We are proud to announce that Barclays has come on board as sponsor of the startup pitch event the Venturefest Silicon Gorge Investor Showcase. Along with co-sponsors the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator and inward investment agency Invest Bristol & Bath, Barclays has now pledged its support to promote the innovative tech startups being created in the South West.

“The area Silicon Gorge represents is one of the most exciting tech clusters right now”


This year the theme for Silicon Gorge is smart tech and while applications are open to any tech companies, the judges will particularly be looking for technology that will impact how people live and work in the future.

Supportive tech cluster

“The area Silicon Gorge represents is one of the most exciting tech clusters right now,” Graham Austin, Barclays Head of SME, Business Banking, South West, (pictured left), tells us, “The range and diversity of the businesses, the quality of the environment – it’s not just a nice place to live but the support and infrastructure is available too – it’s a real supportive hub.

“Our involvement with Silicon Gorge will enable us to further understand the needs of this sector, engaging with businesses at an earlier stage and supporting them throughout the journey.”

Graham points out that Barclays goes out of its way to support startups and small and medium enterprises: “At Barclays we have a 327-year history of backing innovation. It is important to have a banking partner which can keep pace with their business as well as keeping an eye on what’s ahead. We are here to support our customer’s journey throughout, delivering flexible solutions and skilled advice that goes beyond everyday banking services. Our 3 tiered approach of banking expertise, focused funding and support beyond banking such as networking and introduction, is designed to help businesses scale new heights.”

Apply yourself

Do you want to be one of the lucky startups pitching for investment between £100,000 and £2 million? The deadline for you to apply to the Silicon Gorge Investor Showcase at VentureFest is fast approaching, so if you want to be one of the 10 startups pitching to a room full of investors from Bristol and Bath and further afield, you’d better get your application in before 6pm, Friday 15 September.

Many thanks to Graham for talking to us. Silicon Gorge is a partnership of local South West organisations which aims to help startups and scale -ups find paths to investment. Current partners of Silicon Gorge include TechSPARKInvest Bristol and BathSETsquaredEngine ShedUniversity of Bath Innovation CentreRocketmakers and VR World Congress.

Applications to the Silicon Gorge Investor Showcase are open now until 15 September here. You can also stay tuned with Silicon Gorge goings on by following them on Twitter here: @SiliconGorge.

Image credit: Jon Craig

Jamie Middleton