SETsquared INVEST 2021 shines spotlight on Bristol startups

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SETsquared Bristol

Now in its 18th year the SETsquared Partnership’s annual investment showcase, INVEST 2021, took place online on 1 December. Sixteen of the very best UK tech companies pitched for the investment needed to take their startups to the next level of growth.

The event showcased pioneering innovations backed by the SETsquared Partnership, ranging from technology to improve the lives of people with suspected neurological conditions, through to a smart, reusable menstrual product.

Five of the companies that pitched for the investment were SETsquared Bristol members: Airway MedicalEmm TechnologyLatchAidMetasonixx and Neuronostics.

The final line-up was chosen from the SETsquared Partnership’s 550 members following a competitive selection process and mentoring and support in the run-up to the event to develop the finalists’ investment pitch.

Jenny Button, Founder of Emm Technology, said: “I founded Emm Technology because I felt strongly that the menstrual products should be more than an underperforming hygiene solution. We’re currently raising £300k seed investment to develop an electronic prototype, conduct user trials and create a wait list. My experience of pitching at SETsquared INVEST 2021 couldn’t have been better, the support from the team in the lead-up to the event was so comprehensive, they enabled me to give the best investment pitch possible. I’ve already had multiple follow-ups from investors post event, SETsquared is an excellent platform to facilitate introductions.”

Simon Bond, SETsquared Partnership Director says: “It’s amazing that after 18 years of running this event, the quality of the pitching companies never dips. This year’s line-up once again showcased the high-quality breadth and depth of startups being developed across the SETsquared Partnership, many of which are developing solutions which will be at the heart of COVID recovery. We know that it takes an ecosystem to grow a startup, so we’re therefore thrilled to have such an engaged investor community that are not only highly active in terms of investing but also willing to support our members through mentoring and introductions.”

Dr Jo Slota-Newson, Principal, IQ Capital comments: “SETsquared has gained critical mass of innovators and those who support them, to become the core of one of the most lively enterprise ecosystems outside London. INVEST 2021 demonstrated an enormous breadth of tech and deeptech innovation within that community – with a very high standard for clarity of the presentations.”

All current investment opportunities from across the SETsquared portfolio, can be found on the online Investment Platform.

The full list of companies which pitched is as follows:

Airway Medical

Airway Medical is developing the AMSU™, a completely novel, portable suction device to help save the lives of patients suffering from a blocked airway.

CanSense Group

CanSense is developing an accurate, rapid, non-invasive, blood test for the early detection of bowel cancer, with the aim to significantly reduce cancer mortality by detecting cancers early, when their treatments are curative.

Combine AI

The goal at the heart of Combine AI is to improve workplace productivity by “automating the automatable” through its artificial intelligence-powered products. Its current focus,, supercharges video conference calls to make teams more efficient in their online meetings.

Emm Technology

Emm is a smart, reusable menstrual product that takes back menstrual management from women, leaving them unencumbered by their monthly cycle. Guaranteeing a reliable, comfortable experience with a custom-fit design, the smart monitoring system communicates the product capacity to the user’s phone, creating a seamless menstrual management system.


LatchAid is a Gloucestershire based femtech company using innovative technology to revolutionise breastfeeding.


Metasonixx is a start-up from the universities of Bristol and Sussex. It engineers silence with acoustic metamaterials, giving customers unprecedented control over sound and noise.

MitoRx Therapeutics

A pre-clinical stage, rare disease biotech company which has developed next generation mitochondrial protective therapeutics targeting rare neuromuscular disorders and rare metabolic disease.


Neuronostics develops clinical decision support tools and at home monitoring devices for people with suspected neurological conditions, to improve patient’s quality of life and facilitate efficient healthcare provision.


The digital home of sport and physical activity, supporting people on their journey through an active life.


It provides fair, factual, cost-efficient automated interviews and soft skills assessments to help solve hiring challenges with confidence.


SENISCA is a biotech spinout company from the University of Exeter, founded in 2020 and dedicated to the development of new approaches to reverse cell ageing (senotherapeutics).


Shwap enables brands to launch their resale strategy, by leveraging peer to peer resale – what Vogue business are calling ‘The Next Generation Of Resale’.


TeloNostiX is an in vitro diagnostics company providing high resolution telomere length analysis for clinical and research applications, including health and wellbeing market opportunities.


The impact of the HGV driver shortage is only just beginning to be felt. Truckstars is here to help solve one of the business crises of our lifetime.

Woodrow Scientific

Woodrow Scientific Limited (WSL) is developing autonomous cleaning solutions for the wind-energy and electricity transmission sectors that enable improvement in asset performance and lifetime to deliver multibillion added value to customers.

Zelemiq.Health is developing a breakthrough technology called detu-R that enables simple non-invasive measurement of blood sugar levels from a wearable smart device.

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