Startup and potential high growth businesses in Devon are set to receive a new year boost following the collaboration between the University of Exeter SETsquared Exeter programme and the Node Enterprise Centre.
The partnership will see SETsquared Exeter work together with Node’s startup support experts to strengthen its offering and grow its network, reaching out to more potential business founders across the region.
This comes as part of the University of Exeter Enterprise Zone project. Made possible due to funding from the ERDF, it has boosted the expansion of its business acceleration offer through SETsquared Exeter with the launch of a dedicated, purpose-built accelerator space on the Exeter Science Park.
Accelerator member businesses participate in a structured programme of support that is designed to create rapid growth and ensure long-term sustainability. As part of the new collaboration, Northern Devon-based businesses will be able to access the programme from Node’s Cowork centre based in Barnstaple.
Launched in October 2021, Node is the flagship development at Devon County Council’s Roundswell Enterprise Park and is part-funded by the County Council, the European Regional Development Fund and Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership. Node supports SMEs, start-ups, freelancers and local workers in Barnstaple and the surrounding areas of North Devon and Torridge.
Joe Pearce, Head of Business Support at SETsquared Exeter, University of Exeter, said: “It is important to consider the wider impact of incubators and not allow them to be dense spaces and initiatives operating in isolation. The community we work alongside is vitally important and this collaboration with Node will allow us to work together in striving for regional impact through the incubation and acceleration that we offer.”
Julian Dymond, Community Manager at the Node Enterprise Centre said: “There’s so much to consider when looking to start a business – it’s not just about doing the work or creating the products, you’ve also got to be able to market it, balance the books and grow. It’s also hard to do alone. Initiatives like our StartUp Club and the SETsquared Accelerator provide two vital aspects – expert guidance from people who have been there and done it themselves, and the support of a community of peers, all solving challenges together. I’d encourage anyone who has an idea and is looking for support to contact us here at Node or the team at SETsquared Exeter.”
SETsquared Exeter’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme will start on Monday 24 January. The workshops are held over the course of three mornings, are free to attend and will equip participants with the skills they need to build a resilient business. Those who attend the workshops may then go on to be invited onto the full Accelerator programme in the following months.
The partnership will also be holding a ‘Making Sustainable Choices With Positive Impacts For Your Business’ event on Wednesday 2 February, which will bring together SMEs, sector experts, researchers and entrepreneurs to learn about effective business applications of new technologies and innovations.
To learn more about either programme, or to apply, go to setsquared.exeter.ac.uk/events.