photoOpenCo, an international open conference, is coming to Bristol at the start of October to celebrate 14 unique and innovative local businesses. It’s no ordinary conference though, in the words of Open Co it is “a new kind of event experience: a mashup of an open studio tour and a business conference, with the vibe of a music festival”.

The event will be launched with a drinks reception at the Bristol and Bath Science Park on the evening of 1 October. The event itself starts on the 2 October and is hosted across the city of Bristol, with talks starting at the Bristol and Bath Science Park and then into the offices and workspaces of the companies involved, giving the participants the opportunity to see the environments of these up-and-coming Bristol and Bath businesses, ask them questions and find out more about what makes them tick. The day finishes with talks, drinks and networking at Engine Shed.

The event couldn’t be coming to a better region to see amazing technology companies, the cities of Bristol and Bath are hives of innovation. Highlighted recently in the influential “Centre for Cities/McKinsey & Co” report as the only “globally-significant”, “high-growth” UK cluster of its kind outside of London, Bristol and Bath’s high-tech hub spans diverse fields including high tech, creative and digital media, robotics, aerospace and more.

“Open Co is a new kind of event experience: a mashup of an open studio tour and a business conference, with the vibe of a music festival”


And it’s this culture of cross-sector collaboration that makes the region an ideal place to host innovation festival OpenCo as part of its first ever nationwide event. This approach is underpinned by a host of incubators, hubs and networks – including SETsquared, named recently as Europe’s top university business incubator and second best in the world, Bristol & Bath Science Park, The Guild, Engine Shed, the University of Bath Innovation Centre, Bristol Games Hub, Pervasive Media Studio and others.

The interconnected nature of the sectors here has been nurtured over many decades. The region’s rich heritage in advanced engineering, for example, spawned the development of microelectronics and silicon technologies in the region – and now it has the most respected micro-chip design hub outside Silicon Valley.

World-leading tech region

The region is also a world leader in media and digital entertainment, with more than 500 million users every month viewing digital content produced here. And the region’s Terabit West project, a world-first, will ensure the area is positioned at the forefront of groundbreaking, next generation broadband telecommunication networks and their application to future cities, transport, healthcare and smart energy.

The plan to develop the first city-level ‘Operating system’ will be a platform for significant innovation and city engagement and delegates to OpenCo will be some of the first people to explore the opportunities and influence the design.

“OpenCo will offer Bristol and Bath the opportunity to showcase innovation and, with last year’s London festival attracting companies as big as Spotify, YouTube and WIRED, it’s easy to see what this could bring to businesses in the region”


Hosted simultaneously in cities all over the world, including Amsterdam, New York, London and Silicon Valley, OpenCo will offer Bristol and Bath the opportunity to showcase innovation and, with last year’s London festival attracting companies as big as Spotify, YouTube and WIRED, it’s easy to see what this could bring to businesses in the region.

Quick-fire presentations

The event will start at 10am and finish at 5pm and each company will have just 40 minutes to greet and present to their audience, including time for questions! It will be a quick-fire event with a wide range of exciting topics to explore.

We had an insider’s look at the businesses involved as a preview of what’s to come at the first ever Bristol Open Co conference:



zynstra_colour_logoWhat do they do?
Ahead of the game and acutely aware of the benefits, risk reduction and flexibility cloud-based IT services can bring to businesses, Zynstra deliver hybrid IT solutions with a combination of in-house IT and remotely hosted, cloud-based IT services.

Talk teaser…
“How to build a global technology company in a Roman Spa.”


Bristol Games Hub


gameshublogo_recWhat do they do?
Bristol Games Hub is a non-profit organisation that provides working space in Bristol where game developers and academics come together under one roof to create and study games. Read more about the Bristol Games Hub on

Talk teaser…
“Meet 5 games developers and discover their secrets.”


coull_logoWhat do they do?

In the age of ‘ad blockers’, Coull are the creators of ‘Vidlinkr’, an innovative new advertising strategy to target and engage specific audiences through the videos they watch online.

Talk teaser…
“Building a billion dollar tech business without managers.”



What do they do?
Mubaloo is an award-winning team of mobile consultants and mobile app development experts, delivering end-to-end enterprise and consumer solutions, specialising in mobile app development.

Talk teaser…
“Why beacons are the way forward to unlocking hyperlocal context.”

Genius Digital

gd-logo2What do they do?
Genius Digital makes sense of data for the TV industry, helping operators to collect, integrate, and manage their customer data.

Talk teaser…
“Actions not data , giving customers what they care about.”


Pervasive Media Studio

What do they do?
The Pervasive Media Studio hosts a brilliant community of artists, creative companies, technologists and academics exploring experience design and creative technology. It is a collaboration with University of West of England and University of Bristol, managed by Watershed.

Talk teaser…
“From personal space travel to the future of musical instruments.”


The Yogscast

The_Yogscast_LogoWhat do they do?
The Yogscast are a home-grown online media and animations company. Founded 6 years ago as a single YouTube channel, the Yogscast now have over 20 million subscribers, billions of views and more than 20 channels (see our profile on The Yogscast).

Talk teaser…
“Bigger than ITV: the rise of the Yogscast.”


The Engine Shed

Engine Shed, Bristol logo

What do they do?
The Bristol Engine Shed is an exciting hub that has been created to generate and encourage innovation through collaboration and networks where entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, students and corporates can collaborate, inspire and be inspired, enable and be enabled.

Talk teaser…
“How we incubate incubators and create the hottest tech businesses.”





xmosWhat do they do?
XMOS are a young company who design and engineer microprocessors, as well as the software to develop and personalise your own computer systems and software.

Talk teaser…
“Making machines and devices intelligent.”



Wildseed Studios

th_1f5e467fe6d549eeeb5be1f13c2f41e8_1378237989WSS450What do they do?
Wildseed Studios showcase creative content online, focusing on live-action comedy, animation for adults and for kids 6 to 11 and genre fiction.

Talk teaser…
“How the F*@k did they do that?”


Money Hub

yourwealth_hi_res_logo-thumb-200x124-12178-thumb-200x124-12179What do they do?
Money Hub, created by YourWealth, offer free technology to manage your finances. You can use the app to manage budgets on the go, set financial goals and even estimate your income in retirement.

Talk teaser…
“Using technology to change the financial world.”



toshiba-logoWhat do they do?
Toshiba is a Japanese multinational engineering and electronics corporation, with its Telecommunications Research Lab based in Bristol.

Talk teaser…
“Beyond Wi-Fi – future communications for future communities.”



sift-media-logo2What do they do?
Sift is one of the UK’s leading digital media experts; working with over 1,500 organisations; helping them to deliver effective online business solutions.

Talk teaser…
“Audience engagement as the basis for sustainable business innovation.”




What do they do?
CFMS is an independent centre for modelling and simulation based at the Bristol & Bath Science Park.

Talk teaser…
“We can change your world (and your business) for the better.”



If you would like to take part in the event check out the Bristol and Bath page which allows you to register your interest.