We’re thrilled to announce that Nick Sturge, Director, Engine Shed, will open the Anthropology + Technology Conference on Thursday 3 October.

Nick is the driving force behind both SETSquared Bristol and Engine Shed, “providing invaluable support to emerging high-tech businesses in the region and inspiring the next generation of innovators”. As Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, recently commented, Nick’s “efforts have contributed immeasurably to Bristol’s standing as one of the leading cities in Europe in which to build and grow technology-based businesses”.

Nick will receive an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to the digital economy.

Engine Shed is a collaboration between Bristol City Council, the University of Bristol and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership in the heart of Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.

As the Engine Shed’s Director, Nick’s mission is to stimulate long term, sustainable and inclusive economic growth by supporting and connecting business, inspiring young people to get involved, and to showcase to the public and potential inward investors the exciting opportunities that exist.

Under Nick’s leadership, Engine Shed has pioneered a Diverse Workforce for the Future programme, provided an environment for SETsquared Bristol — the University of Bristol’s incubator — to flourish, and space for scale-up companies and social enterprise, Boomsatsuma. In addition, he and his team have hosted multiple international trade missions, cabinet minister visits and school trips opening the doors to many for whom entrepreneurship was a dream and not a reality.

Until recently, Nick was the South West Regional Chairman and Council Member of the Institute of Directors. In 2016, Nick was named in Business Leader magazine’s South West Top 10 Trailblazers — described as outstanding entrepreneurs, pioneers and disruptors, defying convention and burning their own path, making a significant impact in their respective markets and the southwest community.

Nick is also listed in the 2016 “Maserati 100 index” — a definitive list of 100 of Britain’s most successful philanthropists, investors, mentors and advisors, and, ascending entrepreneurs who are supporting the next generation of up and coming business talent.

So it made perfect sense to us that Nick open our inaugural conference, which we hope will be the first of many.