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University business incubators provide best service for tech start-ups

SETsquared has been named as the best service provider for the West’s tech sector.

The partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey won the Best Service Provider award at TechSPARK’s SPARKies awards last night (30 October).

The award was set up to recognise an organisation that has provided a sustained level of support to the tech sector in Bristol, Bath and the broader West of England region.

This year SETsquared was ranked as the best university business incubator in Europe and second best in the world. Over the last 11 years it has nurtured over 1,000 high tech start-ups and helped them to raise £1bn in investment. Entrepreneurs and start-ups that have received help from SETsquared have created world-changing technologies, including swine flu detection kits, ground-breaking crowd sourcing websites and microchips that help people in remote areas create their own phone networks.

The award was accepted by Nick Sturge, SETsquared’s centre director for the University of Bristol, based at Engine Shed, and Simon Bond, SETsquared’s Innovation Director.

Nick said: “It’s a great honour to have received this award and to be recognised for our achievements in the region. Every day we see the astounding technological talent in Bristol, Bath and the West and we’re very proud of the work we do to support start-ups and entrepreneurs in these sectors, and play the part that we do in the ecosystem.”

Five current or past members of SETsquared’s centres also came up trumps at the SPARKies with their own award wins:

  • Ultrahaptics – Start-up to watch in 2015 & “From chips to…” – The most innovative use of hardware
  • Wriggle – Best app
  • Zynstra – Best start-up
  • Handaxe (with Opposable Games) – The ‘good’ award – for the best use of technology for doing good
  • Coull – The ‘totally killing it’ award – for competing globally from the South West
SETsquared are also nominated for an award in the Entrepreneur Champion of the Year category at this year’s Great British Entrepreneur Awards. The winners will be announced on November 19.

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SETSquared is a partnership between

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