SETsquared Bristol’s bursary scheme supports diverse founder startups

Inclued AI Founder – Joyann Boyce

Five innovative tech companies with founders from diverse ethnic backgrounds have been awarded SETsquared Bristol’s Breakthrough Bursary to join the acclaimed University of Bristol tech incubator.

Now in its third year, the Breakthrough Bursary provides heavily subsidised membership to SETsquared Bristol’s incubation programme including bespoke business support, mentoring, coaching and investment readiness training, as well as access to University of Bristol expertise. The Bursary is funded by SETsquared alumni.

Gritty Talent, Inclued AI, Meixter, Milbotix and Voltric are the bursary awardees for 2022.

Two of the awarded companies, Gritty Talent and Meixter, took part in SETsquared Bristol’s Enterprising Women pre-incubation programme before applying for the bursary.

Milbotix, which is developing wearable technologies for use in the care of older adults and people with dementia, originated as an idea from University of Bristol student, Zeke Steer.

Milbotix CEO, Zeke Steer commented: “Since being awarded the Breakthrough Bursary, the support we’ve received from SETsquared has been instrumental in shaping our investment proposition as we ratchet up our fundraising efforts.”

Joyann Boyce (pictured) founder and CEO of Inclued AI, an inclusive marketing agency, added: “The startup journey can be a rollercoaster at the best of times but having expert advice and guidance can make all the difference to the success of a business.

“Receiving the Breakthrough Bursary and joining SETsquared is the guidance we need to make Inclued AI a success and we are thrilled to be part of the community.”

Marty Reid, SETsquared Bristol director, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome such a talented group of startups to our programme, from a platform for electric car subscriptions to a diverse talent platform for TV production. We are committed to promoting tech inclusivity to unlock innovation and support growth.”

Previous bursary awardee, University of Bristol health-tech spinout FluoretiQ has since raised £1.1m to produce trial units of their Nanoplex product, a 15-minute urinary tract infection diagnostic device.

Neciah Dorh, co-founder and CEO of FluoretiQ, said: “The Breakthrough Bursary enabled us to join a community of amazing founders to learn from. I’m especially grateful for access to the Entrepreneurs in Residence and the Business Review Panels, both of which have really helped us refine our business strategy.”