London-to-Bristol innovation showcase is ticket for co-operation

August 3, 2011

Some of the businesses helping make Bristol a hub for innovation are taking part in a showcase of the city’s creativity for London-based entrepreneurs.

The one-day ‘mission’, called London to Bristol and supported by pioneering Bristol IT firm Sift Media, is aimed at getting companies out of the capital to engage with go-ahead regional businesses.

As well as Sift, among those taking part in the event are Trunki entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den reject Rob Law, cloud computing software firm Brightpearl – which recently raised £3m for expansion – design agency Studio Diva, healthcare social network DocCom and university enterprise organisation SETsquared.

The day is the brainwave of London-based entrepreneur Oli Barrett, described by Wired magazine as ‘the most connected man in Britain’.

More than 50 entrepreneurs and business figures are taking part. After arriving by train from London, the guests ate lunch in Saint Nicholas market where from some of the city’s best independent food producers are based.

They are this afternoon visiting several companies including Magmatic, Rob Law’s business which produces the Trunki ride-on kids’ suitcase and other travel products, and Sift, where they will hear from founder and CEO Ben Heald.

This evening they will have drinks and dinner at Severnshed where the London contingent will network with Bristol entrepreneurs and innovators.

Oli Barrett, who also co-founded StartUp Britain and the Co-Sponsorship Agency, said: “Having helped organise a series of trade missions to San Francisco, I know how useful it can be to bring good groups together.

“Too often, I meet Bristol companies in London and am aware that both I and my colleagues have not spent time in their home city. London companies need to get out more and I hope that London to Bristol will forge stronger links between the two cities.”

Dan Martin, editor of Sift Media’s small business community, added: “London is oozing creativity when it comes to business but it’s not just about Tech City and the Silicon Roundabout. Bristol also has a huge amount to offer in terms of innovation and entrepreneurial talent."


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