A note from Monika Radclyffe, Centre Director: wishing you many successes for 2020, see you in 2021!
There is something special about the lead up to Christmas when we start thinking about having a break over the festive season to spend with our family and friends and slowly winding down with work. It’s also that time when an increasing number of people start deferring meetings to January giving us a little breathing space to think about the past year and the year ahead. Look out for our January blog when we’ll reflect on the collective achievements of SETsquared Bristol members in 2019.
For me the highlight was winning the Global No.1 title awarded by UBI Global for the third time in a row. I travelled to Qatar in November for the award announcement as well as to speak at the World Incubation Summit. I found it truly fascinating to meet and learn from people from around the world doing similar work to us but in different geographies. It was insightful to hear the challenges faced within very different business ecosystems, with the shared goal of supporting entrepreneurs to grow successful and sustainable businesses. I learned that entrepreneurs in Nigeria may struggle with accessing institutional investors, but managed to mobilise angel investment really well. A Qatari incubator manager couldn’t understand why I am so frustrated with lack of gender diversity among investors in the UK, because it is mostly women who make investment decisions in Qatar. I found those conversations most fascinating.
There were several hundred incubators and accelerators attending the event and UBI Global benchmarked us against exactly 364 others to determine that we, the SETsquared Partnership, deliver the biggest and most impactful value for startups, scaleups and the ecosystem. This is a fantastic recognition, but it does not mean that we can rest on our laurels. There is always more work to do, new projects and partnerships to implement, and improvements to make our programme even better. Our mission is to deliver the best service to our members, we always seek feedback and ways we can improve. Whether you are a current member, friend, associate, or just want to find out more about what we’re up to, do get in touch, and we’ll get to work… in January.
As for me, I won’t be coming back in 2020! I am getting ready to have a second baby in the new year and handing over to our expanded team, which now includes Steve Edwards, new Interim Centre Director, and Lisa Matthews, our new Business Incubation Manager. Both Steve and Lisa may be known to you as they have both worked with SETsquared for many years: Steve as a mentor, and Lisa as a member. I am delighted to have them both on board. And then of course, we’ve got the rest of our amazing team: Grev, Rick, Rhian, Paul, Devon and Tamsin, so rest assured our members are in very good hands!
I would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and many successes for 2020. I’ll see you in 2021!