Serial innovator and investor joins SETsquared Bristol to advise its next generation of entrepreneurs

February 1, 2024

Highly experienced venture capital and innovation specialist Kevin Simmons has been appointed to the entrepreneur in residence team at acclaimed tech incubator SETsquared Bristol.

A general partner of a $50m (£39.4m) early-stage pan-African venture capital technology fund, Kevin, pictured, has helped launch several successful angel networks and has invested in more than 150 technology companies, including three of Africa’s eight unicorns.

He has also built three start-ups in the energy and mobility space and led one as the CEO as it was acquired, and is adviser to several tech start-up CEOs in Africa, the US, Canada and the UK.

Kevin joins an existing team of three entrepreneurs in residence who support over 90 companies at the University of Bristol-backed incubator

Entrepreneurs in residence play a key role in the delivery of the incubation programme, supporting founders with one-to-one sessions, business review panels, investment readiness, and introductions to advisers, skills, and investment networks.

SETsquared director Kimberley Brook said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Kevin to our team. He comes with a wealth of experience and complimentary skills, and we know our companies will benefit from his perspective and his high level of expertise to grow their business.”

Kevin added: “I’m really looking forward to helping tech founders to overcome the difficult challenges they face, that when overcome can lead to exciting and new ways for all of us to live and work.

“The SETsquared process is all about creating a growth synergy where people and technology intersect and if I can be a small part of that bigger impact, then I will have hopefully helped in some small way.”

Founded in 2002, SETsquared Bristol has since supported more than 350 companies in 30 sectors to raise funding of £660m-plus.

Its incubation programme includes bespoke business support, skills and training, a network of advisers and investors and a community of start-ups and scale-ups.

It also champions tech diversity and runs inclusion programmes to ensure sector representation – currently 42% of its founders are women and 28% from a minority ethnic background.

The SETsquared network, which also includes the universities of Bath, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, has been named The Europa’s Hottest Accelerator in Europe and UBI Global No.1 University Business Incubator.

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