The team at SETsquared Bristol were thrilled when it was announced in February that SETsquared partnership had held on to the top position as the world’s leading business incubator.
Ranked for its outstanding contribution to developing the next generation of UK tech entrepreneurs, SETsquared’s win comes as a result of the world’s most extensive benchmark study of university-linked business incubators and accelerators, conducted by UBI Global, which has recognised SETsquared as the World’s Top Business Incubator – Managed by University.
The quality of an incubator can be measured by the success of its ventures, and SETsquared Bristol boasts quite a few. From Interactive Scientific, whose Nano Simbox VR simulator was demonstrated by Prime Minister Theresa May at the UK China Summit in 2017, to Ultrahaptics, whose team has grown from three to 80 since joining SETsquared Bristol, aiding the development of their tech which uses ultrasound to project tangible yet invisible buttons and dials.
SETsquared Bristol members have celebrated a number of impressive funding rounds in the past two years, including Graphcore’s $50m Series C round and XMOS’ $15m round in November of last year. On top of that, Zeetta Networks has recently received £5m in investment as selected partner for the South West’s 5G smart tourism initiative.
Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, said: “This is tremendous news for SETsquared and a well-deserved accolade. Its work to support fledgling start-ups has led to the creation of some incredibly successful commercial businesses.
“Here in Bristol, SETsquared is a vital part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, contributing to our reputation as one of the leading cities in the world in which to build and grow digital and technology-based businesses.”
The announcement of SETsquared’s win was made at the World Incubation Summit in Toronto, Canada. This confirmed SETsquared’s pre-eminence as ‘number one’ in its field, having maintained its world-leading position since 2015, and sharing the top spot with Toronto-based incubator, DMZ.
Hugh continued: “We will be channelling the ethos and expertise of SETsquared into plans for our new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus, ensuring our staff and students are at the forefront of the technology revolution.”
SETsquared has curated an incubation programme that provides ventures with the strong foundations necessary for growth. Since 2015, SETsquared Bristol ventures alone have raised £180,445,307 in investment funding, and the number of ventures supported by the incubator has increased from 66 to 87.
1,290 people are currently employed by SETsquared Bristol ventures, and the incubator has increased focus on diversity and inclusion, with an aim to improve the gender and ethnic mix within its ventures in the coming years.
Centre Director Emma Thorn summed up the feeling of celebration, and the hard work of SETsquared Bristol’s ventures: “We’re delighted to be acknowledged once again as a leader in the world of business incubation, and it is an honour to be recognised by UBI Global in this way alongside the best performing university business incubators and accelerator programmes.
“This ranking reflects the commitment of the SETsquared team, a university environment here in Bristol that embraces innovation and enterprise and, of course, the sheer talent and drive of the entrepreneurs and companies that we have the privilege to work with.”
Read our Centre Director Monika Radclyffe’s blog on the value of co-location