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Martin Coulthard


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Presentation at the Science City Summit - 8/9 Oct 2009 in Bath

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Martin Coulthard

  1. 1. 6th National Science Cities Summit 9th October 2009 Assembly Rooms, Bath
  2. 2. connectivity and open innovation case study Networking Martin Coulthard Director, Bristol Enterprise Network Science Cities Summit, October 2009
  3. 3. Networking  background – what is BEN?  challenges facing businesses  how businesses can gain from networking  how does a network embed itself into a community?
  4. 4. 1. background
  5. 5. Bristol Enterprise Network  network for high tech, high growth organisations in the Bristol region  formed 2003 by Bristol University  successful series of evening networking events (~20/year), based around a theme of interest to tech organisations, with expert speakers  membership and events totally free! (funded by Bristol University and other sponsors)  currently has 1900 members, half are active
  6. 6. Active BEN members by type
  7. 7. Active BEN members by location
  8. 8. BEN events  22nd September: ‘Marketing: Harnessing the Power of the Internet’  8th October (with NHS Innovations South West): ‘The Personalised Healthcare Revolution’  22nd October: ‘The Role of Non-Executive Directors’  12th November: ‘Green ICT’ (with Bristol Environmental Technology Sector)  26th November: ‘Entrepreneurs' Question Time’  see – please come!
  9. 9. BEN transformation 1. spin-out BEN from Bristol University to become an independent, business-led organisation • an initiative of Science City Bristol • financially sustainable and moving towards self- funding • transformation supported by the Universities of Bristol, Bath and West of England, and SWRDA 2. increase focus on the needs of smaller technology businesses 3. extend geographical coverage beyond Bristol to Bath and the region around the 2 cities
  10. 10. 2. challenges facing businesses
  11. 11. BEN survey biggest business challenges? tech businesses other members acquiring sales leads 55% 36% converting leads to sales 41% 30% market research 34% 12% technical development 34% 6% finding funding 31% 27% also many mentions of operational issues Conclusion for BEN:  increase focus on sales and marketing themes (market creation), while still covering funding, tech/development and operational issues
  12. 12. making the right connections often remote customers often local technology businesses professional services and networks other suppliers government, universities councils and agencies investors
  13. 13. 3. how businesses can gain from networking
  14. 14. how BEN helps make the connections Remote, diverse customers Often local technology businesses professional services and networks other suppliers Bristol Enterprise Network government, universities councils and agencies investors
  15. 15. Case study - Hydrate for Health  business founded by Mark Moran, after personal experience in hospital  invented concept of the Hydrant (bottle with clip and bite valve), so patients in bed can drink unassisted  potential benefits: patient care and recovery, professional care and efficiency savings, leading to cost savings
  16. 16. Hydrate for Health – the challenge  no experience in healthcare industry  how to develop and test the product and bring it to the market? How BEN helped  in 2007 Mark attended a BEN event on the NHS and innovation, where he met Rachel Clark, Enterprise Lead at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust  she helped Mark get expert advice from healthcare professionals, run ward- based evaluations and develop a roadmap
  17. 17. BEN survey most value about BEN? tech other members businesses cross-sector technology 73% 79% business networking learning from the expert 60% 61% speakers close connections with 30% 32% universities website 3% 3% Conclusions for BEN:  focus on events, rather than web systems  consider other event types that offer networking and learning opportunities
  18. 18. benefits from (BEN) networking 1. connect - directly and indirectly 2. learn – from experts 3. enjoy – get inspired, share problems Benefits are:  very granular – many and often small  can be medium or long term before they are realized  specific outputs/impact hard to collect and document – but we need to try!
  19. 19. 4. how does a network embed itself into a community?
  20. 20. embedding into the community 5 step plan 1. who are the stakeholder groups in the community? 2. what do they want/need? 3. how can the network help meet these needs? 4. consistently deliver offerings to meet those needs 5. monitor feedback/outputs and improve
  21. 21. BEN in the Bristol technology community 1. stakeholder groups: various, but smaller tech businesses are core (and other groups want to engage with that core group) 2. needs: connect, learn and enjoy, at events relating to their core challenges 3. how can BEN help?: networking events, many critical success factors: • theme • expert speakers • attendees • venue, food & drink, audio-visual • organisation, admin 4. ~20 events per year, over 6 years
  22. 22. Where is BEN headed? Build on BEN USPs  brand – due to history and scale of successful networking events  cross-sector technology networking events – explore new event types, such as entrepreneur workshops and business reviews; collaborate with other more focused networks  across Bristol and Bath region  university connections Develop revenue streams/business model to support this! connect locally, compete globally
  23. 23. 6th National Science Cities Summit 9th October 2009 Assembly Rooms, Bath