SETsquared, the UK’s global number 1 university startup incubator, has just released an exclusive list of its 50 top entrepreneurs out of the impressive 1,000 it has supported over the past 15 years.

Dominated by a whopping 32 entrepreneurs from the Bristol and Bath sects of SETsquared, however, the list truly showcases the entrepreneurial talent present in the South West region.

“SETsquared has helped us to realise the first stage of our ambitious growth plans by connecting us to partners, clients and investors


Andrew Mulvenna, who joined SETsquared Bristol back in 2007 to grow his software company Brightpearl and who now runs investment and growth platform Accelerated Digital Ventures, tells us: “I am privileged to be included in this list of top 50 entrepreneurs and hope that our journey – which started in a Sheffield basement, and led to a global software business – can inspire others to make the step to build a business by following their passion.”

Bristol top 50: Some of SETsquared Bristol’s entrepreneurs, celebrated in the top 50 list


Jake Ronay, fellow top 50 entrepreneur and co-founder of Bath-based Living Map who are currently being incubated at SETsquared Bath, adds: “SETsquared has helped us to realise the first stage of our ambitious growth plans by connecting us to partners, clients and investors. We’re looking forward to continuing this close relationship in 2017.”

“The calibre of businesses graduating from the SETsquared programme over the years has been exceptional”


He adds, “The calibre of businesses graduating from the SETsquared programme over the years has been exceptional and that’s a testament to the depth of innovation and entrepreneurialism across the cities and areas it serves. We’re proud to be part of this vibrant, exciting ecosystem.”

Check out the full list of the Bristol and Bath top 50 entrepreneurs, and their businesses, below:

SETsquared Bath

Glenn Smith and Sebastian Toke-Nichols (left), Cloudfind

Cloudfind is a web app that uses tags, filters, and more to get your cloud-based data into order, and it is already disrupting the cloud-storage industry, attracting an impressive amount of investment to continue its development post-SETsquared incubation.

Read about their most recent investment success in our latest article featuring some of the top investment raises in Bristol and Bath.

Paul Kane (right), CommunityDNS

Community DNS provides domain naming services to many of the world’s leading top level domains. It now operates in 55 countries and underpins 20% of world internet infrastructure, handling some 20 billion transactions per day.

Nicola Chilman and Tom Minor (left), EZ Education

Nicola and Tom have developed an inclusive educational maths app – Doodlemaths – with notable successes including winning Pitch at Palace 2016 and the SPARKies award for the Best Mobile App in the same year.

Peter Davies (right), Green Running

Green tech startup Green Running built a device that can measure your energy usage on an instantaneous second-by-second basis. Find out more about how the Green Running device works here.

Dan Murray (left), Industrial Phycology

Industrial Phycology is one of the latest startups invested in biotechnology and is working on transforming waste-water into green energy and livestock feed.

You can find out more about how the technology works in our interview with Dan Murray.

Jake Ronay (right), Living Map

Living Map Company is revolutionising map design and technology, unlocking the potential of our cities and spaces – putting venue owners, site operators and city managers in a position where they can manage their own geographic data.

Alister Rollins (left), MoveGB

Addressing many of the problems faced by both fitness fanatics and tentative gym newbies, MoveGB’s digital membership allows its members to discover and access hundreds of otherwise unlinked gyms and classes online (with each ordinarily charging their own fees and membership) – allowing greater flexibility, variety and value.

They were also recently featured in our feature on some of the top sports tech developed in the South West region.

Sampson Hu (right), Smart Antenna Technologies

Having just raised a whopping £1m in investment, Smart Antenna Tech is set on creating the world’s first multi-functioning antenna – capable of handling all the necessary mobile technology in one, such as GPS, 3G, 4G etc.

Will Franks and Pete Keevill (left), Ubiquisys

Founded in 2004, Ubiquisys is a huge SETsquared success story. After becoming a leader in intelligent 3G and LTE small cells, the company was acquired by Cisco for £206m in 2013.

Nick East (right), Zynstra

Zynstra offers hybrid IT solutions for small businesses. Specialising in a hybrid-mix of cloud and on-site IT services, Zynstra offers fixed pay-monthly plans combining networking, email servers, security protection, and file and data management options. Users can also mix-and-match which data is held on or off-site and control where applications are running from.

SETsquared Bristol

Anthony Hollander (left), Azellon

Azellon’s meniscal repair technology combines bone marrow stem cells with a special membrane that helps to deliver the cells into the injured site and initiate biological repair.

Ivor Gillbe (right), Bioinduction

Bioinduction specialises in bioelectric medicine and is working on implants that go deep into the brain to treat Parkinson’s disease and other neurological diseases.

Henry Nurser (left), Blu Wireless Technology

Henry Nurser founded Blu Wireless Technology which, earlier this year, sealed a £10million deal with ARM – a world leader in microprocessing technology – to develop 5G chip designs chip for high-speed modems that run up to 10Gbit/s.

Andrew Mulvenna (right), Brightpearl

In 2007, Andrew c0-founded Brightpearl – a game-changing business management solution – and with the help of an impressive amount of investment, quickly grew the startup to 120 employees.

Moving on in 2016, Andrew has recently founded the investment and growth platform Accelerated Digital Ventures to supercharge the growth of UK tech clusters.

