UK home to top business incubator, finds international study

A partnership of UK universities which has helped businesses secure £34 million in investment this year is one of the best in Europe at incubating businesses, a survey has revealed.

The University Business Incubator (UBI) Index has listed the SETsquared incubator as the best on the continent, alongside jointly-placed NDRC LaunchPad in the Republic of Ireland.

The ranking puts SETsquared fourth in the world, with the only other higher ranking counterparts hailing from the US.



SETsquared, a partnership of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, has given birth to some 1,000 high-tech start-ups since its inception ten years ago.

In 2013, it has helped companies within its incubator raise £34 million in investment and this year saw the sale of one of its alumni businesses, Ubiquisys, to US giant Cisco for $310 million.

Other firms from the SETsquared incubator include Crowdcube, which claims to be the world’s first equity-based crowdfunding platform, and PrimerDesign, which produced the first swine-flu detection kit.

SETsquared partnership director Graham Harrison says, ‘We have been supporting the UK’s economic growth by championing these innovative start-ups for the last 10 years and, without question, we see the UK’s economy over the next decade being underpinned by the kind of high-tech, start-up businesses being nurtured in our centres.’

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