SETsquared celebrated its 20th anniversary in style with a bumper edition of its annual investment showcase and an awards celebration night, which recognised member companies which have had a significant social, environmental, or economic impact.

Over 200 investors and funders came together at Church House, Westminster, to see the latest crop of SETsquared-backed start-ups, spin-outs and scale-ups pitch for investment, including SETsquared Bath-supported company LAYBL.

The showcase has become the must-attend event in the investment calendar, and this year’s event was bigger and better than ever, with double the number of companies pitching and a lunchtime panel discussion which looked at the landscape for innovation and investment over the next 20 years.

Jen Wagner, CEO, LAYBL said:

Today’s been a really great day for us; we’ve been able to meet loads of investors but also universities and other organisations that have an interest in the circular economy and environment. It has really allowed us to expand our network and get the name LAYBL out there so people can see what we’re doing. Reducing clothing waste is such an important goal, not just for us but for everyone. Attending an event like this, with such a diverse group of people, allows us to expand our network and have conversations with investors who will hopefully help us to grow.

Ben Wood, Head of Regional Development in Research and Innovation Services (RIS), University of Bath said:

Nothing beats being here in person, meeting the amazing graduates starting on their entrepreneurial journey to seeing the potentially game-changing technologies on show. There is a real energy in the pitching room as entrepreneurs meet funders and of course, having the team back together - the representatives of the SETsquared Partnership’s six institutions - is amazing and long overdue.

Six businesses which are currently supported or have been supported by SETsquared received Impact Awards in recognition of their positive effect on the environment, economy, and society. Bath’s winner was The Washing Machine Project.

The Washing Machine Project has improved nearly 27,000 lives and has worked to solve some of the world's most pressing humanitarian and development challenges. It has reached low-income communities in six countries around the world, from refugees in Iraq and Lebanon to Ukrainians in refugee shelters in Poland, from orphanages and primary schools in Uganda to homeless shelters in the US, with its Divya Manual Washing Machine. The machine requires no power source and saves up to 50% of the water and 75% of the time compared to manual handwashing.

The Showcase and Awards coincided with the launch of Warwick Economic and Development’s independent Impact Report, which estimates that between 2002 – 2022, the total GVA contribution of businesses supported by SETsquared is £15.7bn and created 15,600 jobs. View the Impact Report.