Catalyst stars showcased

SETsquared, the enterprise partnership, that brings together the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, recently invited seven of its most disruptive and cutting-edge technology start-ups to pitch to a select audience of investors and mentors at an Apple-hosted event.

Four Southampton Science Park-based businesses, 2 of which are graduates of the Catalyst Programme, participated:

SAL Scientific – cell biology research services and products designed to assist and alleviate the rising costs of bringing new drugs to market.

SEaB Energy – small-scale waste-to-energy plants that convert organic waste into carbon-free heat and electricity; producing water and nutrient-rich fertiliser as by-products.

Fresh Relevance – a marketing hub for online retailers which aims to increase sales through personalised customer experiences and real-time marketing insights.

Utonomy – innovative technology to reduce greenhouse gas leakage, particularly methane, from distribution networks.

Simon Bond, Innovation Director at SETsquared, said: “We were delighted that Apple hosted these exclusive pitching sessions. It is fantastic to see the start-up eco-system in the South of England working in harmony to promote our collective excellence in innovation.”

Participation in this event helped the promising start-ups to prepare for SETsquared’s annual Accelerating Growth Investment Showcase (AGIS), which took place in London on November 24. Seeking financial backing from an AGIS audience of more than 200 investors and corporates, companies pitched for a share of over £25m.

The four companies from SETsquared were joined by two more Catalyst businesses:

Dynamon – supplying actionable intelligence to the road transport industry to reduce emissions and increase business margins.

Inclusive Media Solutions -enabling adults with learning disabilities to scan household items with any smart device to play a video of how to use it.

David Bream, SETsquared Director, said: “There is a real appetite among investors to partner with those SETsquared companies that demonstrate their high-growth potential. Some truly engaging pitches really created a buzz at this event.”

Over the last 14 years, SETsquared has helped more than 1,000 businesses raise over £1bn in investment, and contributed over £3.8bn inGross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy. The company estimates that it will reach £8.6bn in GVA over the next decade.