Welcome to SETsquared Exeter Business Accelerator

EU Regional Development Fund


The SETsquared Exeter Business Accelerator has been developed to support the Founders of start-ups and small businesses. From our base at Exeter Science Park, we work across the region to help turn ideas into thriving businesses.

From running events and networks that bring together innovators, sector experts, and researchers, to providing hands-on support from experienced entrepreneurs. We use our connections across the South West to generate economic impact through the success of our members in developing businesses, creating new jobs and supporting sustainable growth.

Whether you are an academic researcher with a spin-out, a start-up founder or are running an innovative SME, the SETsquared Exeter Business Accelerator can support you in achieving your growth goals.


  • 16
    Community events held
  • 528
  • 71
  • 8


The Innovation Ecosystem in the South West covers a large geographic area and a wide range of start-ups and founders growing ventures across all sectors. Through the Business Accelerator, SETsquared Exeter is a facilitative partner, helping its members build connections between the skills and resources in the University of Exeter and linking to sector-specific business support and facilities.

The University of Exeter Enterprise Zone (UEEZ) project has enabled SETsquared Exeter to build links across the whole of Devon, working in multiple locations to deliver events and allowing Business Acceleration support to be available Countywide. The hybrid structure of the SETsquared Exeter Business Accelerator means members can join workshops and training remotely, and the UEEZ project meant that SETsquared Exeter team members have been able to be regular visitors to facilities such as EPIC in Torbay or CoTIE in Barnstaple, meeting founders in person and working in partnership with local business support providers.

Start your business

  • 8
    Entrepreneur Workouts held
  • 22
    Start-ups supported
  • 40
    Potential entrepreneurs supported
  • 34
    New companies formed

Start your business

Focussed on helping potential entrepreneurs to validate ideas, assess business models, and gain vital skills. SETsquared Exeter’s pre-acceleration workshops, events, and programmes are designed to take individuals with ideas and turn them into founders.

The Innovation Discovery Studio is a two-day workshop teaching intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs design thinking and innovation skills. Attendees learn to create practical solutions and how to transition from validated solutions to a value proposition. Demo Nights offer a chance for anyone to present start-up ideas and receive advice, ideas, and feedback from a friendly audience and expert panel.

Based on Strategyzer’s established Business Model Canvas methodology, the Entrepreneurs Workout is a two-day workshop for first-time founders working at the very early stages and for owners of established tech businesses looking to bring new products or services to the market. Regardless of background, stage, or expertise, these activities serve to be accessible, engaging ways to engineer real opportunities to take ideas forward.

Build your business

  • 60
    Businesses Supported
  • 740
    1:1 Mentoring Hours
  • 8
    Founders clubs held
  • 2.5
    £Million Grant funding awarded

Build your business

Designed for those looking to build sustainable business ventures, the first six months of the SETsquared Exeter Business Acceleration Programme focuses on putting the fundamentals of business and product development in place, ready for growth.

Delivered in partnership with regional professional service advisors in residence, the Fundamental Series covers everything a founder needs to tackle, from legal commercial to grant funding.

The Technology Development Programme ensures members have the tools to build scalable products. They are delivered as a series of workshops, 1:1 support, and access to cutting-edge design and prototyping technology.

Together with bespoke support from the experienced Business Acceleration Team, peer network events such as the highly valued Founders Club, and access to a vast network of academia, industry, and innovation specialists, the programme supports members to build a platform towards grant funding and early-stage investment.

Grow your business

  • 12
    Interim Executives engagements
  • 5
    £Million Investment raised
  • 31
    New jobs created
  • 22
    New products

Grow your business

Developed around a potential high-growth organisation’s desire to raise investment, the second half of the SETsquared Exeter Business Acceleration Programme supports the transition from start-up to scale-up, ensuring that businesses are ready to seek, obtain, and utilise investment effectively.

Ongoing strategic support from dedicated Entrepreneurs in Residence provides founders with consistent and high-quality guidance. Acting as a true “critical friend”, these incredibly experienced individuals help founders to set and stay on track towards key objectives. The highly sought-after Interim Executive scheme offers access to a network of expert executives, enabling businesses to develop and implement strategies for long-term growth.

The culmination of the programme sees a package of bespoke investor readiness support. This package includes workshops to improve the founders’ pitch skills, SETsquared Connect events where investors provide feedback and insight, and the SETsquared Showcase, an annual event where a few organisations can pitch their ideas to a group of investors.

Impact & Future

  • 41
    % of businesses on R&D collaborations
  • 82
    % businesses have built networks
  • 3
    of 4 businesses applied for grants
  • 97
    % recommend SETsquared

Impact & Future

  • 3 out of 4 of entrepreneurs have applied for grant funding, with 62% successfully securing external funding or finance.
  • 6 out of 10 businesses have developed a new product, service or process.
  • 41% have collaborated on R&D activity.
  • 82% of businesses have built their networks.
  • 97% would recommend SETsquared Exeter’s services.


The Hive, Exeter Science Park Centre, Exeter, Devon EX5 2FN
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