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SETsquared companies double investment raised in one year

SETsquared, Europe’s number one university business incubator, has seen the amount of investment raised by its start-ups double in the last year.

Businesses within the SETsquared incubation programme have raised £60m in investment in the last 12 months, a substantial increase on 2013.

The programme’s innovation director, Simon Bond, said the explosion in investment raised could mark evidence of a return in confidence for financers.

The announcement was made today (November 5) at Innovate UK, the UK’s largest multi-sector conference and exhibition for entrepreneurs, innovators, exporters, entrepreneurs and investors.

The investment raised by SETsquared companies has come through a mixture of angel investors, venture capitalists and government grants.

Among the SETsquared companies to receive substantial investment in the last year was Crowdcube, an online crowdfunding platform supported by SETsquared’s centre at the University of Exeter.

In July it secured a £3.8m investment from venture capital firm Balderton Capital and, just a week later, raised a further £1.2 million in just 16 minutes through its own crowdfunding site.

SETsquared leaders are anticipating another increase in funding for its companies next year as they are stepping up the investment readiness training and access to investors that they provide to businesses. On November 26 the partnership is holding an event at The Shard that will see 21 companies pitch live to an audience of investors for some £30m of funding.

Simon Bond added: “The companies we support already have dynamic and innovative technologies that have the potential to generate millions and, in some cases, change the world. What these latest figures show is the importance of our work to nurture them and give them access to investment so they can grow and reach their full potential.”

SETsquared, a partnership of the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, currently supports over 300 high-tech, high-growth potential start-ups. Around 15 per cent of those companies are spin-outs from the universities and the rest are businesses from the surrounding areas.

It is a sponsor of Innovate UK and attended today alongside a number of its incubated companies, including Seab Energy, iGeolise, Travel AI and Kemuri.

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