KETS Quantum Security, world leaders in integrated quantum cryptography hardware solutions, pitched against ten other start-ups from Bristol’s world-leading tech scene to win the ‘Best Elevator Pitch’ audience vote at Tuesday’s inaugural online version of SETsquared Bristol’s Tech-Xpo.

SETsquared Bristol is a University of Bristol led incubator, supporting the growth of technology-based businesses, helping them move from initial ideas into commercial viability.

Tech-Xpo is SETsquared Bristol’s flagship pitch, demo, connect showcase, open to its startup members.

Founded in 2016 in the University of Bristol’s Quantum Engineering Technology Labs, KETS work with partners across telecommunications, data centres, governments, finance, and defence.

In summer 2018 it secured £2million in seed funding, £1million of which was from Innovate UK and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Chris Erven, CEO of KETS said: “We’re incredibly excited to win the Tech Xpo pitch competition. It’s validation that we can no longer ignore the need to transition to quantum-safe digital security.”

KETS’ win comes at a key time in the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme with the government today announcing in its UK Research and Development Roadmap the need to address complex and pressing challenges including security.

SETsquared Bristol’s first virtual Tech-Xpo attracted its largest audience in its 16-year history of over 190 UK and international investors, business partners and colleagues. It took the decision shortly after lockdown that social distancing would not stop its flagship annual showcase to ensure its startups got the network access and business support they were seeking at this challenging time.

Previous Tech-Xpo pitchers have gone on to achieve great success. 2018 winners, LettUs Grow, have since raised £3million to finance piloting of their sustainable farm scale systems.

Neighbourly, who pitched in 2015, is now a multi-award-winning CSR platform with community partnerships including Aldi, M&S and Starbucks. And last year’s winner, University of Bristol spin-out Vitamica, is working towards commercialisation of its rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing.

Steve Edwards, Centre Director at SETsquared Bristol, said: “Supporting rapid growth of tech startups has never been more vital to rebuild our economy, and I’m grateful to bring such a collaborative network together at events such as Tech-Xpo.”

Business Private Equity Club’s Denis Mullan said: “Tech-Xpo is a great opportunity to see early startups developing ideas into investable businesses. It is exciting to hear SETsquared’s ambitions for collaboration.”

Sponsors of Tech-Xpo 2020 were VWV and Corrigan Accountants, both of which are long standing Lawyers-in-Residence at SETsquared Bristol, offering pro-bono services to its ventures.

Nathan Guest, Corporate Partner and Head of VWV’s Technology sector, said: “We are delighted to sponsor Tech-Xpo for the 10th consecutive year. Our role as Lawyer-in-Residence to SETsquared Bristol remains a foundation of our support to tech and life science start-ups and scaleups in the city region. The inaugural virtual Tech-Xpo 2020 was another brilliant showcase for SETsquared Bristol and the ventures it supports.”

If you’re an investor that would like more information on SETsquared Bristol companies, or have ideas for how we can accelerate the growth of our companies, please get in touch.