Techspark reveals new non-executive board directors


TechSpark has appointed four  new non-executive board members to advise and help direct the business in its mission to strengthen the tech ecosystem in the South West.

TechSpark is a not-for-profit community connecting, educating and strengthening tech ecosystems from Swindon to Swansea. It works with tech and digital businesses from startups to scaleups, SME’s to global corporations.

The four new non-executive board members are:

Renee Jacobs is the Founder of B in Bath, an organisation which supports individuals from UK minority and low-income backgrounds as well as LGBTQ+ people in the workplace.

Amy Newton is a consultant CFO and NED. She is a Co-Founder of Inclusive Angels, a South West group who believe in inclusive investment, a business mentor at SETsquared and NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator. She has founded her own businesses in retail and CFO consultancy.

Samantha Payne MBE the Co-Founder and COO of Open Bionics, for whom she has raised investment several times. She has received an MBE for services to Engineering and Innovation, gone through two American Accelerator Programmes and received an impressive list of international awards, as well herself being an underrepresented minority founder from an underprivileged background.

Marty Reid is the director of world leading tech Incubator SETsquared Bristol, as well as Engine Shed, the city region’s “Enterprise Hub” backed by the University of Bristol. He’s also a board member of Tech South West, FinTech West and Bristol’s International Strategy Board. Marty previously worked as Centre Director at Future Space, leading it to full capacity. Before this career at the heart of the tech ecosystem Marty worked at Rolls-Royce for over 10 years in a range of global strategy and business roles in various locations around the world.

Nick Sturge MBE (Chair) grew the SETsquared Bristol Centre to become the world’s top university business incubator in 2015/18/19 and in 2013 founded Engine Shed to drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Bristol & Bath. Nick is now a freelance NED, consultant and strategic adviser, and is proud that the four of the other five organisations for which he is a NED or Trustee, have female leadership.

Ben Shorrock, Managing Director said: “As we continue to scale our programmes and new communities in South Wales and Swindon and Wiltshire, we want work with the very best people to ensure TechSPARK as an organisation can continue to support our digital community and make the area a leading tech hub in Europe.“

Nick Sturge, who was  appointed as Chair in November 2021,  added: “I am honoured to have been invited to chair the TechSPARK board, and privileged to be able to recruit our first board. Now is the time to establish a good governance structure for the business and I am delighted that our open and robust recruitment process has delivered a team of diverse and complementary skills and experiences. I think we’ve got the dream team and I very much look forward to working with our new non-executives to support Ben and Abby in the next chapter for TechSPARK.”