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New Bristol startup company is top dog

YellowDog scooped a top award at the annual Bristol SETsquared Innovation Showcase, held at Ovo Energy’s HQ at Rivergate, in Bristol.

Ten companies from Bristol SETsquared, the award-winning business incubator run by the University of Bristol, competed in a 60-second ‘elevator pitch’ to promote their businesses. 

Gareth Williams, the founder of YellowDog, explained how YellowDog releases the spare processing power from people’s computers, giving computer owners, or their chosen charity, money for nothing. This combined power is then offered to 3D animators giving them their own personal supercomputer to improve how they render animations.

YellowDog’s pilot launch is scheduled for 6 July with its full commercial release later this year.

Other pitches included BOXARR, a company already selling highly complex software systems in to major defence corporates and the US Navy, CameraForensics, a company helping international law enforcement agencies tackle illegal photographs and Wriggle, who allow food and leisure outlets to sell last minute local capacity online.

The audience, who voted for the best pitch, was made up of angel investors, Venture representatives of grant-funding and venture capital communities in London and the South West, senior executives from major corporations and supporters and mentors of SETsquared.

In what was a record breaking number of companies for SETsquared to showcase, a further 27 ventures that are supported by the Bristol business incubator, exhibited at the event, including BluWireless, a business developing the latest generation of WiFi technology which is already being used in the exciting Bristol Is Open project and TVS, who recently announced the opening of their Hyderabad office bringing their worldwide headcount to 150 people.

At the event, where Emma Jones MBE, delivered the keynote speech, and Professor Sir Eric Thomas, departing vice-chancellor of the University of Bristol have the closing remarks, it was announced that SETsquared members had recruited over 160 high-tech jobs in the last year, more than double the average over the previous 6 years.

Nick Sturge, Director of Bristol SETsquared, said: “I continue to be amazed by the ambition and resourcefulness of entrepreneurs that we see coming to us and that we help to accelerate.

“We have had a terrific year and I don’t expect any let up going forward. It is a privilege to be in Bristol at the moment – we are on the ascent of a ‘hockey-stick’ curve of the economy.”

Professor Sir Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, said: “The wealth of innovative ideas, drive and tenacity shown at the Innovation Showcase never ceases to amaze me. The University is very proud of the work SETsquared does to support the development of these leading technology companies in the city of Bristol.  This event reinforces why our region is such a vibrant place for these innovative companies to be formed and to flourish.”

Emma Jones, founder of small business network Enterprise Nation, said: 

“The pace at which small businesses move never ceases to astound me. What we are seeing today is business evolution in action. 

“The excellent businesses we saw tonight in Bristol show that the scalable enterprises of the future are not just being built in London; all regions of the UK are involved and the south west is a major player.

“I was most impressed by the passion of these quality entrepreneurs, of whom Bristol should be immensely proud!

“As deliverers of growth support for Britain’s small business community, we are aware the support culture itself is early stage. Enterprise Nation is fast-growth, fast-paced and leveraging tech while also ensuring companies can build sustainability through finding reliable contracts that guarantee prompt payment, for example, and scaling through co-working, sub-contracting and interacting with other businesses with one eye on the future.”

Sponsored by Veale Wasbrough Vizards, Corrigan Associates and the University of Bristol, and kindly hosted by Ovo Energy Ltd., the showcase also provided an invaluable opportunity for the region’s high-tech, high-growth companies to network with potential investors.

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