SETsquared Bristol celebrates diversity and new investments in 2018

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SETsquared Bristol

  • SETsquared Bristol members collectively raised over £82.1m in 2018
  • The global incubator champions diversity, and now hosts 23% female founders – a 150% increase in three years
  • 14% of SETsquared founders are from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) backgrounds
  • SETsquared members now span 23 industries from biotech to financial services


SETsquared Bristol has this week announced its members raised a combined £82.1m in 2018. The global #1 university incubator has over 80 active members who have collectively created £43.5m in revenue in the past year. What’s more, SETsquared Bristol ventures have created 1,090 jobs in the city region, and efforts to increase the diversity of founders in the incubator have continued successfully.


In 2018, 26 SETsquared Bristol members secured funding to support business growth and further the development of their tech. Some of the biggest successes of the year have been Ziylo, who sold rights to their glucose binding molecules to Danish pharmaceutical giants, Novo Nordisk, in a deal potentially worth up to $800m, and Ultrahaptics, who raised £35,000,000 in an oversubscribed Series C fundraising round.


Some of SETsquared Bristol’s earlier stage startups that recently began seeking investment also achieved success in 2018, including KETS Quantum Security who raised over £2million, Good Sixty who crowdfunded £188,650, and LettUs Grow, who received £1m in a fundraise combining grant and equity investments.


Charlie Guy, Co-Founder of LettUs Grow, said:

“The SETsquared partnership has provided our team with substantial support, actionable advice, and insightful training over the first few years of the company’s life. The value of their network is one of their strongest assets, they have made introductions to a wide variety of influential and experienced business mentors and associated businesses, giving us much wider exposure than we could have garnered alone, and making connections that we may not have thought of. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with the SETsquared team as we enter our next stage of growth.”


Following a report by research partners ACH and Up Our Street, published in 2018, SETsquared Bristol has been working towards implementing key recommendations to diminish the barriers faced by individuals from Black, Asian, and ethnic minority (BAME) backgrounds in accessing business support. This has included a marketing audit carried out with the help of The Social Detail, and running the popular #Idea2Pitch workshops in community venues to attract a wider audience and strengthen relationships with local organisations. SETsquared Bristol will continue to implement further recommendations from the research, and is dedicated to increasing access and visibility of their services to BAME tech entrepreneurs.


SETsquared Bristol’s commitment to diversity and inclusion also means that they champion female founders and women in tech. The incubator has seen an incredible 150% increase in female founders in just three years, with 23% of companies being led by women in 2018.


Commenting on the successes of 2018, SETsquared Bristol’s Centre Director Monika Radclyffe said:


“2018 was a brilliant year for SETsquared Bristol. We have celebrated a number of notable successes, and will build on these achievements to set new goals for the future. We want to continue to grow our membership and expand our accelerator programme to suit ever-changing needs of technology startups. Bristol is known internationally as a diverse and creative city, and we hope that SETsquared Bristol can be representative of that as we continue to evolve our world-class business support.”


In 2018, SETsquared Bristol was proud to support the six members of Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem’s second cohort, including Sauce Video, Snap Tech, We Build Bots, and ELEM, who joined SETsquared on a one-year membership. Existing SETsquared Bristol members, LettUs Grow and Gapsquare, were also accepted onto the cloud acceleration programme. What’s more, LettUs Grow won ‘Best Elevator Pitch’ at the Tech-Xpo showcase in June.



For more information about SETsquared Bristol or to join its membership, please visit To keep up-to-date with SETsquared Bristol news, subscribe to the monthly newsletter here.




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