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26 November 2015

Setsquared named world’s top university incubator

Setsquared, the incubator partnership between five UK universities, is recognised as world’s number one university business incubator.

Author: Gregg Bayes-Brown, editor

Setsquared, a partnership between Exeter, Southampton, Surrey, Bristol, and Bath, has been named the world’s top university business incubator.

Setsquared has been consistently ranked the number one university incubator in Europe for the past three years, and ranked as number two in the world in 2013 and 2014. Since founding in 2002, the partnership has helped 1,000 startups develop which have raised over £1bn as well as contributing to £3.8bn in gross value added to the UK economy and assisted in the creation of 9,000 new jobs.

The partnership was founded with the intention of developing critical mass required to effectively conduct technology transfer by the founding institutions as well as having a meaningful impact on innovation in the south-west of England, opening its doors to spinouts, student startups, and private startups alike. It has since grown to become a poster child for what can be achieved when universities collaborate on innovation. Setsquared estimates that it will contribute a further $15bn gross value added and another 14,200 jobs over the next decade.

It has been a strong year for Setsquared as it opened another hub in Basingstoke, and has seen numerous successes for its portfolio companies, most notably Bristol spinout Ultrahaptics which secured £10.1m in its series A held earlier this month.

Simon Bond, innovation director at Setsquared, said: “It’s an incredible achievement to be recognised as the best university incubator in the world, and we’re all absolutely ecstatic with the news. Everyone involved with Setsquared works extremely hard to fulfil our commitment to helping entrepreneurs and start-ups and the ranking is a real testament to the skill and innovation of our staff, as well as showing how vital our services are in each area we operate in.

“The UK was recently ranked as the second most innovative country in the world by the Global Innovation Index as a result of its performance in infrastructure, market sophistication, knowledge, technology and creative outputs. At Setsquared we’re very proud to help put the UK on the map as one of the top performing countries in the world for innovation and will continue our dedication to helping grow entrepreneurs and start-up businesses to their full potential.”

The announcement was made by incubator ranking firm UBI Global at Setsquared’s annual investment evening in London.

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