Another accolade for SETsquared as FT-backed report ranks it UK’s top start-up hub and third in Europe

March 14, 2024

The SETsquared Partnership, the pioneering tech incubator backed by the University of Bath, has been named as the UK’s leading start-up hub and third best in Europe.

No stranger to awards – it has been ranked best in the world by the University Business Incubator (UBI) Index three times – SETsquared has been given its latest accolade by the Financial Times and German online platform Statista.

In a special report, they ranked 125 start-up hubs across 21 European countries using data and feedback from alumni and independent experts, including investors. They also gauged the success of emerging companies.

SETsquared, which was founded in 2002 and has since supported more than 5,000 entrepreneurs raise £4.4bn in investment, is recognised in the report for its unique collaboration model across six research-intensive universities.

The quality of its place-based support for deeptech start-ups, alongside the scale, expertise and capabilities brought by the universities were also deciding factors in it topping the rankings for UK and Ireland. 

Its incubation programmes include bespoke business support, skills and training, a network of advisers and investors, and a community of start-ups and scale-ups.

SETsquared executive director Marty Reid, pictured, said the latest recognition was testament to the expertise and hard work of the teams across its business acceleration centres and universities and to the culture of collaboration in the associated ecosystems.”

“We don’t offer cookie-cutter-style acceleration. Our portfolio of support is really built around the diversity of start-ups’ needs, bringing together networks of mentors, advisors, and business connections to get ventures investor-ready or engaged in their target markets,” he said.

“We hope this ranking shows the enormous potential of regional ecosystems working together to build the globally leading companies we need to take on our biggest challenges.”

The FT/Statista report – which was compiled alongside Sifted, the FT-backed start-up news and information platform – rated each start-up hub across six categories, including mentoring and training development, infrastructure, legal assistance, business development, networking, and funding.

Independent experts, including angel investors, VCs, entrepreneurs and academics, also added their evaluations and additional scores were awarded according to the most successful start-ups to have emerged from each hub.

The SETsquared Partnership also includes sites run by universities in Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey.


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