basecamp Team and SETsquared Bristol. Both organisations have been instrumental in fuelling out current success.’

Despite an overall decline in investment in the South West as a result of COVID-19, the SETsquared Bristol incubator members created 225 new jobs in the city region.

With a combined £40.2 million raised by its members, for the third year in a row, over 10% of the total investment raised by the South West region was contributed by SETsquared Bristol.

University of Bristol / SETsquared

The incubator is also a proponent of initiatives which aim to make technology more inclusive.

In 2020, 45 per cent of SETsquared Bristol’s member founders and CEOs were women and 23 per cent came from a BAME background.

Two of these initiatives are the Enterprising Women programme, which is partnered with NatWest, and the Breakthrough Bursary.

The Breakthrough Bursary gives BAME start-ups access to funded business support and coaching.

Six companies were awarded this bursary in 2020, including a University of Bristol student start-up Engineer2Engineer, a global engineering hub for creative solutions.

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Ilham Said, Founder and CEO of Engineer2Engineer, stated: ‘We are super excited to be awarded the Breakthrough Bursary and with this award we hope to raise our first round of investment.’

The incubator was also named ‘Hottest Accelerator in Europe’ at The Europas Awards 2020 and won the 2020 Tech South West’s Tech Leadership Award.

The Centre Director of SETsquared Bristol, Steve Edwards, said:  ‘These fantastic results are a reminder of the strength of tech innovation in the South West, a testament to the work our members have put in to grow, and the opportunities and connections that come from our network with the University of Bristol.’

Featured Image: University of Bristol / SETsquared Bristol


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