From urban forests to managing online addiction. SETsquared Bristol welcomes 12 new start-ups

February 15, 2023

Twelve innovative tech start-ups have joined the acclaimed tech incubator SETsquared Bristol to accelerate their growth.

The new cohort represents a range of sectors as well as creative uses of technology to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems – from improved access to healthcare and education to achieving net zero. 

SETsquared Bristol, which is led by the University of Bristol, supports more than 80 tech companies with bespoke business support, skills and training, an expert network and supportive community of start-ups and scale-ups.

It is part of the SETsquared network set up in 2002 by a small group of research-intensive universities in the South of England.

It has since incubated 300-plus companies, with £628m-plus raised.

Four of the latest joiners are from the burgeoning greentech sector, including urban forestry investment platform Alo Mundus, whose CEO and founder Polly Pale was awarded SETsquared Bristol’s Breakthrough Bursary to join the programme.

The bursary supports tech founders from a minority ethnic background to grow their business and make an impact in the world.

Polly, pictured, said: “I’m thrilled to join SETsquared Bristol’s community to take Alo Mundus to the next stage.

“We’re looking forward to the business support sessions and mentorship, as well as tapping into its investor network.” 

Other greentech companies in the new cohort are Wilder Sensing, whose AI solution is designed to support investment in biodiversity, Zori Tex, which aims to eliminate textile waste going to landfill and incineration, and Drift Energy, a firm building sailing ships that generate megawatts of green energy by from ocean wind before delivering it to ports around the world in the form of true green hydrogen.

Innovation in healthtech is also strong, with four start-ups joining what has become SETsquared Bristol’s largest sector.

The new members include University of Bristol spin-out Rosa Biotech, an AI-driven biosensing company improving disease diagnosis through protein design and machine learning.

Siloton, a remote monitoring service for eye health, also began its start-up journey at the university with pre-incubation support from its Quantum Technology Enterprise (QTEC) and lab space at the Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre (QTIC).

SETsquared Bristol director Kimberley Brook said: “It’s been an incredible start to the year with so many innovative companies across diverse sectors seeking support to commercialise and grow. It’s a real testament to the region’s creativity and strength of the ecosystem. We look forward to working with them and seeing their ventures develop.”

The other start-ups joining SETsquared Bristol are:

Astral Systems, which is developing compact, low-cost, high-performance fusion-based particle generators for use in industry, research and medicine.

Beacon Battery Design, a lithium-ion cell engineering company designing world-leading batteries to suit any application.

Buddy Apps, which creates digital life support tools. Its product helps internet users manage addictive online habits.

Infinity, an advanced web3 creator platform that enables anyone to send or sell digital assets to anybody in the World via NFT.

Printelligently, which provides businesses with a platform for new out-of-home advertising opportunities. Its first product is Shady sunshades that offer sun-protection.

Save Oom, which is helping young children learn phonics independently – accelerating their ability to read quicker, better.

SETsquared is hosting an open event for potential new members to find out about its business support programme and meet its team on Thursday 16 March from 4pm to 5 pm.

Called Discover SETsquared, the online event includes a talk from SETsquared director Kim Brook, entrepreneur in residence Anna-Lisa Wesley and a SETsquared alumni member.

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