Date: 21st May 2015
London, 21st May 2015 – 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 boost their productivity, sales and innovation.
Today it held its first ever ‘Open Innovation’ event, which brought 20 of its most cutting-edge technology start-ups face to face with corporates including Barclays, Unilever 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.
• A measurement system which checks the quality of radiation treatment.
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 sell their technologies.
Already SETsquared’s Open Innovation programme, funded by the IPO, has seen success. Ripjar, part of SETsquared’s incubation programme, has had its advanced social media analysis software used by a large banking corporate as a direct result of the programme.
Tom Griffin, CEO of Ripjar, said: “The Open Innovation Programme enabled Ripjar to form a close relationship with a global institution, which would otherwise have not been possible. We have now developed a collaborative partnership and have adapted our solution and business to meets their requirements.”
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.”
Six of the start-ups at the showcase came from the ICURe programme, which is funded by SETsquared in partnership with the Higher Education Funding Council for England and Innovate UK. ICURe is a multi-million pound pilot programme giving early career researchers at the five SETsquared universities access to up to £50,000 each to explore the market potential of their ideas, technologies and products.
For more information, images or please contact:
Laura Downton at Carswell Gould
T: 023 80 238001
SETsquared is a collaboration between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey which partners in enterprise activities and collectively supports the growth and success of new business opportunities through spin-outs, licensing, incubation and education. The partnership also works with industry through research collaboration and consultancy.
In the last 11 years SETsquared has developed over 1,000 high tech start-ups that have generated some £1bn in investment. It is named by the UBI as the joint best university incubator in Europe and 4th best globally.