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Engine Shed [Annual Review 2020]


Impact for scaleups


Companies supported per year


Jobs created in 2020


Investment raised since start of programme; £10m in 2020


Scaleups accommodated


Onsite Angel Hub

Key sectors

Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Building & Construction Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Creative, digital, film, games & media Professional services Defence & security Technology & Communications Engineering / Advanced Engineering Transport & Logistics Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry Finance Food & drink Healthcare

Engine Shed – an enterprise hub led by the University of Bristol in collaboration with Bristol City Council – has been supporting ambitious businesses since December 2013. Based in Brunel’s historic building, the hub brings together investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics and corporates to drive innovation and inclusive economic growth. It provides flexible infrastructure for 300 fast-growing companies.

At the heart of Engine Shed is the SETsquared Bristol Incubator, providing support to over 80 high growth technology businesses. In 2020, the programme was named “Hottest Accelerator in Europe” and passed the landmark of £500m investment raised by member companies.

Particular focus is placed on linking scaling businesses with investors through “Investors in Residence” and the hosting of an Angel Hub, in partnership with UK Business Angels Association. At the beginning of the year, Engine Shed combined a number of projects in a new pilot programme called the “Investment Activator”, led by partner Tech Spark. This is designed to bring together a broader range of private and public sector organisations to support the regional investment ecosystem.

Engine Shed has also launched a partnership with Geovation, the innovation arm of the Ordnance Survey to provide network members access to the quality location and property data, technical expertise and guidance in how to access a range of potential markets sectors.

Covid-19 has had an impact on funding for new projects in 2020 and the physical hub had to close for a period during lockdown but Engine Shed is now preparing to launch a number of new programmes focusing on sectors of regional strength such as quantum technologies, cyber, 5G/communications, creative tech and sustainable/green technologies. 

Engine Shed [Annual Review 2020] website