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Celebrating SETSquared

SETsquared celebrated its 20th anniversary with an Investor Showcase event in Westminster on 1st December. 

SETsquared is an enterprise partnership between six research-intensive universities – Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. It provides support for student and researcher enterprises, start-ups, spinouts and scale-ups to develop, grow and attract investment. SETsquared Southampton is based at Southampton Science Park. 

An independent report by Warwick Economics and Development estimates that companies supported by the SETsquared Partnership since it was created in 2002 have contributed £15.7 billion to the UK economy. The report also found that the level of employment generated by SETsquared-supported businesses since 2002 to be 15,600 full-time jobs, and this year there are 1,417 operational businesses that have been supported by SETsquared. 

David Bream, who heads SETsquared Southampton, explains how it benefits all parties. “By getting companies ready for investment, we are trying to remove risk for investors to make the likelihood that they’ll see a good return higher. Through our investor readiness training as far as possible, we remove technology risk, we remove market risk and we remove operational risk, and as a consequence, I think these companies are now absolutely ripe for investment,” he said. 

Robin Chave, Science Park CEO, was delighted to be a guest at the showcase event. He said: “The SETsquared annual investment showcase has attracted hundreds of investors, seasoned entrepreneurs, corporate investors and VCs, all looking to invest in companies with the potential to become the tech giants of tomorrow. In this national context, it’s fantastic to see innovation in the South so widely represented. 

“Of the 39 companies that pitched this year, four have already participated in our Catalyst business accelerator programme: Acoustic Reality, Maverick Aviation, Quantum Solutions, and Renovos. I was also interested to hear from two other University of Southampton start-ups, Amara Automotive and Hortlock, and from iFAST, a very exciting University spinout that we have supported through a challenging Business Review Panel.” 

Six businesses received Impact Awards in recognition of their positive effect on the environment, economy, and society. 

Southampton’s winner was Utonomy, whose retrofittable technologies help gas network operators achieve their decarbonisation, digitalisation, and decentralisation goals by enabling gives gas operators the ability to control their network remotely from any location at any time. The company is based at Southampton Science Park. 

Find out how your company can become a member of SETsquared and benefit from its brand association with successful enterprises.

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