The network was named the world’s leading business incubator at the World Incubation Summit in Toronto, Canada.
SETsquared, the enterprise partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, nurtures technology-based businesses throughout their lifecycle from idea through to investment and scale-up.
With bespoke entrepreneur training programmes and unrivalled access to a network of mentors, alumni, investors, corporate partners and the knowledge base of the five universities, SETsquared has helped over 2,500 UK high-tech start-ups raise more than £1.5bn of investment and contributed over £3.8bn to the UK economy.
Last year over 880 entrepreneurs participated in SETsquared programmes and it incubated 381 companies which raised a record £218m investment – the highest ever annual investment raise from the SETsquared portfolio.
Greg Clark, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, said: “The SETsquared partnership has not only helped nurture and grow British technology businesses, but it has also contributed nearly £4bn to the UK economy which is an incredible achievement.
“Being recognised as one of the world’s leading business incubators is fantastic news and testament to the hard work and dedication of the team at SETsquared and the universities they work with.
“Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we’re calling on businesses to invest in the latest technology trends, and through our Sector Deals and Grand Challenges, we want the UK to be at the forefront of the technology revolution and make Britain fit for the future.”
Simon Bond, SETsquared’s innovation director, added: “We’re delighted to be acknowledged once again as the world’s top business incubator and it is an honour to be recognised by UBI Global in this way alongside the best performing university business incubators and accelerator programmes in the world.
“This ranking reflects the commitment of the SETsquared team, a university environment in the UK that embraces innovation and enterprise and, of course, the sheer talent and drive of the entrepreneurs and companies that we have the privilege to work with.”