SETsquared Blog

Why SETsquared’s programmes are the path to success for high-tech start-ups

When you have the germ of an idea for a business or just want to learn more about innovation, it can be daunting to know where to turn to gain the right skills and secure valuable advice.

As part of SETsquared’s incubation programme for high-tech, high-growth potential start-ups, we provide access to a number of courses designed to up-skill entrepreneurs and open up new opportunities to expertise and funding.

Each programme has been created to help entrepreneurs along the stages of the start-up journey, whether you need to hone your pitching technique in preparation for meeting investors, learn to take risks and go outside your comfort zone or turn your innovative idea into a viable business proposition.

The economic impact of SETsquared member companies is estimated to be £3.8bn since its inception, with the creation of 9,000 jobs and that these companies will go on to deliver a further £8.6bn of impact to the UK economy in the decade ahead. Since its creation SETsquared has raised over £1bn in investment, raising £90m in 2015 alone. SETsquared has supported over 1,000 companies and is currently supporting 265 start-ups.

The SETsquared experience

SETsquared’s entrepreneurship courses stand out from other training programmes offered to start-ups by the extra value we provide in putting entrepreneurs in front of people who have been through each of the pitfalls and can share their know-how. By teaming up with experienced entrepreneurs, programme participants are able to receive feedback at all stages of their business by the people who know the landscape best. It means we can throw away the textbook and really get to the heart of how to make a tech company succeed.

The tech sector can often work on a different scale to other start-up companies. It’s possible that these start-ups will need to raise significant amounts of money to bring their product to market, so it’s important for entrepreneurs to hear the ‘warts and all’ account of how it all works.

Companies who get involved with SETsquared will also be provided with new links to expertise they don’t currently have, or helped to find ways to take a venture in a new direction – such as successfully launching a UK start-up in the US. By bringing in different skills, we’re able to work with entrepreneurs to tackle new markets and take their businesses further.

We also put entrepreneurs in front of real investors at any chance we get. Through receiving in-depth pitch and presentation training, by the time SETsquared member companies are put in front of a panel of investors they’re feeling confident in talking about solutions, not products, to give a compelling pitch.

Pitching sessions make up a part of many of our programmes and are vital to the success of new businesses. The feedback they receive can set entrepreneurs on the path to securing that all-important funding.

Which programme is for you?

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Entrepreneurship Training Programme feedback

SETsquared’s Entrepreneurship Training Programme has been highly commended by the UK Government at the Enterprising Britain Awards, in recognition of its success in helping develop entrepreneurial and enterprise skills such as product development and business planning. The course runs for three days and provides a very hands-on approach to each element of developing a business proposition, culminating in a pitching session to a live panel of investors who also provide feedback to each company.

Over 50 entrepreneurs have taken part in Entrepreneurship Programmes in 2015 and so far in 2016.

The course runs across SETsquared’s centres, with the next taking place in Basingstoke from 19-21 September. People wanting to apply should visit www.setsquared.co.uk/enterprise.

Researcher to Innovator feedback

The Researcher to Innovator programme is made up of eight days of training over six months, starting with a three-day residential course. The programme is designed to help researchers take their promising ideas and research projects, and develop the skills and knowledge necessary to convert them into commercial realities. The programme has a high satisfaction rate, as it helps researchers to see ways to use their findings beyond academia.

Running in conjunction with four Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs): West of England, Wessex, South West and Kent, Surrey and Sussex, the Healthcare Innovation Programme is a three-day course designed for innovators in the healthcare sector to develop ideas into business propositions. The programme helps established companies, as well as start-ups, define and establish routes, including into the NHS. In 2015 alone, 35 healthcare entrepreneurs benefitted from this programme.

ICURe Programme feedback

The award-winning ICURe (Innovation and Commercialisation of University Research) programme scooped Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards earlier this year, and brings together a senior researcher, private sector business advisor and early-career researcher to get university researchers and their ideas to understand the market potential for their technology. The programme has led to the successful launch of 28 new companies and has been extended to include teams from universities outside the SETsquared partnership.

A total of 307 researchers across 6 cohorts have taken part in the programme, with £16.7m funding having been raised and over 5,000 business contacts have been made by these participants.

Accelerating Growth: the next step

SETsquared’s Accelerating Growth programme is designed especially to further start-ups with a fully-formed proposition, who may be planning a round of investment or seeking corporate partners. Through one-to-one pitch coaching, local pitch sessions with investors and a session on the perfect pitch, companies will be put through their paces before meeting and presenting to 150 world-leading investors and corporates on 24 November.

The Accelerating Growth investment showcase 2016 is now open for applications from SETsquared companies. Entrepreneurs who wish to apply should visit: http://www.setsquared.co.uk/accelerating-growth-investment-programme-2016-application-form

Many companies have secured investment as a result of an introduction at SETsquared's Accelerating Growth Programme, here are some
recent examples:

SETsquared’s programmes for entrepreneurs and start-ups offer a wealth of opportunities for growth, experience and getting into the marketplace. For further information on courses and training, visit: www.setsquared.co.uk or email [email protected].