Bristol-based startup Inclued, whose software helps identify bias, pitched against eight other innovative technology startups to win ‘Best Elevator Pitch’ at SETsquared Bristol’s Tech-Xpo on Wednesday 29 June.

SETsquared Bristol is a University of Bristol-led incubator that grows global technology businesses out of Bristol, helping them to make an impact in the world.

Now in its 18th year, Tech-Xpo is SETsquared Bristol’s flagship pitch, demo, connect showcase that provides a platform for startups to promote their innovative technologies to an audience of influential investors and business movers and shakers. This year’s event took place at St George’s Bristol, as well as being livestreamed.

Inclued joined SETsquared Bristol in 2021 via its Breakthrough Bursary that supports Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic entrepreneurs to grow their tech startups. Inclued’s technology helps marketers to connect with their audience by spotting and removing unconscious biases in digital content, as well as providing data, insight and educational resources to implement inclusive marketing.

The startup was recently awarded the Trailblazer Award grant from Bristol + Bath Creative R+D, and this year Joyann Boyce, CEO and Founder, was named 30 under 30 by Rife Magazine, as well as Change Maker by BIMA100. Joyann said:

“We truly believe that with the right companion software, marketers can create content which is truly inclusive. Winning Tech-Xpo is validation to this mission and has given us exposure to a network of people to make the change happen. I am excited to continue my investment readiness journey with the support of the SETsquared team.”

Previous Tech-Xpo competitors have gone on to achieve notable success. Last year’s winner, Ferryx, recently closed their first investment round of £305k to progress development of their bacterial product for prevention or treatment of gastrointestinal inflammation.

KETS Quantum Security, the 2020 winner, has since raised £3.1 million pre-series A, as well as securing an £11.6 million grant to develop quantum-safe communications for the UKRI funded Quantum Data Centre of the Future project.

Marty Reid, Director at SETsquared Bristol, said:

“Inclued were a well-deserved winner of the ‘Best Elevator Pitch’ award, which was no mean feat considering the exceptional line-up of talent and pitching prowess on show. Joyann has brought her industry expertise, together with some great technology, to build a venture with real potential to scale and solve one of the most significant business and cultural challenges that large organisations face today.”

Adam Watts, Investment Associate at Mercia Asset Management, said:

“Tech-Xpo provides the perfect platform for high growth potential early-stage companies to connect with investors and the wider ecosystem – demonstrated by previous winners’ significant funding success. Following our move into the South West last year we have been excited to partner with SETsquared as Investor in Residence, supporting a great number of tech startups and scaleups across the region.”

Tech-Xpo 2022 was sponsored by VWV, SIEMENS, OnePLM, FD Works and Rocketmakers, demonstrating their commitment to supporting regional tech innovation.

Nathan Guest, Corporate Partner and Head of VWV’s Technology sector, said:

“Tech-Xpo 2022 was another fantastic showcase for SETsquared Bristol and the companies it supports. Many of those startups have celebrated significant fundraising and other milestones during the last year, and we have been delighted to support many of those deals. Having seen so many excellent businesses showcased at Tech-Xpo, I am very confident that the next 12 months will see many more positive investment deal announcements emerging from the SETsquared stable of companies.”

If you’re an investor that would like more information on SETsquared Bristol companies, please get in touch.