Success after success as SETsquared is shortlisted for THELMA award

9thMay 2018

The SETsquared Partnership has been shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award (THELMA) for the most innovative and original initiative in knowledge exchange or knowledge transfer in the UK. This comes fresh off the back of being ranked Global No 1 University Business Incubator for the second time in February this year.

SETsquared’s pioneering Entrepreneur’s Programme is an agile and effective solution that enabled aspiring entrepreneurs and established companies with exciting technology businesses to ‘stress test’ their business model quickly with experts who know how to bring products to market, raise investment and grow a business.

SETsquared Programme Director, Karen Brooks said:

“I believe our shortlisting for this award recognises the enormous value that our Entrepreneur’s Programme offers to those who take part and the impact SETsquared has nationally on the UK economy. We continue to develop and refine our training for entrepreneurs as we nurture the next generation of start-ups and help transform start-ups into scale-up businesses. I’m very proud of what SETsquared is delivering for the UK tech industry.”

One participant in the programme, James Mannion, from start-up Leo Care Technologies, said: “I have never experienced a programme like this before, or rubbed shoulders with so many successful people. I have learnt more in two days on the course than I have since I started up my company. The course was extremely educating and massively beneficial.”

The Entrepreneur’s Programme has evolved to deliver tailored support to businesses operating in the digital, health and space technology sectors. The success of the programme is demonstrated by the additional support it has attracted from organisations such as the UK Space Agency, EM3 Local Enterprise Partnership and Wessex and West of England Academic Health Science Networks who act as the catalyst for innovation within the NHS across the South.

Colin Baldwin, Head of Local Growth Strategy at the UK Space Agency, said: “The UK Space Agency has funded SETsquared to deliver entrepreneurial training to start-up companies across the UK, supporting the growth of innovative businesses that can really benefit from space applications. We’re delighted that they have been shortlisted for this award.”

The figures for SETsquared Entrepreneur’s Programme speak for themselves. The initiative has attracted over £1.7m worth of funding support from outside agencies and supported 165 entrepreneurs in the last year alone. Amongst those who have taken part:

  • 38% have gone on to launch a product or service;
  • 41% have gone on to recruit between one and twenty staff; and
  • 30% have taken up residence in one of SETsquared’s business incubators.

Many of the companies who have been involved with the Entrepreneur’s Programme have been highly successful in raising investment, particularly those involved in the 3-year European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Digital Business Acceleration Hub programme run by the University of Surrey. These include:

  • whatCharity.com –  which secured £200k investment in seven months from private investors.
  • ScreenLimit –  which secured £150k funding in four months
  • BotsAndUs – which secured a £100k Innovate UK grant plus £40k SME Instruments Grant from the European Commission.
  • Streeva – which secured a £264k Seed investment round.
  • Inovo Robotics – won an Innovate UK grant worth £225k in Sept 2017.
  • RazorSecure – which secured ‘seven figure’ equity investment.