Bristol’s tech innovators invited to enter contest to find UK’s wireless pioneers

August 18, 2014

Businesses in Bristol’s world-leading mobile and microelectronics sector are being urged to enter a competition to find the most innovative new wireless technologies and business ventures.

The annual Discovering Start-Ups contest is organised by SETsquared, the business incubator programme run from the University of Bristol’s Engine Shed, and Cambridge Wireless (CW), the leading community for wireless and mobile technologies.

To tie in with the competition, SETsquared and CW bosses calling for closer collaboration between the UK’s tech clusters to accelerate further growth and leadership in technology and science.

Bristol boasts the world’s second-largest cluster of micro-chip design expertise outside of California’s Silicon Valley and is also a centre of excellence in mobile with leading players such as Toshiba Labs.

A recent top-level report by the Centre for Cities and McKinsey & Company, which analysed industry clusters across the globe, pinpointed the West of England’s hi-tech industry as a world leader. However, the UK has a poor track record in such clusters working together.

Director at Bristol’s SETsquared centre, Nick Sturge, said: “It’s a case of developing clusters locally to compete globally, and that does require even more collaboration across the UK’s technology hotspots in order to bring together talented entrepreneurs, investors and advisors to help create great companies for Britain.”

CW chair David Cleevely CBE added: “The success of Discovering Start-Ups is a great example of tech clusters working together to encourage and showcase exciting new innovation and business ideas.

“While regional UK tech clusters are getting stronger, we should be encouraging closer links to share knowledge, skills and cultivate networking and technology partnerships.

“What matters is working with like-minded and outward-looking people who recognise the real benefits of closer cooperation and want to raise the game for UK plc.”

Now in its fifth year, Discovering Start-Ups is also supported by Tech City UK, techUK, New Entrepreneurs Foundation and UK Trade & Investment and jointly sponsored by Qualcomm Ventures, Google, Microlease & Keysight Technologies, IC Resources and Dorsey & Whitey. The finals will be hosted by Deloitte in London on the October 22 when up to 20 entrants will get the opportunity to pitch to 20 leading wireless industry investors and experts.

The closing date for entries is August 26. The contest is open to start-ups and early-stage companies looking to take their businesses forward as well as design groups in larger companies looking to exploit new technologies and students or academics in education.

The judges will include senior executives from companies such as Amadeus, BT, Broadcom, Cambridge Business Angels, Google, IBM, London Business Angels, Orange Labs, Philips Innovation Services, Qualcomm Ventures and Samsung Electronics. 

Details to enter can be found at

SETsquared, a partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, specialises in growing hi-tech start-ups through its incubation programme and other acceleration services.

It provides mentoring, access to investors and corporates and a wide range of industry experts through its network and training programmes.

Its business incubation programme is ranked the best in Europe and second in the world and over the past decade has developed more than 1,000 hi-tech start-ups that have generated some £1bn in investment.



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