TechSPARK’s Top 50 innovators list is finally here! We’re very excited to share with you the final outcome of various deliberations and debates that resulted in this list of 50 groundbreaking innovators.

Thanks to our partnership with Forgerock, Mettle and ADLIB, we’ve been able to celebrate the individuals who have had a rippling impact on our community – not just in economic terms, in the ways they facilitate collaboration and personal growth throughout the region too.

Congratulations to everyone on the list! This time it’s ordered numerically, so meet our innovators ranging from number 50-21.


50. Jim Morrison


Jim is CEO of Deep Blue Sky; an award-winning digital transformation agency in Bath, Director of Bath Digital Festival; a week-long, award-winning digital festival engaging schools, universities and everyday people with the latest local and global technology. He also founded of OneSub – its’s mission is to fix democracy; giving people access to track, manage and understand their news bias and find different points of view. 


49. Kalpna Woolf

Kalpna is CEO at BeOnBoard, aiming to drive diversity on Business Boards. She also founded 91 Ways to Build A Global City which uses the uniting power of food to build bridges between communities, promoting greater understanding between cultures in order to build a united and sustainable city.


48. Serrie Chapman

Serrie is the Principal Safety Engineer at Fusion Processing and the co-founder of Women’s Tech Hub, the group who aim to advance gender diversity in tech. She is an experienced Engineering Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the semiconductors industry.


47. Emma Jones

Emma is the founder of Enterprise Nation – the UK’s most active small business network, helping people to turn their good ideas into great businesses.


46. Richard Godfrey


Richard is an experienced and trusted CTO, software architect, investor, entrepreneur and innovator with a demonstrated history of delivering major systems via Rocketmakers, Microsoft and Deloitte over the last 25 years. He is focused on helping innovate startups and corporates of all shapes and sizes deliver disruptive and engaging customer experiences through the application of new technology.


45. Dave Kelly

Dave is CEO and co-founder of Storm, an award-winning digital product development agency of 10 based in the beautifully inventive city of Bath. Storm writes web apps (mainly in Rails), websites, gives talks and do a lot of R&D.


44. Chris Thurling


Chris is the Executive Chairman at Armadillo and Chair of Bristol Media. Armadillo is a specialist CRM agency; it uses the latest technology to create digital communications based on real data insights. Bristol Media is one of the biggest creative networks in the UK with members spanning the digital, TV, animation, design, marketing, PR, publishing, film and advertising sectors.


43. Ben Heald


Ben is Chair of Sift, BDG, Bristol Pound & St George’s Bristol. He co-founded Sift, the company that wants to bring your brand closer to future customers through content, marketing solutions and events. He also is an investor in BDG, a platform & data company.


42. Heather Frankham

Heather is an Entrepreneur, Investor and Philanthropist. She focuses her investment in Bristol-based businesses either through Origin Workspace, the co-working hub founded by Heather, or the Bristol Private Equity Club. Her goal with Origin is to create a collaborative space where businesses can start and grow in a supportive environment.


41. Mark Mason


Dr Mark Mason is an entrepreneur, NED, mentor, chairman, angel investor and university governor. He invests in driven people and innovative businesses, directly or through the Bristol Private Equity Club.


40. James Hadley

James is CEO at Immersive Labs, the world’s first fully interactive, gamified and on-demand cyber skills platform. The platform enables businesses to rapidly develop and assess cyber talent and identify skill gaps against the MITRE ATT&CK framework.


39. David Henderson

David is Head of Business Transformation at Hargreaves Lansdown. HL is a secure FTSE 100 Company that prides itself on being ‘The UK number 1 platform for private investors.’


38. Charly Patrick



Charley is the Entrepreneur Development Manager at the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator. Her current role as EDM helps to support Entrepreneurs to achieve their goals and scale their businesses through facilitating connections with vast internal and external networks; this can come in the form of mentorship, workshops and meetups.


37. Becky Sage

Becky is CEO at Interactive Scientific, where immersive digital tools for science enterprise and training are created. She has led the company as it has developed its molecular innovation platform, enabling current and future generations of scientific researchers to solve 21st-century problems with 21st-century tools.


36. Ben Trewhella


Ben manages the Opposable Group, the forward-thinking Bristol-based game developer, including Opposable VR and Opposable Games. He also sits on the advisory or management boards of The Next Gen Skills Academy, Bristol Media, TechSPARK and the Bristol Games Hub.


35. Andy Mulvenna


Andy is a Venture Capital investor focused on Artificial Intelligence. He co-founded Brightpearl, the cloud software that enables multichannel retailers to accelerate their growth and profits, and is a Partner at AV8 Ventures. 

