‘Breakthrough Bursary’ aimed at BAME tech entrepreneurs relaunched by the University


By Edward Deacon, PhD, Physics

SETsquared Bristol – a world leading technology incubator led by the University of Bristol – has relaunched its Breakthrough Bursary that offers BAME entrepreneurs strategic advice and coaching for start-up businesses.

The bursary covers 75 per cent of a one-year SETsquared Start-up Membership (worth £112.50) which provides investment readiness training, mentoring, events and advice clinics, as well as access to University of Bristol expertise.

Any UK-based BAME entrepreneurs developing, or who already have, a tech business with the ambition to impact the world are eligible to apply. Women BAME founders are particularly encouraged to apply given their underrepresentation in the tech industry.

Dr. Chen Mao Davies, a recipient of the bursary, is the founder and CEO of breast feeding support app LatchAid | Epigram/University of Bristol

Since the launch of the Breakout Bursary, the number of BAME founders who are part of SETsquared increased from 14 per cent to 23 per cent. This figure is in stark contrast to the number of BAME senior tech leaders across the UK which is under nine per cent.

‘We're committed to unlocking innovation and true sector representation through diversity and inclusion initiatives like the Breakthrough Bursary,’ explains Monika Radclyffe, the SETsquared Bristol Centre Director. ‘We look forward to welcoming new recipients to our community.’

Another alumnus of the bursary, Neciah Dorh, is the co-founder and CEO of FloretiQ which aims to revolutionise bacterial diagnostics | Epigram/University of Bristol

To date, £300,000 has been raised in investment by nine companies who received the Bursary.

LatchAid – a breastfeeding support app - was one of six companies to receive support from the SETsquared Bursary in 2021. Founder and CEO Chen Mao Davies said: ‘The Breakthrough Bursary made it more accessible for me to join SETsquared Bristol’.

‘The membership has given me a huge amount of exposure as well as the support and network to grow very fast. It’s been a real boost of confidence for me.’

Since the launch of the Breakout Bursary, the number of BAME founders who are part of SETsquared increased from 14 per cent to 23 per cent

Bursary alumnus Neciah Dorh - Co-founder and CEO of University of Bristol spin-out, FluoretiQ - said: ‘The Breakthrough Bursary enabled us to join a community of amazing founders to learn from.’

The Bursary is funded by SETsquared alumni members and was a key recommendation from a SETsquared funded research report that considered BAME entrepreneurs.

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More information about the Breakout Bursary can be found on the SETsquared Bristol website. Applications to the Bursary close on the 8 November 2021.

Featured image: Epigram/Edward Deacon

Do you have an idea for a tech start-up that could benefit from this bursary?


Edward Deacon

SciTech Digital Editor 2020-21 | 4th year Physics