A business incubation programme run by a consortium of UK universities has been pitching promising startup companies to Barclays Bank.
SETsquared is a partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey which specialises in growing high tech startups through its incubation programme and other acceleration services. Over the last decade the unit has developed over 1000 high tech startups that have generated some £1bn in investment.
Barclays has been scouring the globe for new startups to participate in its own recently-launched accelerator programme. The first eleven companies to make it through the rigorous evaluation process and participate in a 15-week series of workshops were unveiled in June. The bank is currently searching for the next wave of companies to join the accelerator later this year.
Six companies from across SETsquared's incubator programme were selected to demo their propositions to a large group of senior business and technology directors at Barclays' global headquarters at Canary Wharf in London earlier this month. The showcase sprung out SETsquared's Open Innovation Programme, which aims to match promising startups with corporate investors.
Each company from the SETsquared portfolio received feedback from a 35-strong panel of representatives from Barclays, including corporate banking, digital and mobile services, wealth management and group technology.
Simon Bond, innovation director at SETsquared, says: "We have been really impressed with the commitment Barclays has made at the most senior levels to reaching out to our innovators and start ups."
Adrian Cottington, director in global technology and infrastructure services at Barclays adds: "The Open Innovation programme, with SETsquared acting as the intermediary, has given us the opportunity to access to a pool of cherry-picked talent, all in one place. We've been very impressed with the quality of technology companies that SETsquared have presented to us and are looking forward to talking further with the companies."