Welcome to my weekly South West Tech News roundup, where you can get all the headlines from the past week in one place.

What has our busy tech and digital community been up to this week? From award wins and innovative breakthroughs to unmissable events and capital raised, take a moment to reflect on the hive of daily activity taking place in our region.

If you have a story to share, wizz it over to shona@techspark.co – I look forward to hearing from you!

Get your early bird tickets for The SPARKies 2024!

We can hardly wait; The SPARKies is gracing Bristol with its presence once again on 11 July 2024. The event is officially the biggest tech awards show outside of London, designed to recognise the hard work of our stellar community over the past year.

With lots of activity in the pipeline, stay tuned for exciting announcements throughout spring, including the opening of nominations. For now, you can secure your spot at our renowned tech event by purchasing your Early Bird tickets. These heavily discounted tickets come in at just £30, so get your hands on some whilst availability lasts!

SETsquared Bristol supports creation of 300 new jobs

It has been reported that companies a part of the University of Bristol tech incubator created 300 jobs in 2023. Its companies also generated over £45 million in revenues, raised a combined £50 million in funding, and achieved record numbers for leadership diversity in 2023.

All in all a successful year, with its work towards gender parity also paying off. 49% of the incubator’s companies in 2023 were led by a women founder or C-Suite member. Furthermore, 25% of the total investment raises in 2023 came from its women-led companies.

If you’re interested in joining the incubator, come along to the Discover SETsqaured event taking place on 14 March. 

Bristol-based greentech startup partners with L’Oreal

Kelpi announces that the team has secured a second contract with one of the World’s largest cosmetics brands, L’Oréal. The news comes after a successful first contract which focused on material testing, with the second now focusing on specific product applications.

The work will contribute directly towards the ‘L’Oréal for the Future’ sustainability programme, which states that 100% of plastic materials for packaging will come from recycled or bio-based sources, and 100% of bio-based ingredients and packaging materials will be sustainably sourced by 2030. The programme aligns with Kelpi’s primary mission to eliminate plastic pollution and end the world’s dependence on using fossil fuels for plastic packaging.   

Phasecraft named in the Capsule Scaleup 50 list

This year’s list highlights the leaders in the tech industry and acknowledges the remarkable success of the tech scale-up and investment market in the last 12 months.

Bristol-based Phasecraft is powered by a team of world-leading quantum scientists and engineers. Its vision is a future where once-in-a-lifetime discoveries happen every day, realised through developing quantum algorithms for real-world applications – crucially, the discovery of new materials to aid the global transition to clean energy.

Umbraco Spark summit draws digital innovators to Bristol

Bristol digital agency, Gibe Digital, is set to host the fourth Umbraco Spark web developer conference at Bristol’s M-Shed on Friday 8 March, in collaboration with The Umbraco UK Foundation. The one-day event attracts web developers and designers from across the UK and Europe and includes product demonstrations, technical talks, and presentations by digital innovators and experts in making websites more engaging, sustainable and accessible.

Find out more here.

Ghyston to host inclusion & AI events throughout March 

Bristol Inclusion Hackathon

Date: Friday 8 March @ 8am

Venue: Bristol Beacon, Trenchard St, Bristol BS1 5AR

This event will kickstart with insightful discussions, followed by a hackathon where you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate in small groups over a 6-week period, contributing to the creation of a playbook. Participation in the hackathon is optional. Sign up here.

March Breakfast Club: Exploring the Power of AI

Date: Thursday 12 March @ 8am

Venue: techSPARK Office, 53-55 Queen Charlotte St, Bristol BS1 4HJ

Curious about how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can transform your business strategy? Join us for an interactive event where business and tech leaders will share their experiences of implementing AI in their organisations. Register here

​​Core to Cloud partners with cybersecurity innovator AppOmni to enable comprehensive SaaS security

Core to Cloud, a leading provider of cybersecurity services and solutions, announced a strategic partnership with AppOmni, a SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) leader and SaaS security pioneer, to equip businesses with the tools and expertise needed to effectively navigate the complex cloud security landscape.

The partnership comes at a time when public cloud computing is experiencing meteoric growth, the largest segment of which is SaaS spend. Gartner forecasts global spending on SaaS services to hit $244.0 billion in 2024, up from $205.2 billion in 2023.

Bristol fintech, Behind Login, gets a new identity

BehindLogin has undergone a comprehensive transformation, encompassing a revamped logo, updated fonts, vibrant colours, and an enhanced website to reflect its renewed vision and commitment to excellence in the field of financial services research.

“We are thrilled to introduce BehindLogin to the world,” says CEO Oliver Lane. “This rebranding marks a significant milestone in our journey as we refine our proposition and sharpen our focus on delivering unparalleled competitor insights and solutions to our clients in the rapidly evolving landscape of fintech and financial services.”

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.