Leading law firm Ashfords LLP was delighted to support the prestigious Silicon Gorge Investor Showcase event at Bristech 2018, where eleven of the South West’s best growth technology companies pitched for investment.
Ashfords - nationally recognised for the quality of their tech expertise and sector knowledge - is a proud sponsor of Silicon Gorge, a partnership of South West organisations, which aims to help startups and scaleups find paths to investment. The other supporting partners were Oracle, Runway East, Engine Shed and ISL recruitment.
Applications were narrowed down via a rigorous selection process judged by experienced tech leaders from the regions, including Ashfords' Chris Dyson and Rory Suggett. Many of the businesses pitching this year have been involved in regional incubators and entrepreneurship programmes, with eight of the companies looking to raise over £1 million. The firms pitching included the likes of AI and machine learning company Snap Tech, which is revolutionising image search and autonomous drone company Marble. Others pitched businesses developing ultrasonics, HPC in the cloud, computer vision and AI.
The South West technology scene has become extremely well connected in recent years, with Bristol having the most tech meetups per head of anywhere in the UK and entrepreneurship is thriving. An increasing number of specialised incubators and accelerators such as the Quantum Technology centre and Oracle’s High-Performance Cloud Accelerator, complement the likes of SETsquared, which has been recognised as the leading global business incubator and enterprise partnership. High profile recent fundraising rounds in South West companies such as Ultrahaptics and Graphcore have helped put the region on the global map and are an indication that the market is continuing to grow from strength to strength.
Chris Dyson, Partner and Head of Technology at Ashfords LLP commented: “Ashfords has been involved with regional initiatives such as Silicon Gorge for many years and are proud to support the regional tech ecosystem. There was a high standard of companies pitching this year and this event will help build profile and help raise investment for those involved."
Charles Grimsdale co-founder of Eden Ventures and active angel investor said:
"There is a deep technology heritage in the South West with companies like Inmos, BAe, Oracle, Sun, Hewlett-Packard and many others that have provided the foundations. There is a growing pool of world-class engineering talent, and as a result, the diversity, quality and technical depth of startups in the area continue to grow. So I am confident that we will see a growing cohort of world-leading technology businesses emerge from this region in the coming years."
To read Charles's opinion piece on how the Bristol and Bath startup scene has changed since Silicon Gorge started their investment competition, click here