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Startup Support in...Bristol and Bath

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by Startacus Admin

Bristol and Bath startup support
Bristol and Bath based early-stage startups and entrepreneurs take note - here's the lowdown on key startup support and help available where you are...

Away from the established startup hubs like London, the support for setting up a business isn’t always so clear. It’s not a lack of support, just a quieter ecosystem that takes a little more work to unearth. We want to help with this by highlighting what some other UK cities, have to offer for startups and entrepreneurs

We’ve toured the southern cities of Southampton and Portsmouth and now we’re heading to the historic Roman city of Bath and its maritime neighbour Bristol.

Co-Working space

The Guild in Bath offers hot desking and dedicated desks, and there’s a stormtrooper painted on the wall, so… Membership includes gourmet coffee and weekly events like bristol and bath startup supportcake on Wednesdays and beer on Fridays, and while it isn’t inclusive of things others are, members do get a discount on meeting room bookings, printing, etc.

Hub XV at Bath Racecourse is a new co-working space starting at £75 per month for one day per week. Free hot drinks, free parking, free seminars and free networking events offset the fact that it isn’t available on weekends.

Spaces has a spot in Bath at Northgate House. It offers dedicated desks as well as hot desking, and Spaces has co-working spots all over the place, so you can not only be confident that you are in good hands, but also visit these spaces as part of your membership when you’re on the road.

Redbrick House in central Bristol is a not-for-profit designed originally to house social enterprise PAPER, and it is to this that proceeds from tenants go. Across three floors, there is space for solitary working, collaboration, fixed desks, hot desking, and art studios, and the space always promotes peer-to-peer learning and collaboration, and provides free personal and business development workshops.

Pollen Place in Bristol offers hot desking and fixed desks from £20 for a day to £170 per month, and includes tea and coffee, printing, discounts for the local tapas bar, and free Friday beers.

Origin Workspace in Bristol offers flexible working with health and wellbeing at its core. As well as access to its in-house gym and studio, they offer free fruit and a workspace designed for wellness. Also free tea and coffee.


Bristol Private Equity Club is formed by a number of businesspeople who are looking to invest in the seed rounds of local startups. This is not an all-or-nothing fund, as the members look at each proposal as individuals, and anywhere from just one to all of them may choose to invest.

bristol and bath startup helpWith an office in Bristol, BGF invests in early-stage businesses, among others. With 14 offices, they say they are the most active growth investor in the UK and Ireland.

For those startups using crowdfunding to get going or grow, you can use the Bristol-based Hyperstarter tool to identify weaknesses in your campaign and improve it. They also offer tailored, hands-on support beyond the tool to help campaigns achieve their ultimate funding goals and beyond.

For anyone in the South West looking to go down the road of loans, SWIG Finance offers business loands to SMEs and startups.

The startup ecosystem and programmes

SETsquared is a partnership with several universities, including the University of Bath, and runs a business incubator and accelerator. It is a highly regarded platform that includes mentorship, business support, investor bristol and bath startup helpreadiness training, and more.

In central Bristol, Unit DX is a science incubator, bringing together specialist facilities with specialist business support. Unit DX is open to any science-based startups, and their existing tenants have a focus on bio-design and quantum technologies.

In Bristol, Pervasive Media Studio’s focus is on early-stage ideas that combine creativity and technology and that don’t necessarily have a clear market or end-point, instead encouraging innovation and imagination through being in an open, shared workspace.

A very specific entry, but for entrepreneurs focusing on quantum technologies, the University of Bristol offers a one-year programme in which you will be paid £28,000 as a personal salary for the year, be given 6 months of intensive teaching, another 6 months to develop your innovations and business (along with £12,000 to do so), and culminating in an investor pitch. During this time you will be given a space in the aforementioned Unit DX.

As always, this is not an exhaustive list, so feel free to let us know at if you think there is a particularly deserving entity in any of these categories.

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Published on: 12th February 2019

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