Entrepreneurs celebrate collaboration at innovators’ dinner

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024

Business leaders, scale-up founders, and entrepreneurs with a shared passion for pioneering innovation have gathered to celebrate collaboration, share ideas, and make new connections at the xChange South West Innovators’ dinner last week. Bringing together over 100 guests, the Bristol event, now in its second year, aims to build connections between the region’s top entrepreneurs and leading organisations to accelerate innovation.

Highlighting some of the region’s most inventive and nimble businesses, the event featured ‘Lightning Speakers’ who all shared with the audience their unique business journey, the challenges encountered along the way, and the opportunities they were able to seize in their pursuit of growth. Speakers included Neil Morris from sustainable packaging business Kelpi; Bethan John from The British Blanket Company; Rob Hemsley from microplastics recycling company Matter; Suzanne Mahoney from travel retail specialist LiBi; Helena Hills CEO of Certified B Corp TrueStart Coffee; and Graham Paterson from home-buying app Jitty.

Throughout the event, guests also held engaging conversations around their ambitions, the highs, and lows of entrepreneurial life, how to best leverage creativity, and the increasing role of ‘AI for Good’, stressing the importance of technology in enriching society.

The event was organised by award-winning software agency Rocketmakers and sponsored by Capsule, an insurance provider to venture-backed startups, Evelyn Partners, a leading integrated wealth management and professional services group, and independent UK law firm Burges Salmon. The latter has a bespoke service, BScale, through which it supports high-growth businesses scale up their operations, by providing corporate, regulatory, tax, employment, and commercial advice.

Briony Phillips of Rocketmakers, says: “Our region is home to some of the most exciting and fast-growing businesses and our aim with the xChange Innovators dinner is to bring that ecosystem together to build connections, encourage collaboration and accelerate innovation. There is so much to be learned from each other and we are immensely grateful to all of our speakers for sharing their experiences so openly. This event is designed to recreate a special feeling of support and collaboration, it really is a dinner like no other. We’d like to thank all our attendees, speakers, and sponsors, they all played a huge part in making the event a big success.”

Martin Cuell, from Burges Salmon, comments: “It has been a pleasure to attend the xChange South West Innovators’ dinner which showcased the huge pool of talent we have in our region and beyond and the many pioneering businesses, facilitators and supporters making the South West one of the top innovation clusters in Europe. Supporting the entrepreneurial community is something Burges Salmon is really passionate about. We’re advising many businesses and entrepreneurs in the region and further afield and there is great pride seeing companies we’ve supported from their infancy, scale-up, grow and mature into successful businesses.”

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024