SETsquared helps HE spin-outs and start-ups

University incubated start-ups dazzle big name corporates in new event

A group of universities has launched a brand-new event that aims to get university spin-outs and technology start-ups into some of the world’s biggest corporates.

SETsquared, a partnership of the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, says that the UK economy could be boosted by large corporates adopting technologies from agile start-ups to increase their productivity, sales and innovation.

The partnerships recently held its first ever ‘Open Innovation Showcase’, which brought 20 of its most cutting-edge technology start-ups face to face with corporates including Barclays, BAE Systems and Intel. It is the first time such a large-scale event, with start-ups pitching to more than 50 corporates, has taken place.

The start-ups, working across a range of sectors including healthcare, mobile technology and environment, had the opportunity to pitch the corporates on how their technologies and products could be adopted by the businesses to the advantage of both sides. 

Among the technologies showcased were:

  • A software platform that analyses location data by time, not distance. The technology, from iGeolise, is already being used by the likes of Zoopla and Countrywide.
  • A social network based on physical interactions that uses wearable technology from Siymb.
  • A measurement system which checks the quality of radiation treatment from start-up Invivo.

A number of strong leads were made at the event and over the coming months some of the start-ups could enter negotiations with the corporates to take on their technologies.

Today’s showcase marked the launch of the next phase of SETsquared’s Open Innovation activities. Initially funded by the IPO, the programme has already seen success in phase one with Ripjar, part of SETsquared’s incubation programme, having its advanced social media analysis software taken on by a large banking corporate.

Simon Bond, Innovation Director at SETsquared, said: “The Open Innovation Showcase provides a vital link for many start-ups, as talking to companies at an early stage means the products can be refined for use and the wider market. It’s exactly what the UK economy needs, as it helps big businesses streamline and innovate by working with universities, SMEs and start-ups.” 

To find out more about the Open Innovation programme and find out how to get involved visit