This year the SPARKies are giving you the opportunity to help support underrepresented voices in the tech community by introducing the SPARKies SHIFT Bursary Ticket.

Earlier this year we launched the SHIFT programme in an effort to tackle the lack of diversity in tech and promote, empower and amplify underrepresented voices. Through training, individual introductions and invite-only events we enable our intake to speak at major conferences, act as mentors, become board members and have a significant impact on the Bristol & Bath tech, digital  & creative cluster. Ultimately, SHIFT will help change perceptions, act as a magnet for new talent and make our cluster even stronger.

“We can’t wait to see some new faces, and hear some new voices at the SPARKies this year.”

While the training aspects of the programme can only take a limited number of applicants at a time, the SHIFT Bursary Ticket will allow us to reach out to a larger group of people, so that we can invite them along to meet the region’s tech community at the biggest and best celebration of tech in the West.

How does it work?

Easily! On the SPARKies tickets link you’ll see an option in the menu for the SHIFT Bursary Ticket. It works on a one-for-one basis; buying one Bursary Ticket gets a ticket for yourself and pays for a ticket that we can offer to someone deserving from an underrepresented community.

Aptly, the first to pledge their support for the SHIFT Bursary was The Stable, Weston’s first coworking hub “The Stable is totally behind the SPARKies bursary. We’re happy to help remove a barrier to tech for people from the edges of the cluster – both geographically and metaphorically!” said Kerry O’Neill, manager at The Stable Creative Hub.

Ash Wheeler of AiConf was also excited “Reaching into the wider community is something everyone needs to be actively doing, we can’t wait to see some new faces, and hear some new voices at the SPARKies this year.”

If your company would like to be more involved with the SHIFT Bursary and pay for Bursary tickets directly, email us at