About Us

Who we are

SETsquared, the global #1 business incubator, is a partnership created in 2002 between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey which specialises in growing tech start-ups through its incubation programme and other business acceleration centres.

SETsquared Surrey has over 17 years' experience of supporting and accelerating tech start-ups. We have an enviable track record of success by helping over 250+ early stage technology companies with 82% of them still trading

The incubator has been situated on the Surrey Research Park since its inception in 2002. Originally called 'The SETsquared Business Hatchery', the incubator provided office space and meeting rooms along with the necessary technological and management expertise to determine the feasibility of a business idea.

Our aim has always been to support early stage high-growth science and tech ventures from local communities and to generate quality spin-out companies from the University, while also providing links to University experts and facilities to further success.


The former UK Business Incubation association provides a useful definition: ‘Incubation is a unique and highly flexible combination of business development processes, infrastructure and people, designed to nurture and grow new and small businesses by supporting them through the early stages of development and change’ (UKBI, 2013).

In 2002, the University of Surrey along with universities of Bath, Bristol, Southampton, Rutherford and Appleton Laboratory and the Defence Research Laboratory at Farnborough were awarded £5m from Higher Education Infrastructure Fund (HEIF) to establish a Regional Centre of Excellence for Technology and Innovation in Southern England.



A network of centres called ‘hatchery centres’ were set-up across the 4 Universities in the Southern England Technology Triangle (SETsquared) for the development of high-tech, high growth businesses, to support 1K entrepreneurs over the first five years.
“The SETsquared Business Hatchery in Surrey was set-up to provide office space, networked computer facilities and meeting rooms for start-ups together with technological and management expertise to determines the feasibility of a business idea. The aim was to generate quality ‘spin-out’ companies from university-research discoveries and support local early stage high-growth science and technology ventures. In 2002, we were one of only a handful of incubators set-up in the UK. Now in its 18th year, the incubator has supported 280+ companies, with a business survival rate of 80%*. We have also helped companies to raise over £165m. Currently SETsquared Surrey is supporting 60 companies in the region” *3 years after leaving the incubaton 

What we offer

  • Experienced in-house Entrepreneurs in Residence
  • One to one mentoring from seasoned and vetted Experts
  • Affiliate Network: professional service firms offering free advice and support
  • 1-2-1 sessions with our local International Trade Advisor from the Department for International Trade
  • SETsquared 'Open Innovation Programme' connecting your business to world leading Corporates
  • Strong links to the University
  • Dedicated desk and serviced office within the Surrey Technology Centre offering:
    • Wi-fi and hard wired internet connection
    • Dedicated phone line with Reception service
    • Low cost meeting and seminar rooms
    • Free use of data projector and conference phones
    • Kitchen facilities and on-site Cafe
    • High level of Security
    • Free parking and easy access to Guildford trainline

All for £330 +VAT per desk for Residential Members or £155 +VAT for Virtual Business Support Members*

*Discounted rates for pre-revenue companies are available


Our Incubators are hosted by the Surrey Research Park, a major centre of excellence in technology, science, health and engineering.

Located in the thriving knowledge based economy of the UK's South East, it’s close to London, set in an attractive location with good access to a well qualified work -force, exceptional communications and travel networks.

The Park can provide accommodation for all sizes of business, from early-stage to large operations. The Park provides excellent grow on space for our Incubator businesses.

University of Surrey

The University of Surrey has a unique and exceptional capability to act as a catalyst for economic growth in the Guildford region and beyond, building on the numerous first-rate companies and world class entrepreneurs we have in the area. The University offers a wealth of expertise and resources to help you get your business off the ground or onto the next level. We are onf of two institutions in the UK recognised as a top 55 tech challenger university by the THE*. Find out more here.

SETsquared Surrey works closely with the Surrey Business School to support the Surrey Enterprise Incubator for student innovation and entrepreneurism and the placement of students into businesses. This enables students to develop their skill base and provides support to businesses from students with unique technology and innovation skills.

The Team

Caroline Fleming

Head of Incubation

Surrey 100 Club Director

Caroline heads up the incubation team here after previously working as an Associate at Carbon Limiting Technologies (CLT). At CLT, Caroline managed the delivery of the Energy Entrepreneur Fund (EEF) Incubation Support Service on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Caroline specialises in delivering commercial development advice to small technical companies. Prior to CLT, Caroline was a Technology Commercialisation Manager at Carbon Trust where she developed and managed a large grant and incubation programme supporting the development and commercialisation of innovative low carbon technology development companies. Caroline has a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Management Diploma and started her career in the oil and gas sector, designing and constructing gas compression rigs and working on north-sea well maintenance and offshore platform safety.

Charlotte Watson

Operations & Relationship Manager

Charlotte graduated in 2006 from the University of Reading with a BSc Psychology and previously spent 5 years working in support services and offender management for Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust.

Charlotte has been working for SETsquared Surrey since April 2012 and is in charge of the day to day running of the incubator. Charlotte also manages relationships between member companies, the mentors and the professional service companies who provide their time for free.

Keith Dixon

Entrepreneur in Residence

Keith Dixon joined the team in 2013 as one of our Entrepreneurs in Residence.

Keith graduated and trained as an engineer before adding an MBA and PhD in Management during a career that spans 25 years in the high tech sector. His breadth of knowledge and experience originate from the diversity of roles he has held in environments such as Silicon Valley, .com start-ups, major corporations and public sector/ not-for-profit organisations. At Sybase (acquired by SAP), Illustra (acquired by Informix/IBM) and Kabira (acquired by Tibco) the focus was on entry into and revenue growth in the UK and European markets, whilst as COO at whereonearth.com (acquired by Yahoo!) and subsequently at Racal (acquired to create Thales), Cap Gemini and Motorola the focus was on mobile telecomms and the emerging mobile commerce market.

Ian James

Entrepreneur in Residence

Ian James joined the team in 2016 as one of our Entrepreneurs in Residence.

Ian has over 30 years’ business experience within the UK, Europe, Asia and Africa. Ian is an engineer at heart, having graduated with a first class honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and has spent much of his career within the IT and telecoms industries. Working in various different roles, Ian has built up an extensive knowledge of business and has been able to advise well-established companies on growing revenues. More recently Ian ran his own coaching and advisory company, and has worked in an Accelerator in South Africa providing business support for entrepreneurs.