34. Simon Wear

A specialist digital media executive highly focused on video, Simon’s passion for two wheels influenced the creation of two businesses (Play Sports Network and SHIFT Active Media) that have become world leaders in the cycling space.


33. Nic Hemley


Nic is a technologist who is also passionate about the people-side of tech. He co-founded Bristech, the one-day tech conference for polyglot developers and technical professionals, and is currently building a start-up, Veridu Labs, as well as delivering a new technical vision for Bristol Pound CIC.


32. Simon Klima


Simon is a Marketing Director and brand strategist, specialising in the sports sector. He is currently Director of Local Marketing at Strava, the social network connecting athletes to what motivates them to help them find their personal best.


31. Chris Dyson


Chris specialises in venture capital and mergers and acquisitions, advising a wide range of UK and international investment funds, growth companies and entrepreneurs. He has significant experience in European and U.S. cross-border investments and exits. he is a non-executive director of Ruby Datum and partner at Ashfords.


30. Steve Allpress


As a Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Steve has successfully managed and launched new technology-based ventures including autonomous vehicle Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning software, and high-speed modem technology from inception to sale. His ventures include co-founding and acting as CTO Five AI Inc. and Icera Inc.


29. Charles Grimsdale


Charles is a software engineer turned entrepreneur, Angel investor and Venture Capitalist. His role as Partner at Eden Ventures includes a portfolio of over 40 investments, mostly in software platforms and technology. He is also an investor and Non-Exec Director at Brightpearl, and Basekit, and Angel investor in CreoMedical, Ometria, BluWireless, Funnel Music, SkinAnalytics.

28. Nick Dean


Nick is the Managing Director at ADLIB & enable and Director at TechTalent Academy. His role at ABLIB has greatly contributed towards ensuring that the ADLIB team are the most respected, ambitious and talented bunch of technology, data, marketing and creative recruiters that you’ll ever know.


27. Verity McIntosh


Verity is a Senior Lecturer in Virtual and Extended Reality at UWE Bristol, and Programme Lead for a new MA in Virtual Reality. She has earned a reputation as a prolific and an enthusiastic creative producer, working across multiple disciplines including XR, robotics, playable cities, theatre and dance.


26. Briony Phillips


Briony champions the Engine Shed’s work on the scale-up business ecosystem in collaboration with the West of England Combined Authority. As Associate Director, she takes on organisational development projects, supports strategic and operational management of Engine Shed and designs and develops projects relating to our broader organisational goals.


25. Mike Bartley

Mike is CEO and founder of TVS. The solutions-focused business helps companies to improve time to market and reduce costs by improving the way they test complex software and hardware products. He’s an active member of the community being the Director of a CIC and Chair of the High Tech Sector Group of the West of England LEP.


24. Henry Nurser

Henry is CEO of Blu Wireless Technology. He’s dedicated to making the company become the leading source of multi-Gigabit baseband ‘System IP’ for companies wanting to develop products for low-cost 4G backhaul and WiGig (consumer WiFi) and emerging 5G SON/SDN/MEC applications.


23. Zara Nanu


Dr Zara Nanu is the CEO of Gapsquare. Zara is an expert on how diversity and inclusion can shape more dynamic and productive teams and a more engaging and empowering workplace. She is an entrepreneur who believes business can generate social impact as well as revenues and profits.


22. Rosie Bennett


Rosie is currently Centre Director at Bath SETsquared based at the University of Bath Innovation Centre and involved in a number of startups as a founder, mentor and advisor. She also runs tech meetup IT Girls Collaborative.


21. Gareth Williams


Gareth created multi-award winning company YellowDog – the hybrid and multi-cloud management platform for enterprise IT operations. It has gone from incorporation in January 2015 to having some of the world’s leading companies as customers.

After pulling down a 250 person longlist from the network, we whittled it down to a 100 person shortlist and eventually (with great pain) our TT50. We judged this list, with our partners, using 5 key criteria:
  • Local Impact – What have they done for the community locally, inspiration, events and connections
  • Economic Impact – What impact have they had through investing or employing people.
  • Global impact – What impact are they having globally in raising the region’s profile.
  • Reach – Public profile both in the ecosystem locally and wider.
  • Influence – How much can they shape things, can they mobilise a network? In short, how quickly would you respond to their email!

Stay tuned for the final instalment of TT50. Please do share this list of impressive innovators around to celebrate their achievements! If you’d like to keep up to date will all the latest TT50 news, give us a follow on Twitter here: @TechSPARKuk.