Steve Edwards, Interim Centre Director: Big success is all about every small decision

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Steve Edwards

It appears Aristotle got in first with the quote “the sum is greater than its parts”, which shows that his truism has stood the test of time and also highlights the first mover advantage when bagging the best quotes.

SETsquared Bristol have recently released performance results from 2019. The numbers tell an incredible story of success for our member businesses that we are proud to have been able to support in some way, small or large. The big numbers are exciting and impressive in equal measure to show us that great achievements are emerging from nascent ideas in only a few years. In 2019 these results for our members stood at an incredible £58m in revenue, 240 new jobs created and the sizeable investment rounds including $8m, $12m and $40m.

As a tech business incubator, that is part of the University of Bristol, we revel in these numbers and will gladly share the success of others and the impact they have on turning ideas into outcomes and impact of the Bristol community and beyond. While the numbers are reassuring that we support growth and create impact as an incubator, often the aggregation forgets the incredible detail that goes into every business, to realise the value of ideas.

SETsquared Bristol exists to up-skill, enable and guide our member businesses to those achievements. But what I’m keen to learn is not just what we do and what the outcomes are, but also what might have been the outcome if we weren’t involved. As the “new Monika”, interim Centre Director, I’m in the process of looking under the bonnet of what we do.

Recently, I had the pleasure of shadowing our EiR, Rick Chapman, during a surgery with six separate businesses. The founders’ questions and challenges were varied. Based on forensic evaluation, Rick reframed their challenges to provide key recommendations and next steps.

My biggest observation was not what was said, but the change in body language from beginning to end. People entered, with furrowed brow, quizzical looks and uncertainty, but left with a new found confidence understanding what they have to do next, what decisions to consider, and a plan to move forward.

For me, this transformation of mood and momentum is one of the most important things that we provide to members, from private businesses to University of Bristol spin-outs. We can’t run our members businesses, but we can facilitate progress and the positivity of momentum by helping them consider the right decisions and to give them the confidence to act.


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


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