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Andrew Wilson (University of Bristol’s Research Commercialisation team) negotiated a deal between the University of Bristol and Syncona Ltd for the development and commercialisation of gene therapies for the treatment of chronic renal diseases. Syncona Ltd has invested the first £4M of a committed £45M into Purespring Therapeutics, one of the largest first round investments in a UK university spin-out company. The deal involved multiple patents and materials, as well as external technologies. Andrew also ensured that the treatment of rarer, less commercially viable, kidney diseases would also be progressed as this is critical to broaden the impact of Bristol’s research. The license agreement was one of the most complex ever negotiated on both sides, but Andrew managed the negotiations with his usual good judgement, equanimity, and confidence.
Joe is amazing. He has built the SETsquared activity at Exeter from nothing to a flourishing innovation and enterprise support activity. Through the team he has built, he supports all aspects of SME, academic and student engagement, helping them to be entrepreneurial and to start and grow businesses. He wears so many hats from not just at a local level but for the Partnership in general. From Scale-Up to Business Acceleration to Student enterprise – there is not a programme he is not involved in. He is always happy to help and just wants things to succeed. In the last year he stepped up to the mantel and became our first online showcase host for GradInvest and we will all remember his “Good Morning and Welcome to GradInvest 2020, brought to you for the first time in SETsquared’s history entirely online”. It was epic. Vote Joe.
Sarah Rogers has been instrumental in organising the annual Catalyst Challenge, a student enterprise event that takes place at Southampton Science Park each year, held in March 2020.
The Catalyst Challenge is a business plan competition that gives students an insight into the challenges involved in starting a business. It evolved out of the activities taking place at the Catalyst Centre and Sarah’s drive and enthusiasm has made it a highlight of the student enterprise calendar. Without her achievements, the opportunities for students to get a real insight into the world of startups would be considerably poorer.
Over the past 7 years, the Catalyst Challenge has inspired an entrepreneurial spirit in many students. It teaches the fundamentals of what makes a good business and requires good teamwork to successfully complete the tasks set.
The current lockdown has not deterred Sarah and the next Catalyst Challenge, to be held in March 2021, has been adapted to run as an online event.
The Student StartUp team at SETsquared Exeter is small but perfectly formed. Led by Emily Davies and supported by Jeni Reeve and Nick Pearson – who are both part-time – they were able to re-design and re-launch the Exeter Student Entrepreneurship programme and then translate it for on-line delivery and take some 250 students through the pre-incubator programme which ended with nearly 40 teams of students pitching for feedback, market validation funding and entry into the new Incubator programme.
All of this was alongside the creation and distribution of a Covid Response grant to 12 student and graduate businesses,getting the CDK Competition off the ground and supporting 2 teams from our Enactus Society to the Winner and Runners Up position in the national Engineers in Business Competition.
They also produced a business plan which has been approved and will see them appoint 2 new team members early in 2021!
So, quite an achievement and more to come.
During 2020, 17 SETsquared Surrey incubator members won a combined value of £1.7 million in grant funding. Recent alumni won a further £550k.
SETsquared’s Entrepreneurs in Residence, mentors, investor network and support staff have helped our members to develop and deliver strategies for grant funding.
Like all the SETsquared partner organisations, we did this while responding to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our working practices. We also provided extra support and funding directly to our members.
Our centre combined with other SETsquared resources like the Scale Up Programme and Entrepreneur Workout series, and University resources like the Student Enterprise and Technology Transfer teams, to achieve these outcomes with our members.
It has been a whole team effort and we feel this £1.7m grant funding score is all the evidence we could ever need that working as one team and one network across all our partners will get results.
A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) from the University of Bath, with leading UK manufacturer NiftyLift, has just been awarded ‘Outstanding’ by Innovate UK. The partnership developed an intelligent sensor system for NiftyLift’s range of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs), enabling them to detect power lines and improve operator safety, saving the lives of workers using them.
The KTP team in Research and Innovation Services (RIS) at the University of Bath managed the KTP, which was led by Professor Manuch Solemani from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and the University’s Engineering Tomography Lab (ETL).
The Knowledge Transfer Adviser and Monitoring Officer for Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), said: “This outstanding project is the result of an exceptionally good relationship and shared vision amongst the project partners”. The KTP and has significantly improved and innovated NiftyLift’s portfolio of products for the global market.
The announcement of the ‘Outstanding’ award from Innovate UK was published yesterday by RIS:
SETsquared Bristol members Xavier Analytics, the AI software that cleans up financial mistakes in Xero, was acquired quickly by Receipt Bank on 12 June 2020, after flirting had begun just after lockdown in April 2020. Xavier praised SETsquared Bristol’s help, especially Entrepreneur in Residence Grev Commins, around negotiation tactics and our swift reactivity due to the quick turnaround of acquisition. The team has now grown from 6 to 18.
SETsquared is a partnership between