The challenge of growing a tech startup into a fully fledged business – scaling it up – has just got easier in the South West. Last week, Bristol’s tech hub the Engine Shed brought together a diverse mix of scale-up business founders and scale-up supporters to discuss how to make the South West region the best place to scale up a business.

Led by the Engine Shed‘s scale-up enabler Briony Phillips (pictured above), the discussion also saw the announcement of several new initiatives aimed at boosting scale-up businesses in the region. These including the UK’s first ever Angels Hub in association with the UK Business Angels Association, a detailed Scale-up Ecosystem Map and a Quarterly Investment Briefing.

“The ecosystem map illustrates the vibrant support available for scale-up businesses in the West of England”


The announcements followed the release of the ScaleUp Institute’s Annual ScaleUp Review which cited Engine Shed as an exemplary infrastructure case study, and will only continue to grow on the region’s strength as an ideal location to grow a successful tech business. Here are a few more details on those initiatives:

Bristol Angel Hub

The Bristol Angel Hub is designed to bring the early stage investment community in the West of England together, to share good practice, to learn, and to discover new investment activities and opportunities.

It will offer members access to Engine Shed Business Lounge, training and development opportunities for new and experienced angel investors, and opportunities to attend pitch presentations.

Quarterly Investment Briefing

The Quarterly Investment Briefing is a 3-monthly event and newsletter designed to invigorate the investment ecosystem locally, nationally, and internationally.

To join the mailing list for the Quarterly Investment Briefing, please complete this short form.

The Scale-up Ecosystem Map

The scale-up map was built using a newly formed dataset collected organically by Briony. The pins on the map are organised according to the challenge areas identified by the ScaleUp Institute.

This resource is also the first public asset map of its kind and is designed to help scale-up businesses to identify support that is available. In addition, it helps providers to find opportunities to collaborate and those outside the region to see what is available here.

Users of the map are invited to share new data through a brief form, with plans for the next iteration including the plotting of the scale-up business community.

Commenting on the map, Briony (pictured left) says: “The ecosystem map illustrates the vibrant support available for scale-up businesses in the West of England. We are interested to see how this will be adopted, utilised and developed both within and beyond the region. With the region already identified by as the best place to start a business, the scale-up pow-wow event has marked a great opportunity for the region to come together and commit to making it the best place to scale a business too.”

To find out more about the Engine Shed’s latest scale-up support plans, check out the Engine Shed website or follow them on Twitter here: @EngineShed_BB.

Alice Whale