"Cream of the cream" showcases innovation strength of UK technology base

Innovation strength of UK tech base on show

(PresseBox) ( Exeter, )
A system that could put an end to cyclists being injured by buses; wheelchairs that let injured soldiers enjoy the thrill of racing down mountains; open source mobile phone networks that promise to connect the globe's two billion rural people and broadcasting equipment that allows users to enjoy ultra high definition TV in their homes:

These are some of the world-leading technology on show at SETsquared's 10th anniversary Accelerating Growth Showcase in London on November 27.

The event, which includes the UK's largest investor showcase, was hailed by Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, as a "rare opportunity" to see the quality of high-tech business outside the capital.

Mr Gray is part of a panel of leading industry figures coming together at the event to debate the support required for UK tech start-ups to turn them into tomorrow's Apple or IBM.

More than 50 of the UK's most exciting tech companies are exhibiting. Of those 21 leading-edge companies from the SETsquared business incubators, based at five English universities, are pitching for more than £13m of investment. These were chosen by a tough selection process that whittled the number down from more than 70 companies that applied. Representatives of investment giants like Intel, Scottish Equity Partners and Qualcomm Ventures Europe are already signed up to attend, keen to see the pre-screened deal flow SETsquared is supporting.

The Accelerating Growth Showcase marks the tenth anniversary of the SETsquared Partnership, Europe's number one University Business Incubator. A collaboration between five of the leading UK research universities - Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. It is designed to develop new businesses from university research and support early-stage technology companies with high growth potential.

Over this time, the partnership has incubated more than 1,000 technology companies, which have attracted around £1 billion of investment, making a major contribution to the growth of UK PLC and creating a significant number of high-value jobs.

Iain Gray said: "This event represents a rare opportunity for small business to meet the investment community and pitch what they're doing. It can be difficult to get investors to come out of London, so Accelerating Growth represents an important opportunity for these exciting companies to showcase the quality of what's going on outside the capital.

"I think that these companies are the cream of the cream of the companies the SETsquared universities support and SETsquared's track record ensures that it is held in very high regard across the UK. It's an exemplar of how universities and businesses can work together and how the research base and companies can be brought together. There's often a kind of invisible shield around small companies preventing this cross fertilisation from happening and SETsquared has proved very effective in cutting through that."

SETsquared Partnership Director Graham Harrison said: "Companies incubated by SETsquared are today not only making a significant contribution to the UK economy but changing the world for the better.

"Accelerating Growth is both a celebration of that success and a chance to meet the next generation of cutting edge companies that we are confident will go on and build on these achievements.

This event showcases some of the UK's most exciting emerging businesses and pioneering technology that holds huge promise for investors and the entire UK. Businesses that have appeared at our Investment Showcase in the past 10 years have gone on to float, secure significant trade sales and deliver rapid growth with strong exports. It demonstrates the important role SETsquared and the five universities are able to play within the UK economy."

There will be between eight and 10 companies doing live pitches to investors on the day, each lasting up to 10 minutes. All 21 companies looking for funding will have exhibitions in an Investor Hall, as will more than 30 other companies that are exhibiting their technology.

About SETsquared:

SETsquared is a collaboration between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey which partners in enterprise activities and collectively supports the growth and success of new business opportunities through spin-outs, licensing, incubation and education. The partnership also works with industry through research collaboration and consultancy.

The University Business Incubator (UBI) Index has listed the SETsquared incubator as the best in Europe, alongside jointly-placed NDRC LaunchPad in the Republic of Ireland. The ranking puts SETsquared fourth in the world, with the only other higher ranking counterparts hailing from the US.

Earlier this year SETsquared was hailed as a 'best practice' model for business incubation in a paper presented at the first International Entrepreneurship Research Exemplars Conference. The document, Management, Strategy and Policy suggestions for European academic incubators: the Creation of a Start-ups' Ecosystem in the South West England, was authored by Angelo Miglietta and Dario Peirone and copies are available via Carswell Gould on the details below.

Find out more at: www.setsquared.co.uk
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