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University launches pre-incubator to create more UK deep tech start-ups

The University of Bristol’s Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre (QTEC) is launching a new pre-incubator programme, QUEST, this November.

The QUEST programme will support the rapid generation of new quantum, engineering and scientific technology companies.

The University of Bristol has a strong track record in contributing to the development of the UK quantum industry with a third of all UK quantum start-ups originating out of the University. Since 2016, QTEC has supported the creation of 28 active companies with a combined valuation of over £120 million. These companies have raised over £57 million and created over 175 new highly skilled jobs within the UK.

QUEST is a six-month programme for UK university researchers who are looking to commercialise their tech. Selected founders will receive skills and training designed specifically for the creation of deep tech companies, plus mentoring from respected industry leaders, regular road-mapping sessions with a team of Entrepreneurs in Residence and the potential to pitch for capital from a network of UK and European angel investors and VCs.

Participating founders will benefit from the proximity to the Bristol and Bath region, one of the most innovative, creative and desirable places to live in the UK. The Bristol and Bath smart city region is home to a 5G testbed and the UK’s most productive tech cluster, providing world class digital connectivity. In addition, the founders will have access to the entrepreneurial network in the West of England, which has a strong track record of commercial success in bringing research and innovation to market.

Kimberley Brook, Programme Manager of QUEST, said:

“To ensure the UK remains at the forefront of deep tech innovation, it is vital that we upskill our PhD students and researchers to enable them to develop companies based on university research. Through QTEC we have demonstrated that scientists make excellent CEOs and CTOs provided they are given the training, skills and support they need to succeed early on in their entrepreneurial journey.”

Neciah Dorh, CEO and Co-founder of FluoretiQ, who has previously been a Fellow at QTEC, said:

“QTEC gave me the freedom to explore the commercial possibilities of my technology.”

Matthew Hutchings, CPO and Co-founder of SEEQC, said of his time at QTEC:

“If QTEC had not instilled the confidence that I was ready to pitch my business, I would not be in the position I am now. I am a co-founder of a VC-backed company based in the USA and the UK, with 18 employees and counting.”

QUEST applications close on 31 October 2021. Visit the QTEC website to apply.


Further information


The Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre was funded by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) in 2016 as a skills and training hub in Quantum Systems Engineering and is a key part of the UK's National Quantum Technology Programme. It is a world-leading pre-incubator for innovators for quantum inspired technologies.

QTEC offers quantum scientists and engineers a safe environment to explore the commercial potential of their technology. The training programme allows them to develop the skills they need to set up a successful technology start-up and the team of expert mentors led by the QTEC management team, support each Fellow through the start-up process.

QTEC has supported the creation of 28 active companies including KETS Quantum Security, QLM, FluoretiQ, Nu Quantum, Quantum Dice, QURECA, Vector Photonics and SeeQC.

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The Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre is an EPSRC funded Skills and Training Hub based out of the University of Bristol which is part of the UK's National Quantum Technology Programme and based out of:

QTIC, 1 Cathedral Square, Trinity Street, College Green, Bristol BS1 5DD


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