Pretty much since leaving University I’ve been involved in supporting business change, either from within or as an external agent. Universities have always been pretty central to that change process (either as sources of innovation and entrepreneurial activity, or as expertise engines to support change in businesses). More recently I’ve become increasingly interested in the start-up and highly dynamic micro businesses that have so much potential.Around Bristol there is a genuine wealth of creativity and innovation around the digital media sector. There are good historical reasons for this (the BBC, HP Labs, two strong Universities, etc). There are also strong cultural aspects of Bristol that means many great companies and individuals are, or like to think of themselves, as outside the main stream. Some of this cultural aspect was undoubtably reinforced with the music scene over the last 20 years where Bristol has produced many underground stars (some of whom went above ground for a bit e.g. Portishead).
What this has left is a highly dynamic, innovative, technology enabled city that doesn’t like (or sometimes want) to be mainstream. Which is fine until you try and build high growth start-up businesses with investment support. There are of course lots of networking events, there is lots of investment capital, there are business clubs, there is beer; unfortunately they haven’t quite come together as positively as many (including myself) believe they could/should.
So over the next couple of months I’m going to be working with as many people as will put up with me to link up all these great attributes of the city/region.
If you’re an entrepreneur, investor, business builder, inventor, etc, drop me a comment. Lots of stuff will be happening over the coming weeks most of which I don’t know about yet but stay tuned and we’ll find out together!