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SETsquared start-ups go stateside

Two SETsquared companies have been awarded coveted places on one of the world’s most prestigious accelerator programmes.

iGeolise, based at SETsquared’s innovation centre at the University of Surrey, and Industrial Phycology, from the Bath centre, are taking part in MIT’s (Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s) eTeam programme.

MIT is recognised as one of the top research universities on the planet. Alumni founded or co-founded companies include giants such as Intel, Qualcomm, Dropbox and Bose.

Its scheme is open to only the most promising of start-ups from across the world and immerses them in an intensive, two-week accelerator programme.

World-class MIT practitioners and lecturers educate and mentor the start-ups, introducing them to entrepreneurs and investors in MIT and Massachusetts’ extensive ecosystem of executives, investors and entrepreneurs.

iGeolise and Industrial Phycology secured their places after impressing SETsquared judges – who have just two places on the scheme to allocate each year – with their pitching skills and business plans.

Simon Bond, SETsquared’s innovation director, said: “It’s always an incredibly tough decision picking just two companies from our talent pool to take part in the programme. The quality of businesses among our five incubators is so high that it does make competition fierce.

“However, these two start-ups in particular have displayed that they are ready and raring to ‘take on the states’ and we believe they are the perfect candidates. The US market is a notoriously tough one to crack so taking part in this programme will give iGeolise and Industrial Phycology the very best start on that journey.”

Charlie Davies, co-founder and director of iGeolise, said: “Growing a business is like working on something you can never really finish, the moment you achieve one thing five new things become possible. International expansion is our new opportunity and I know The Boston MIT programme will help us really start to make it a reality.”

Dr Dan Murray from Industrial Phycology, added: “The USA takes a much more enthusiastic view of industrial sciences, with large amounts of public and private investment funnelled in to the area. It’s therefore a market we’re very keen to tap into going forward. Attending the MIT scheme will allow us to meet and learn from the best science and technology companies in the world and meet the people who have supported them. We will then bring all this new knowledge home and apply it to help grow our company.”

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SETsquared is a partnership between

  • University of Bath
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Surrey