Graduate Acceleration Showcase | The brightest graduate start-ups in tech

The SETsquared Bath graduate pitchers with Rosie Bennett and Siobain Hone

The SETsquared Bath graduate pitchers with Rosie Bennett and Siobain Hone

The event, organised by SETsquared and hosted by Deloitte, saw 19 of the brightest graduate tech start-ups from the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey – many with a sustainability focus – pitch their innovative business ideas to more than 100 high-profile investors, mentors and entrepreneurs. Out of the nineteen companies to make it through to the event, nine of these were University of Bath graduates and centre members!

Speaking at the event on Wednesday (26 June), Dr Alan Whitehead MP, shadow minister for energy and climate change at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), said: 

It has been an honour to meet such talented young people at today’s Graduate Acceleration Showcase, all with the passion and dedication to take their businesses to the next stage. An enormous amount of new tech is needed to meet Britain’s low carbon goals so it’s particularly encouraging to hear how important the low carbon economy is to the graduates and that many of the key solutions are right here in front of us. I wish everyone the best of luck in their endeavours, whatever the outcome of today.

Start-ups taking part in the Graduate Acceleration Showcase included high-tech, not-for-profit, creative services and consumer products, with each having undergone rigorous market validation. After a competitive selection process, the 19 shortlisted companies included the following nine Bath graduates and SETsquared Bath members:



A platform that uses disruptive technology to feed immersive equipment with high-quality data, thus creating unique experiences for the user by providing useful information at the right time and place.


Expo Education

Enhancing temporary staffing recruitment for conferences, trade shows and expos by helping students to get their feet in the door of their industry.



Imagine being able to add value to India’s floral waste instead of returning it to a landfill. RETRA is doing just that by extracting oils from the waste leading to sustainable floral waste management.



A free app that runs scheduled live giveaways with video hosted game show style formats, where all users compete in unison for a grand prize.


Compact Cane

The world’s first digital white cane for people with visual impairments.


Neuro AI

Hardware capable of processing AI faster than anything commercially available. Giving the power of a supercomputer to everyone and everything.


Skin Sapiens

Marks a new age in clean skincare. Simply formulated. Natural & vegan. Sustainably packaged. For a better skin, and planet.


The BioFactory

Empowering the most vulnerable through innovations in the sanitation industry.



Teaching people how to read faster and remember more by transforming them into speed readers and memory experts so they can learn anything faster.

Each of the graduate entrepreneurs was looking for support to take their businesses to the next level, either through investment or securing mentorship. Nia Simpson, founder of Compact Cane, commented: 

Nia Simpson of Compact Cane

Nia Simpson of Compact Cane

SETsquared has supported my business since its inception last year, helping me develop my business strategy and prepare for pitches like today’s. There’s so much knowledge and wisdom within the Partnership that graduates like myself can tap into, as well as a really strong belief in all our businesses. Without it, we simply wouldn’t have access to the contacts or know-how we need to turn our ideas into commercially successful enterprises.

The event was SETsquared’s first Graduate Acceleration Showcase, which builds on a 17-year history of running successful investment showcases.

Sally Clifton, a business advisor and mentor who attended the Graduate Acceleration Showcase, added: 

The quality of the pitches I saw today was exceptional, there were absolutely no weak links. Even though all the businesses are at various stages of their development, there were a few standouts that I’ll certainly be recommending within my networks. I’d encourage any investor looking for early access to graduate talent to come along to the next event.

Since its inception in 2002, SETsquared has supported more than 3,500 technology-based organisations through their lifecycle, helping them raise more than £1.8bn.

Siobain Hone, Graduate Enterprise Manager at SETsquared Bath and Chair of the SETsquared Student Enterprise Group, concluded:

We’re so proud of each and every business who pitched their business ideas today. For some, it was their first time in front of a room full of potential investors, so the pressure was really on, but they all delivered exceptional presentations. We can’t wait to see the outcomes of the event in due course!
Siobain Hone

Siobain Hone


The award-winning, world-leading SETsquared Partnershipis a long-standing partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey which specialises in growing high-tech start-ups through its support programmes and other business acceleration services.

We are incredibly proud of the companies from SETsquared Bath who each gave fantastic pitches and well done to all involved on the day!