Matt Hancock Southampton Uni

Digital minister praises Southampton University

Matt Hancock, the minister of state for digital and culture policy, has praised the University of Southampton’s Future Worlds start-up incubator for its work supporting innovative tech start-ups.

Matt Hancock MP has applauded the University of Southampton’s Future Worlds start-up incubator for its presence at the forefront of UK start-up technologies at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The minister highlighted the incubator as one of the UK’s leading lights at the international trade show and took a hands-on approach in a special visit to Future Worlds’ stand, animating a live character in a University-designed motion capture suit.

Future Worlds was the only UK university exhibitor at CES for a second year running as it showcased over 20 start-ups and spinouts that have developed over the past year in its unique entrepreneurial ecosystem. Since its launch in 2015, Future Worlds has been helping university innovators on every step of their journey through mentoring, events and its web platform.

Hancock said: “The British Tech industry was well represented at CES 2017, and showed the world just some of the amazing things that can happen when we combine British creativity with British tech know-how.

“It was fantastic to see Future Worlds there for the second year running, they are a great example of how UK universities can nurture a tech start-up culture and showcase innovative technologies to a global audience.”

Hancock was promoting British tech businesses at CES and visited the Future Worlds stand. He was transformed into a soldier during a live demonstration of the SharkStream motion capture system and experienced 3D audio through the Sound Virtualiser soundbar, a technology he hailed as “incredible”.

Many of these technologies, and Future Worlds itself have been supported by government funding through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Impact Acceleration Account.

Future Worlds director, Dr Reuben Wilcock, added: “Growing a thriving start-up culture is the best way to help leading innovators change the world with their ideas and Future Worlds is making this happen.

“We have supported over 60 University entrepreneurs in our first year, who have raised more than £2m in investment between them.”

Anne-Marie Mountifield, chief executive of Solent LEP, also heaped praise on the programme. She said: "Solent LEP has prioritised innovation and the development of new research as a key driver of economic growth in our area and it will be a vital part of our strategy going forward.

"We are delighted to be working with the University of Southampton to explore new ways of driving forward innovative collaborations to support the development and commercialisation of initiatives that we hope will play a key role in the future growth of web technologies."