The UK’s technology start-up landscape has been bolstered by the university-led incubation programme SETsquared once again being ranked as the top university business incubator in Europe and second in the world by the UBI Index. This will be welcome news for the UK as it comes on the back of London-centric Tech Week, a showcase to demonstrate the capital’s strong positioning in the global technology space.
The ranking, published this week by the University Business Incubator (UBI) Index, places SETsquared as one of the world’s leading three incubators, ahead of SCUT Science Park at South China University of Technology and just behind the number one, The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship at Rice University Houston.
The SETsquared partnership is the enterprise collaboration between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. Over the last 10 years, SETsquared has supported over 1,000 companies, helping them raise over £1 billion in investment and finance. Many of these companies have gone on to create a significant number of high-tech jobs and are exporting across the globe. Companies supported by SETsquared have a 90% survival rate, which is way above the UK average. The partnership works to aid students, start-ups and businesses in sharing knowledge and help each other in developing and recognising future trends.
The partnership’s Management and Executive Boards are especially focusing to build a strategy for the future. One of SETsquared’s plans is to consolidate its award-winning incubation services into an “acceleration gateway”, which would allow more tech businesses across England to take advantage of its business support. SETsquared is also developing a network of incubation service providers across Europe to ensure it remains internationally competitive in the global race for economic growth.
The UK is beginning to fully utilise its strong university infrastructure, large financing in London and links to Silicon Valley. SETsquared is a major spearhead of this drive, in an environment of an overall expanding European support network for tech start-ups.
The partnership has a specialised programme for start-ups, called OPEN Innovation. Its recent launch made a strong impression, with the likes of Barclays, CGI Group, Westpac Bank, Johnson & Johnson, BP Ventures and Airbus signing up to meet start-ups from SETsquared’s portfolio. SETsquared also provides investment support that is based on preparing ventures for third-party investment though investor readiness training and the showcasing of new ventures at investor events. Continued collaboration between mature businesses and entrepreneurs will be vital if the UK is to maintain its status as Europe’s digital leader.
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