Over the past year we at TechSPARK have worked out how, as our incredible community changes, we can continue to grow and change to support it. We’ve made plans.

You may have already noticed our shiny new brand and website (you’re on it now, hi). We’ve developed a new portal to support finding talent and running an updated event program to better support businesses and individuals in the sector. Part of that program, that we are delighted to announce is our TT50 project celebrating the great and good of the tech cluster.

In partnership with Forgerock and ADLIB, TechSPARK’s Top 50 isn’t just a rich list, we’re looking to celebrate the individuals that don’t just have a huge economic impact, but also those players that are the glue to our community. Our mentors, our facilitators, our incubators and accelerators.

The inaugural TT50 list has been created to recognise fifty game-changing entrepreneurs, technologists and creators who are innovators and facilitators in the South West tech world. TT50 is dedicated to celebrating the positive impact these individuals have on the economy and our community as a whole.

This year, the theme is ‘innovators’. As TechSpark celebrates the 8th anniversary of The Sparkies, TT50 aims to showcase those key individuals who have contributed original thinking to their industry. Innovation is about executing the [big] idea — converting the idea into something with impact.

Usually, managers equate innovation with creativity. But innovation is not creativity. Creativity is about coming up with a big idea. We are recognising individuals who have had a big idea and have had a sizeable impact on business or our thriving South West technology cluster.

When we produced the original shortlist of 250 names, one thing that stands head and shoulders above other regions – is the wealth and depth of talent represented on this list. This will truly be a celebration of the amazing people, that make us Europes most productive, exciting and fastest-growing technology cluster.

Ashley Wheeler

Ashley is Partnerships Director and leads on commercial operations and our go-to market business proposition. Ashley has extensive experience of the regions tech and digital industry, having previously held senior roles at the BBC and WBB. In his spare time he likes cliches - like spending time with his family, or drinking wine.