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Gateways to Growth

September 2023


Since 2008, Octopus Ventures has been committed to supporting the businesses setting out to solve society’s biggest challenges. This means finding and backing founders with the vision to change the world.  

We face unprecedented challenges – and deep tech has an outsize role to play in helping us solve them. Deep tech businesses focus on significant innovation and scientific breakthroughs, and they’re born in universities. 

The UK’s universities punch above their weight. The US, Germany, South Korea, Israel and Japan invest more than 3% of their GDP into research and development. The UK invests 2.4%. But for every £1 invested in research, the government sees around £3.60 in economic benefit. 

Universities train and nurture the next generation of visionary founders. Their departments and labs are where world-changing solutions are imagined, researched and realised. Our new report, Gateways to Growth, sets out to highlight the essential role the UK’s universities stand to play in building the next generation of deep tech businesses. 

For the first time since 2020, we’ve conducted our Entrepreneurial Impact Ranking, highlighting the universities having the most success spinning their world-changing research out into world-changing companies. We also explore some of the key challenges facing the university ecosystem and ask what it takes to build the environment these institutions need for spin out success. 

Download your copy of Gateways to Growth Entrepreneurial Impact Report 2023 to see which universities are making the biggest contribution.