SETsquared partnership ranked as the world’s top business incubator

The SETsquared partnership has been ranked as the world’s leading business incubator for its outstanding contribution to developing the next generation of UK tech entrepreneurs.

The announcement was made at the World Incubation Summit in Toronto, Canada. This confirmed SETsquared’s pre-eminence as ‘number one’ in its field, having maintained its world-leading position since 2015.

SETsquared’s ranking comes as a result of the world's most extensive benchmark study of university-linked business incubators and accelerators, conducted by UBI Global, and has recognised SETsquared as the World’s Top Business Incubator - Managed by a University.

SETsquared, the enterprise partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, nurtures technology-based businesses throughout their lifecycle from idea through to investment and scale-up.

With bespoke entrepreneur training programmes and unrivalled access to a network of mentors, alumni, investors, corporate partners and the knowledge base of the five universities, SETsquared has helped over 2,500 UK high-tech start-ups raise more than £1.5bn of investment and contributed over £3.8bn to the UK economy.

Last year over 880 entrepreneurs participated in SETsquared programmes and it incubated 381 companies which raised a record £218m investment – the highest ever annual investment raise from the SETsquared portfolio.

SETsquared has maintained its world-leading position since 2015Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: “The SETsquared partnership has not only helped nurture and grow British technology businesses, but it has also contributed nearly £4 billion to the UK economy which is an incredible achievement. Being recognised as one of the world’s leading business incubators is fantastic news and testament to the hard work and dedication of the team at SETsquared and the universities they work with.

“Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we’re calling on businesses to invest in the latest technology trends, and through our Sector Deals and Grand Challenges, we want the UK to be at the forefront of the technology revolution and make Britain fit for the future.”

Ali Amin, CEO and co-founder at UBI Global, said:“Congratulations to SETsquared for ranking as the world’s top university-managed business incubator again. The partnership’s continued success is testament to the innovation and high level of business support it offers. This has resulted in high economic impact and growth for the companies it works with.”

Rosie Bennett, centre director at SETsquared in Bath, said: “We’re delighted to be acknowledged once again as a leader in the world of business incubation, and it is an honour to be recognised by UBI Global in this way alongside the best performing university business incubators and accelerator programmes.

“This ranking reflects the commitment of the SETsquared team, a university environment here in Bath that embraces innovation and enterprise and, of course, the sheer talent and drive of the entrepreneurs and companies that we have the privilege to work with.”

One of the companies to have benefitted from the SETsquared partnership is Bath-based Zynstra, which provide cutting-edge IT solutions for use in the retail industry.

Nick East, co-founder and CEO of Zynstra, said: “The first tech start-up I was involved with was before SETsquared existed. Now running a company with the support of SETsquared I have experienced first-hand the huge difference they make. The flexibility and high service levels they provide means we are unencumbered by some of the day-to-day administration of running an office, so we can focus on pushing our business forward.”

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