SETsquared Bristol to re-launch bursary that aims to make tech more inclusive

July 29, 2020

University of Bristol-led tech incubator SETsquared Bristol is re-launching its Breakthrough Bursary for the second year, continuing its commitment to promote inclusion and equal opportunities in tech.

The bursary supports BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) entrepreneurs to access business support for technology start-ups through SETsquared’s world-leading incubation programme. SETsquared is encouraging BAME women founders as part of its bursary callout, as a particularly under-represented group. 

Funded by SETsquared alumni members, the Breakthrough Bursary provides access to strategic advice and coaching, including investment readiness training, mentoring, events and advice clinics, as well as access to University of Bristol expertise.

Companies also get a fixed desk in a shared office, benefitting from the supportive co-working communities at SETsquared and Engine Shed, the enterprise hub in which it is based.

Each bursary covers 75% of SETsquared Bristol’s residential start-up membership for a year, which normally costs £210 per month.

First cohort bursary recipient Glyn Blaize, pictured, founder of performance software application NORTHSTAR, said: “The Breakthrough Bursary has been a great support and brilliant treasure trove for NORTHSTAR. 

“Whether attending a seminar, to prepping for investment there is support for every step of the start-up scaleup journey. I would definitely say SETsquared will add some serious nitro to your start-up engine.”

The Breakthrough Bursary was one of a number of key recommendations from a SETsquared funded research report carried out by partners ACH and Up Our Street in 2018, and rooted in research with BAME tech entrepreneurs.

SETsquared Bristol’s BAME founders have increased from 14% to 16% over the past year, compared to the 5% national average.

SETsquared Bristol incubation manager Lisa Matthews said: “Inclusive and sustainable growth is more vital than ever in a post-Covid world, and it has been proven that diverse business ecosystems will drive innovation and economic impact.

“Last year’s Breakthrough Bursary saw an incredible response but we recognise there is plenty more work to be done to provide equal opportunities in tech.”

SETsquared Bristol mentor Sandeep Roychowdhury said: “I look forward to meeting and potentially mentoring new businesses coming into SETsquared through the Breakthrough Bursary.

“In the future, these entrepreneurs will not only drive inclusive growth in the region but also acquire the potential to advise and mentor upcoming BAME generations that in turn build new inclusive networks and foster more diversity in the future of tech.”

Any BAME entrepreneurs can apply for the Breakthrough Bursary if they are developing a new tech business, or already have an incorporated tech business, and want help growing it and achieving financial success.

SETsquared Bristol provides a dynamic, collaborative and supportive environment supporting its members with high-quality, bespoke business support and expertise. It has incubated more than 250 companies with £500m-plus raised.

It is a member of the SETsquared Partnership, an enterprise collaboration between the five leading research-intensive universities of Bristol, Bath, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. SETsquared was named as the ‘Hottest Accelerator in Europe’ at The Europas Awards 2020, and ‘Global #1 University Business Incubator’ in 2019, 2017 and 2015.

Find out more on the SETsquared Bristol website. To apply, complete this application form by September 30, mentioning Breakthrough Bursary in the section ‘How did you hear about us?’

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