From education to employment

SETsquared Bristol re-launches Breakthrough Bursary to make tech more inclusive

The bursary supports #BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) entrepreneurs to access business support for technology startups through @SETsquared’s world-leading incubation programme. It’s hoping to attract applications from BAME women, who are a particularly under-represented group.

Funded by SETsquared alumni members, the Breakthrough Bursary provides access to strategic advice and coaching, including investment readiness training, mentoring, events and advice clinics, as well as access to University of Bristol expertise.

Companies also get a fixed desk in a shared office, benefitting from the supportive co-working communities at SETsquared and Engine Shed. Each bursary covers 75 per cent of SETsquared Bristol’s Residential Startup Membership for one year, which normally costs £210 per month.

Glyn Blaize, founder of performance software application NORTHSTAR, and a member of the first cohort to receive the bursary, said:

“The Breakthrough Bursary has been a great support and brilliant treasure trove for NORTHSTAR. Whether attending a seminar, to prepping for investment, there is support for every step of the startup scaleup journey. I would definitely say SETsquared will add some serious nitro to your startup engine.”

The Breakthrough Bursary was one of a number of key recommendations from a SETsquared funded research report carried out by partners ACH and Up Our Street in 2018, and rooted in research with BAME tech entrepreneurs. SETsquared Bristol’s BAME founders have increased from 14 per cent to 16 per cent over the last year, compared to the five per cent national average.

Lisa Matthews, SETsquared Bristol Incubation Manager, said:

“Inclusive and sustainable growth is more vital than ever in a post-COVID world, and it has been proven that diverse business ecosystems will drive innovation and economic impact. Last year’s Breakthrough Bursary saw an incredible response but we recognise there is plenty more work to be done to provide equal opportunities in tech.”

Sandeep Roychowdhury, a SETsquared Bristol mentor, said:

“I look forward to meeting and potentially mentoring new businesses coming into SETsquared through the Breakthrough Bursary. In the future, these entrepreneurs will not only drive inclusive growth in the region but also acquire the potential to advise and mentor upcoming BAME generations that in turn build new inclusive networks and foster more diversity in the future of tech.”

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