Steve Edwards, Centre Director: Opportunity in the time of COVID-19

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Steve Edwards

Among all the dark clouds, there are a few bright sides to the current COVID-19 crisis. One of the biggest is seeing how people across the country and the world are seeing opportunities to respond to the many and varied issues and finding hope in the horror.

For SETsquared Bristol this feels fortunately familiar as we are surrounded by tech enabled and problem defying businesses who have mindsets that are predisposed to overcoming barriers and achieving difficult goals. I can’t think of a better place to be where adversity is met with the drive to overcome hardship and maybe also identify new successful business opportunities, adding value for users and investors alike.

Many SETsquared Bristol members are making tangible and sizeable differences by taking the opportunity to support local communities and businesses during the Coronavirus crisis. Here are a few examples:


AutonoMe, who provide technology to help those with learning disabilities overcome barriers to independence, are rolling out a free version to help ensure people with learning disabilities don’t feel disconnected from society during this uncertain time.


Gapsquare have built on their core workplace equality support services to provide a tailored ‘pay what you can’ consultancy and data modelling packages for businesses, to help manage workforce change in the wake of the pandemic.

Maths with Parents

Maths with Parents are helping to ensure every child has access to high quality learning at home by offering their full programme of support for free to all schools affected across the UK.


The loss of community interaction due to COVID-19 has left many vulnerable people at risk. In response, Neighbourly, the award-winning giving platform, are ramping up their incredible connective work and have created a new fund for community organisations that support those at risk.

It’s a critical time for the team at SETsquared Bristol to continue our world-class support for all our members – we’re rallying for them to survive and grow.

SETsquared Bristol has moved its programme to an entirely online model for now, to continue to provide our networking, training and bespoke advisory services, as well as providing new weekly member support forums. As a tech incubator we know we have an important part to play and hope we can help support more tech startups through the crisis.

This is a time requiring perseverance, mutual support and a collective vision. Innovators provide the optimism and hope that effective solutions can be found, and the SETsquared Bristol, Engine Shed and University of Bristol extended teams are proud to say we’re here to help make those ideas into viable business solutions at this time when they are needed most.


Find out out more about SETsquared services here. Ready to grow your business? Apply online.


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