An ideas and innovation festival for entrepreneurs will be bringing together some of the top entrepreneurs in the country and invites high-growth companies to come along to listen, debate and learn from each other. The Like Minds festival will be taking place at The Bristol Hotel and is an opportunity for the entrepreneurially minded to have access to some amazing speakers that normally you would have to travel to see.

And a techie highlight in the line-up is a Bristol Innovation Showcase session curated by business incubator Engine Shed and TechSPARK where you can meet some of the people behind some amazing technology innovation success stories.

Our panelists include: Ruth Millar from Ultrahaptics – the company behind the invisible controls you can touch; Nick Davies founder of Neighbourly – which connects big businesses to local charitable causes; Becky Sage founder of Interactive Scientific – who has created Nano Simbox the VR platform to explore the world of molecules and atoms; Gareth Williams founder of Yellow Dog – the app that pays for your spare PC’s processing power to help create animation using a virtual supercomputer; Jessica Ellis from Bristol is Open – the smart city scheme that brings internet of things tech, 5G networks and 3D visualisations of data to the South West; and Inga Driksne from Duel – the competitive photo-duelling app dubbed the “illegitimate child of Draw Something and Snapchat”.

Oli BarrattThe September event is hosted by Oli Barratt MBE, director of StartUp Britain – a national campaign to connect startup to the support and advice, and voted 44th in Rictopia’s list of most influential British entrepreneurs.

Attendees can enjoy a feast of techie highlights, keynote talks from people such as: Jeremy Waite IBM Evangelist for Watson – the AI chatbot that learns from the data it collects; Jennifer Arcuri security analyst, hacktivist and founder of the Innotech network that connects people in the London tech scene; and Mark Adams global head of innovation at media company Vice.

“Our ultimate goal is to bring together leading European high growth businesses and entrepreneurs”


Drew Ellis We are like mindsTechSPARK spoke to organiser and founder of Like Minds, Drew Ellis, who tells us, “Our ultimate goal is to bring together leading European high growth businesses and entrepreneurs, and connect them with each other in a real world environment.

“It’s where they can gain value by meeting new business opportunities (new clients have been found at Like Minds events), meet new potential colleagues (jobs have been found and businesses have been created out of being at Like Minds) and creating a digital platform that helps connect them all globally.”

Techie topics and power panels

Over two days the schedule includes a number of panels discussing a broad range of topics from how to scale up your business, the latest in AI, VR and internet security to the latest strategies and tools in marketing and social media to help position your business for future growth. There will also be a ‘Women in Tech’ panel debate, and a ‘Fireside Chat’ interview by James Hurley, enterprise editor at The Times.

Drew tells us why they have chosen to bring the speakers with such international acclaim to Bristol, “Our first events were in Exeter and we’ve now held them in London, Helsinki and New York. Bristol is the second biggest tech hub outside London in the UK.

“It’s a vibrant city with a fantastic tech community and a well defined co-working hub”


“It’s a vibrant city with a fantastic tech community and a well defined co-working hub at EngineShed and SETSquared working with the South West leading universities. It’s also perfectly located to attract attendees from Devon and Cornwall, Wales and London as well as local businesses from Bristol, Bath and the surrounding area.”

And for afterwards, they even have a pop-up networking session hosted by creative members’ club Adam Street Club. Robert Bean from The Robert Bean Branding Company tells us, “Like Minds is an intellectual playground where thinkers, strategists, agent provocateurs, innovators, challengers and mavericks can open up, share ideas and be inspired in a warm, welcoming and world-wide environment. If you haven’t been, go. You’ll see the future there; most likely, yours.”

Like Minds festival Thursday 8th & Friday 9th September, 10am-7pm, The Bristol Hotel, BS1 4QF. You can book your tickets online, and keep up with any news and updates by following them on Twitter @WeAreLikeMinds.

Natasha Baer