Starting from Tuesday 31 October, a new series of eight seminars will take Bristol’s entrepreneurially curious minds on a journey to help them to explore their ideas and open up avenues for potential new ventures in tech and science.

“We want to make it easy for people to find out about being an entrepreneur and hear from experienced individuals who have already taken that journey”


The free fortnightly evening series, called ‘Start Something’, will be held at Unit DX – Bristol’s tech and science incubator and run by the University of Bristol’s Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre (QTEC).

The series will not only offer its attendees the chance to put questions to experienced founders, CEOs and directors on their own experiences and get advice through both talk and panel sessions but it will also offer networking opportunities with the startup and business community.

Particularly geared towards postgraduate research students, the events were inspired by QTEC’s Co-Director Dr Shailendra Vyakarnam who set up a similar series during his time at Cambridge University.

Designed to inspire the postgraduate community to consider entrepreneurship as an alternative to employment in pure research, the Cambridge series has now been successfully running for almost two decades.

Dr Andy Collins QTEC Manager (pictured right) adds: “The Cambridge series was phenomenally successful in building up a following of hundreds of people interested in entrepreneurship and it’s something we immediately wanted to replicate here in Bristol. There are many people who have ideas but do not take it forward as there are too many unknowns in taking those first steps. We want to make it easy for people to find out about being an entrepreneur and hear from experienced individuals who have already taken that journey.”

Meet and innovate

Of course, the series is not just open to researchers, as Andy is keen to emphasise: “These sessions are open to everyone. Perhaps the most important aspect of the Start Something series is the networking – you could bump into your next business partner or investor.

“Even if you don’t have an idea to start with you might have a solution someone else is looking for and begin a conversation. It’s vital to talk to people with talents beyond the scope of your own skill set and we want to provide the environment for potential entrepreneurs to meet and to innovate.”

“It is our aim to build a large and supportive entrepreneurial community”


For those who have decided they already want to make their idea into an entrepreneurial reality, the series will introduce key contacts from the local startup and incubator community that they can engage with.

Andy adds: “Where possible we want to link people and groups together so that they can help one another.  The Start Something programme is also supported by the careers service at the University of Bristol where there are a number of options available to assist entrepreneurs. It is our aim to build a large and supportive entrepreneurial community that inspires people to build companies that can come back and share their own experience in the years to come.”

The first event in the series is called ‘Heart and Mind: Entrepreneurial Motivation‘ and covers the first steps of becoming an entrepreneur. It will be hosted by Yuri Andersson of Nabla Ventures and guests Steve Kitson, founder and CEO of Folium Optics, Ingrid Chauvet, founder and director of Rise Structures, Iouri Prokhorov founder and managing director of Helastel and Andrew Smith COO of SSBN.

To sign up to the first in the series, check out QTEC’s Eventbrite page. You can also stay tuned to QTEC events and news by following them on Twitter here: @qtecbristol.

Alice Whale