John Brewster (left), Imetrum

Imetrum is a globally recognised leader in the field of non-contact video measurement systems (used to measure complex geometry or fragile parts without touching them).

The company raised £75m venture capital funding to buy the global operations of Marconi Applied Technology (rebranded as e2v) and were recently acquired by Teledyne Technologies for £620m.

Robbie Allan (right), Lobster Pictures

Robbie grew his one-man workshop – using ultra-HD time lapse photography and remote monitoring for construction, broadcast and the fine arts – to a global business that has operated on five continents.

Roy Johnson (left), Micrima

Micrima develops radiowave-based imaging systems that aim to deliver fast, safe and effective breast cancer screening. Building on its huge successes, Micrima has recently expanded into new offices at Bristol’s One Glass Wharf, with plans to further develop its advanced breast cancer scanner, MARIA.

Toby Hughes (right), MoneyHub

Multiple award-winning Bristol-based tech startup MoneyHub was conceived and launched by Toby Hughes in the summer of 2013. The company has since expanded at lightning speed, quickly outgrowing its offices, and constantly developing and refining the capabilities of its finance management technology.

Find out more in our interview with Toby Hughes, right in the thick of MoneyHub’s growth, back in 2015.

Nick Davis (left), Neighbourly

Neighbourly is a social platform that inspires companies and people to collaborate on community projects. Nick has taken this social venture from fledgeling startup to working with huge brands involved in the responsible business movement such as Marks & Spencer, Starbucks, The Body Shop, Heineken, LIDL and many others.

Learn more about how Nick grew the platform in our interview with him on all things Neighbourly.

Karl Wills (right), Pelipod

Pelipod’s success has stemmed from its innovative parcel box – a sturdy container that can be securely attached to the front of your home with a keypad entry system. Along with automatic transmission of secure codes for parcel and user access, it can be used for both deliveries and collections without the need for you to be home.

Karl relocated Pelipod to Bristol and joined SETsquared in 2015 to further grow on the startup’s successes and was acquired by British Telecommunications in September 2016.

Lee Carre, Dan Fairs, Andy Littledale and Ted Littledale (left), SecondSync

A true South West success story, Second Sync – a powerful social media analytics tool capable of making startlingly accurate predictions linked to social media engagement – joined the ranks of Twitter in 2014 in a move to develop its relationship with the television and advertising industries outside of America.

Mike Bartley (right), TVS

Test and Verification Solutions Ltd provides specialist products and services in hardware verification and software testing. They were named in our top 7 high-tech companies to watch in 2017 and has this year teamed up with 42Gears Mobility Systems in India to sell software in Asia.

Tom Carter and Steve Cliffe (left), Ultrahaptics

Ultrahaptics developed the world’s first way to feel virtual objects in mid-air without gloves or controllers, using ultrasound.

From this, they built a multi-million-dollar business, growing at 500% per year and winning more awards, funding and partnerships than we could possibly count (including the SPARKies 2014 ‘One to Watch’ award, of course). Ultrahaptics is now working with the world’s biggest companies, including HARMAN and BOSCH, to bring the technology to market.

Mark Lippet, XMOS

XMOS is a voice-enabled internet of things controller company targeting the multi-billion unit market for smart products in our homes, offices, cars and cities. The company has raised over $70m of venture capital funding and ships millions of units annually to over 200 global customers.

Gareth Williams, YellowDog

Yellowdog’s app will let you get paid for your PC’s spare processing power to help create a distributed supercomputer for animation work.

The startup won the Oracle award for ‘Excellence in Innovation’smashed its £150k crowdfunding goal and went onto to raise a total of £1.2m in 18 months through crowdfunding and angel investment. In just over 12 months’ trading, the startup has over 600 customers in over 30 countries.

Ones to watch

As well as the top 50, SETsquared released a list of 10 entrepreneurs ‘to watch’, which included three from Bristol and two from Bath.

LUX-James-Courtney-and-Siobain-Horne-at-UBICJames Courtney, Lux

LUX Rewards helps restaurants get more customers through their doors, rewards you for your loyalty to your favourite restaurants, and curates options for browsing for those of us who are indecisive diners, and you can do it all on one app.

Tom Dewhurst, Ordoo

Ordoo is a Bath-based mobile ordering and payment app that allows you to skip the queue by ordering ahead at your favourite independent bars and coffee shops.

Hear more from Ordoo on real-time testing at a South West festival.

Dr Becky Sage, Interactive Scientific (iSci)

iSci has created Nano Simbox, an immersive platform that brings to life the invisible science that exists all around us, funded in part by Becky’s impressive win at the Innovate UK Infocus awards in the ‘Enabling and Emerging Technologies’ category.

Emily and Barnaby Kent, My Action Replay

My Action Replay enables sports people to capture and view their own sporting highlights at the press of a button. Acquired by CricHQ, the world’s largest digital platform for cricket, the platform now covers a wide range of sports across the UK and globally including USA, New Zealand and South Africa.

Find out more about SETsquared’s university incubation programme on the SETsquared website. Alternatively, you can follow Bristol SETsquared on Twitter here: @SETsquared_Br and Bath SETsquared startups via: @Bath_Innovation


Alice Whale