High-growth tech entrepreneurs pitched for a share of more than £25m backing when they took part in SETsquared’s annual Accelerating Growth Investment Showcase in London last week. (24 November).
Twenty-two of the UK’s most exciting start-up businesses presented their innovative products and services for a range of sectors, including public transport, childcare, energy, life sciences, fashion and beauty, healthcare and event management software.
Each company sought financial backing ranging between £150k and £10m from an audience of more than 200 investors and corporates at the event, held in Euston Square.
Organised by the world’s number one university business incubator, SETsquared, who provided mentoring support and comprehensive pitch training, the showcase put its start-ups face-to-face with angel investors, venture capitalists, high-net worth individuals and corporate investors.
Every company also exhibited at the event, with the founders available to meet investors throughout the day.
It was the 13th showcase for SETsquared, an enterprise partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey.
Among the businesses pitching for investment are:
- Inclusive Media Solutions – which has created EasyVideo, a platform that enables adults with learning disabilities to scan household items with any smart device to play a video of how to use it
- VRGo – which has created a wireless, hands-free, motion-controlled chair for use with virtual reality games, designed go fit into typical living spaces
- Red Skies Technology – which is helping to improve use of public transport in developing countries with its GPS-controlled payment system called YoSafari
- Kinderly – which has developed an app for childminders and nurseries to help reduce the amount of paperwork and time spent in adhering to a statutory government framework regulated by Ofsted
Simon Bond, Innovation Director at SETsquared, said: “Yet again, I was delighted and very proud to see huge enthusiasm and commitment from the companies that SETsquared supports at this year’s Accelerating Growth investment showcase.
“There is a real appetite among investors to partner with SETsquared’s high-growth potential technology companies and their engaging pitches really created a buzz at the event.
“It was promising to see many positive conversations taking place between the start-ups and investors at the showcase. We hope this networking opportunity will result in even more success stories for SETsquared’s budding entrepreneurs over the next year.”
Four companies from SETsquared’s award-winning ICURe programme also exhibited their tech start-ups at Accelerating Growth. The ICURe programme offers university researchers with commercially promising ideas the opportunity to ‘get out of the lab’ and validate their ideas in the marketplace.
The companies exhibiting from the ICURe programme were:
- Entwine – which makes online dating smarter with emotion-based matching and machine learning
- TrueInvivo – which develops microsilica radiation detectors and dosimetry systems that make cancer radiotherapy treatments more accurate and effective
- Renovos – which provides orthopaedic regenerative medicine solutions
- Hydrogel cell encapsulation for hypothermic cell storage – which provides novel ambient temperature storage of live cells for short-term storage and transport, increasing the shelf-life of cells and cell-based products
Michael Ruzic-Gauthier, Investments Associate at NetScientific, who attended the event, said: “I came to the Accelerating Growth investment showcase for two reasons: I was really interested to see the healthcare companies pitch and see what’s happening in the industry, as well as meeting new contacts from the SETsquared partnership universities. I was really impressed by each of pitches I watched, and it was very helpful to have so many innovative new companies brought together in one room to speak to.”
Over the last 14 years SETsquared has helped more than 1,000 businesses raise over £1bn in investment, as well as contributing over £3.8bn in GVA (Gross Value Added) to the UK economy with £8.6bn GVA estimated over the next decade – figures that contributed to it being named by UBI Global as the top university business incubator in the world at the end of 2015.