SETsquared Bristol awards six BAME-led startups with Breakthrough Bursary
Press release issued: 18 December 2020
The University of Bristol’s world-leading tech incubator, SETsquared Bristol, is proud to announce six BAME-led companies that have been awarded their 2020 Breakthrough Bursary.
Now in its second year, the Breakthrough Bursary supports entrepreneurs from diverse ethnic backgrounds in accessing business support. The Bursary is funded by SETsquared alumni and covers 75% of SETsquared Bristol’s membership for one year. This year’s programme attracted a 100% increase in the number of applicants and awards given.
The six companies will receive bespoke business support, mentoring, advice, investment readiness training, access to workshop and events, as well as access to University of Bristol expertise and shared office space at enterprise hub Engine Shed.
Three of the awarded businesses took part in SETsquared Bristol’s Enterprising Women 2020 programme, including University of Bristol student start-up Engineer2Engineer (E2E), a global engineering hub for creative solutions.
Ilham Said, Founder and CEO of E2E, commented: "We are excited to be awarded the bursary and, with this award, hope to raise our first round of investment. The membership will provide E2E with expert level support and guidance, valuable training for our team members and varied support from a huge and bright entrepreneurial community.”
Neciah Dorh, Co-founder and CEO of FluoretiQ, said: “We are really thrilled to have received the Breakthrough Bursary and to join SETsquared. I think that the Breakthrough Bursary is a great way to find and nurture diversity within the South West founder community, kudos to SETsquared for being proactive.”
Steve Edwards, SETsquared Bristol Centre Director, said: “I’m pleased to welcome such a talented group of founders to SETsquared Bristol, with a fantastic diversity of tech, including edtech, femtech, fintech and healthtech. We’re committed to supporting tech founders from all backgrounds, which is not just the right thing to do, but is vital to grow sustainable businesses and the local economy.”
The Breakthrough Bursary was one of a number of key recommendations from a SETsquared Bristol funded research report carried out by Bristol partners ACH and Up Our Street in 2018, and rooted in research with BAME tech entrepreneurs.
One of the first cohort Bursary awardees, recruitment analytics platform NORTHSTAR™, has raised nearly £2 million in investment and is now significantly scaling.
Glyn Blaize, Founder of NORTHSTAR, said:
“The Breakthrough Bursary has been a great support and brilliant treasure trove for NORTHSTAR. Whether attending a seminar, to prepping for investment there is support for every step of the startup scaleup journey.”
The Breakthrough Bursary will return in future, offering access to business support to other underrepresented groups.
SETsquared Bristol is a University of Bristol-led tech incubator, supporting founders to grow businesses. It has incubated over 250 companies to date, with over £500 million raised. It provides a dynamic, collaborative and supportive environment supporting its members with high-quality, bespoke business support and expertise. It was named ‘Hottest Accelerator in Europe’ at The Europas Awards 2020, and ‘Global #1 University Business Incubator’ in 2019, 2017 and 2015 as part of the SETsquared Partnership of five centres, as well as the 2020 winner of Tech South West’s Tech Leadership award.