Six early stage companies based at the University Enterprise Zone, UWE Bristol, are included on the 2018 Disrupt South West Index in recognition of their potential to shake up their respective industries, both in the UK and on a global scale.
Three of the organisations (DroneX, Folium Optics and Walk to Beat) have been supported by Bristol Robotics Laboratory’s Hardware Incubator; two (Bunk and Tickitto AI) are based in Launch Space Incubator; and one (Fusion Processing) is based in Future Space, UWE Bristol’s innovation centre.
These business support centres, together with UWE Bristol’s Health Technology Hub, form the foundations of the University Enterprise Zone ecosystem, which promotes collaboration between UWE Bristol and industry; it connects entrepreneurs and tech innovators with scientists, researchers and graduate talent to spark collaboration, innovation and growth.
The annual index – an initiative by ADLIB, Foot Anstey and Tällt – was announced at a launch celebration in Bristol, showcasing the region as a global innovation hub. Judges selected the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based on a range of factors, from the makeup of their founding team and investors to their technology and ambition.
“The 70-plus companies based at UWE Bristol’s Enterprise Zone are generating millions of pounds in funding, creating high-value jobs and signing deals with globally-recognised organisations.”
Three companies from Bristol Robotics Laboratory’s Hardware Incubator (Open Bionics, Reach Robotics and Perceptual Robotics) previously experienced success in making the Top 10 of the 2017 annual index, underlining the importance of specialist high-tech and robotics business incubation support. Two of them, Reach Robotics and Open Bionics, also appeared in the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 Europe List 2018.
David Lennard, Head of Business and Operations at Bristol Robotics Laboratory, said: “It is hugely encouraging to see so many of the innovative young businesses based at the University Enterprise Zone represented in this list, making up a quarter of all companies included.
“The 70-plus companies based at UWE Bristol’s Enterprise Zone are generating millions of pounds in funding, creating high-value jobs and signing deals with globally-recognised organisations.
“The enterprise ecosystem of business incubators, grow-on space and SME support services created at the University is producing real results, and the companies supported are having a strong impact in their respective industries.”