It’s been one hell of a year for Bristol SETsquared – part of the global number one university business incubator – its most successful year to date.

For Bristol SETsquared businesses, 2017 saw a collective funding raise of over £130M – over double the funds its businesses raised in the previous year. Member companies were also responsible for creating 1,300 new jobs in the region.

“We are already using these successes to build on as we have big goals for the year ahead”


What’s more, across its 80 members, the incubator began to close the tech sector gender gap with almost 20% female founders.

Funding the future

The centre’s most successful members from 2017 include AI and machine learning experts Graphcore which raised $80m, chip designers XMOS who achieved a $15m investment raise and Zeetta Networks whose continued success in the advanced network sector saw it graduating to SETsquared Bristol Alumni status.

2017 also saw two exciting new partnerships – the first with Oracle, who chose Bristol as the location of its first UK Startup Cloud Accelerator and the second with UK Digital Catapult to deliver the Internet of Things Boost programme.

Continuing to thrive in 2018, Bristol SETsquared has its sights set on further improving diversity across its membership – funding a project that aims to better understand ethnic diversity in the tech sector.

SETsquared Bristol’s Centre Director Emma Thorn (pictured right) comments: “2017 was a tremendous year for our incubator as we notched up many notable successes directly and with our ventures. However, we are not idle and we are already using these successes to build on as we have big goals for the year ahead.

“As SETsquared Bristol membership grows, so will business support levels, and we hope that investors, founders, mentors, and panellist pools will continue to diversify. We’ll also be enabling and encouraging peer-to-peer and alumni engagement as SETsquared Bristol continues to evolve its world-class incubator offer.”

Find out more about Bristol SETsquared on the SETsquared website or by following them on Twitter here: @SETsquared_Br.

Alice Whale