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Published: 15 February 2017

Surrey to lead European acceleration programme for digital start-ups and SMEs

The University is spearheading a £2.4 million incubation programme for entrepreneurs in the digital sector.

Funded by the European Union European Regional Development Fund, the three-year programme is supported by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and will delivered by the University through its award-winning SETsquared Partnership, together with local private and public partners.

The programme will be run from hubs in Guildford, Basingstoke, Farnborough, and Woking and is set to attract talented tech entrepreneurs to and from the Enterprise M3 area with a portfolio of business acceleration support. This includes entrepreneurship training and access to experienced mentors, venture investors and specialist services connected to the University’s 5G Innovation Centre.

SETsquared, the global number one university business incubator and enterprise partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, already operates in the Enterprise M3 area in Basingstoke and Guildford. SETsquared will now expand to Woking, through its partnership with Tannery Studios Innovation Centre for Creative Industries, and to Farnborough later this year.

Keith Robson, Chief Operating Officer for the 5G Innovation Centre, said: “The University of Surrey is at the heart of the Enterprise M3 area and its plans for economic growth. I’m delighted to see the launch of this programme which will support and fund further collaboration between the University and entrepreneurs in the digital sector where we have authentic world-class strengths. Our SETsquared Partnership, with its unbeatable track-record for accelerating tech start-up businesses, will be a critical factor in the success of this programme.”

Geoff French CBE, Chairman of the Board, Enterprise M3 LEP, said: “Our area is one of the most productive and fastest growing digital economies in the UK and this incubation programme is another step forward in establishing a world-class level of business support that helps our entrepreneurs to flourish and succeed in creating great new British businesses.

“Our long-standing partnership with the University of Surrey and SETsquared has already had excellent results and we look forward to building on these in line with our vision for the future of the Enterprise M3 area.”

Entrepreneurs and digital SMEs interested applying to join or finding out more about the programme should register their interest with SETsquared.

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