There are hoards of resources for tech and business support, from incubators and accelerators to programmes and meetups.

Hubs

The Bristol-based Engine Shed is a collaboration between Bristol City Council, the University of Bristol and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership. The organisation supports the growth of innovative businesses in Bristol & Bath, providing opportunities for collaboration as well as coworking and event spaces.

In both Bristol & Bath, you’ll find SETsquared situated within existing tech hubs. Bristol’s is in the Engine Shed whilst Bath’s Setsquared HQ is in the University of Bath’s Innovation Centre. A collaboration between 5 universities in the UK, SETsquared supports high tech startups as well as providing students with access to resources and support alongside research academics.

The Innovation Centre in Bath provides entrepreneurs with support and services and collaborates with SETsquared, Silicon South West and Low Carbon South West. 

Bristol’s VR Lab opened in April 2018. Funded by the Local Enterprise Partnership, the lab will enable small businesses to collaborate, encouraging growth in virtual reality technology within the city.

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2018 Nominees & Winners

Bristol & Bath were heavily represented at the 2018 South West Digital Awards, taking home 4 of the 10 categories across several digital disciplines.

Bristol’s internationally recognised Open Bionics won the Best in Health Tech award for the world’s first clinically tested, medically certified and FDA registered 3D printed bionic arm. Judges noted the ingenuity and flexibility of the product, with testers including former Paralympic athletes and children – the product was even applauded by the Dalai Lama!

Neighbourly took home the Social Impact award. The platform connects communities and charities with businesses, providing opportunities for companies to donate money, time or surplus items to those in need. 

The Bath-based Supple Studio took home LOGO’s Branding in a Digital Environment Award, having been shortlisted for their work on the Prison Radio Association’s Straightline campaign. Supple Studio has also worked with a variety of global brands, including Channel 4, Royal Mail and the NSPCC. 

N2M’s Rockit Rocker, created by three dads, took home Hardware of the Year for their child sleep aid. The Rockit Rocker has a quiet motor, attaches to any pram, and through gentle movement, it encourages continued sleep for children once their pram is stationary.

There are plenty of opportunities for businesses and individuals working in different digital sectors. Alongside our improved categories, we’re introducing 2 new ones, opening the awards up to an even greater number of innovators.

As well as opportunities for young innovators, the tech hubs in the cities can enter our new for 2019 category, Best Tech Hub, recognising….

In 2017, Bristol & Bath had 225 startup births combined – if you’re one of them, get involved and enter Startup of the Year!

Bristol & Bath’s tech community is heavily connected to universities across both cities, meaning there’s plenty of digital-focused students or graduates who could benefit from entering the Young Innovator award at the South West Digital Awards 2019.

You can see all 12 categories and enter the South West Digital Awards here.