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University launches pre-incubator to create more UK deep tech start-ups

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The QUEST (@qtecbristol) programme will support the rapid generation of new quantum, engineering and scientific technology companies.

The University of Bristol has a strong track record in contributing to the development of the UK quantum industry with a third of all UK quantum start-ups originating out of the University. Since 2016, QTEC has supported the creation of 28 active companies with a combined valuation of over £120 million. These companies have raised over £57 million and created over 175 new highly skilled jobs within the UK.

QUEST is a six-month programme for UK university researchers who are looking to commercialise their tech. Selected founders will receive skills and training designed specifically for the creation of deep tech companies, plus mentoring from respected industry leaders, regular road-mapping sessions with a team of Entrepreneurs in Residence and the potential to pitch for capital from a network of UK and European angel investors and VCs.

Participating founders will benefit from the proximity to the Bristol and Bath region, one of the most innovative, creative and desirable places to live in the UK. The Bristol and Bath smart city region is home to a 5G testbed and the UK’s most productive tech cluster, providing world class digital connectivity. In addition, the founders will have access to the entrepreneurial network in the West of England, which has a strong track record of commercial success in bringing research and innovation to market.

Kimberley Brook, Programme Manager of QUEST, said:

“To ensure the UK remains at the forefront of deep tech innovation, it is vital that we upskill our PhD students and researchers to enable them to develop companies based on university research. Through QTEC we have demonstrated that scientists make excellent CEOs and CTOs provided they are given the training, skills and support they need to succeed early on in their entrepreneurial journey.”

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Neciah Dorh, CEO and Co-founder of FluoretiQ, who has previously been a Fellow at QTEC, said:

“QTEC gave me the freedom to explore the commercial possibilities of my technology.”

Matthew Hutchings, CPO and Co-founder of SEEQC, said of his time at QTEC:

“If QTEC had not instilled the confidence that I was ready to pitch my business, I would not be in the position I am now. I am a co-founder of a VC-backed company based in the USA and the UK, with 18 employees and counting.”

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