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The launch of the new SETsquared Scaleup Programme was held at Exeter Science Park.

Launch of programme to support scaleup businesses in the region

Last week, SETsquared Exeter hosted the launch of a new Scaleup Programme aimed to support and develop scaleup businesses in the region. The event was held at Exeter Science Park and featured SETsquared members and staff from across the five partners (Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey) including business experts and local SMEs.

The event featured an overview of the programme alongside a panel session featuring Karl Wills, SETsquared Bristol member from Pelipod and SETsquared Exeter member Piers Corfield from Dashboard who both discussed the challenges and opportunities associated with scaling-up and the benefits from collaborating with universities.

Managing Director of Pelipod, Karl explained how vital consumer research alongside business support and collaboration was in pivoting his business model to create smart locker boxes. Karl said: "SETsquared has always helped in asking difficult questions and then providing guidance with the answers." Pelipod was recently acquired by British Telecom and is now the world’s leading carrier company.

Piers is CEO of Dashboard Ltd, Dashboard is an Internet of Things (IoT) company developing remote monitoring technology for the oil and gas industry. Piers explained how he found it necessary to “imbue competitive advantage” even before the company was established. He revealed the clear benefits of support from SETsquared and collaborating with universities.

The Scaleup Programme has been developed following a £5m award from HEFCE that will support the most innovative scale-up companies across the South of England.

Designed for companies with 10 or more employees, the scheme is focused on digital innovation, advanced engineering & manufacturing, health & wellbeing and environmental, sustainable & maritime/marine.

The programme will help scaleups to secure funded R&D projects with the SETsquared universities, make introductions to investors, corporates, customers and partners and access talent. They will also be able to access peer-to-peer learning and review of business and growth management.

The Scaleup Programme brings with it the introduction of Innovation Advisors and Managers based at each of the SETsquared partnerships. Murray Reed is Exeter’s Innovation Manager, he has more than 25 years of experience developing high tech products for major international corporate customers including Intel, Apple, ASML, Samsung & Osram. Murray will help innovative growth companies to access University R&D, investment, corporate partners and new talent. Karen Brooks, Programme Director at SETsquared confirmed that: “Funding bids are forty per cent more likely to succeed with the support of a university.”

The event concluded with a celebratory pose alongside the world’s top business incubation trophy recently received by the SETsquared partnership, who have in the past sixteen years supported over 4,000 companies and helped to raise £1.5bn investment and contributed more than £3.8bn to the UK economy.

Date: 24 April 2018

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