12th June 2015
This week’s Venturefest Bristol Bath certainly exceeded expectations.
The projects on offer – from 3D printed bikes, drones, a driverless car and the next generation of exciting new start-ups – emphasised why the Bath / Bristol region has the most innovative and fastest growing tech cluster outside of London.
We were among the 1,200 people who passed through the doors of Engine Shed and Passenger Shed. We’d been originally tempted to hear the words of wisdom from a range of successful entrepreneurs – including the CEO of IMDB and the Director of Technology at SXSW – as well as making the most of the networking opportunities on offer.
But what quickly caught our eye was the vitality surrounding the ‘Startup Village’ – a lower ground floor space allowing over 100 local tech entrepreneurs to display their latest ideas.
With a mission to discover unpolished start-up gems, we were in heaven. It was comparable to rumbling through a car boot sale, knowing that somewhere – if you looked hard enough and asked the right questions – there was a realistic chance of unearthing an unrecognised Rembrandt.
Among the stand outs were IdeaSquares, Fusion Processing, Blipsa, Yellow Dog, Blurrt and Green TV – watch this space!
Upstairs was a second area set aside for more established local companies – including Opposable Games, the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and Open Bionics – to showcase their wares. It was a great idea as it allowed them to share the same platform as corporate giants like Airbus, Rolls Royce, GKN Aerospace, KPMG, HP and Skanska.
However, it had a very different atmosphere – very corporate as opposed to the noise, energy and dynamism emerging from the Startup Village. Here, you knew the search for the elusive Rembrandt would come with a Mayfair art gallery price tag.
But all up – a wonderful event.
Congratulations to the organisers – and in particular the good people at Invest Bristol Bath – and we can’t wait until the next one!