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New start for University’s Bristol Enterprise Network

31 July 2009

Bristol Enterprise Network (BEN), the network that accelerates the growth of technology businesses in the Bristol and Bath region, has appointed Martin Coulthard as its new Executive Director.

Mr Coulthard is a successful entrepreneur who has founded, grown and sold two high-tech businesses in Bristol in the fields of machine vision and software.  He also has experience as a business angel and non-executive director.

This appointment marks a new beginning for BEN, which was previously managed by the University of Bristol. Under Coulthard’s leadership, BEN will spin out from the University to become an independent organisation, associated with Science City Bristol and with support from the Universities of Bristol and Bath, the University of the West of England and the South West Regional Development Agency.

‘I am delighted to have been appointed to this exciting new role,’ said Coulthard. ‘BEN has been a vital fixture in the Bristol business landscape for many years, but I am excited by the challenge of expanding its remit to make it more inclusive, and to give it a greater focus on the wider city region, including Bath.’

‘My priority at BEN is to help our local technology businesses through our successful BEN events programme and our website. I encourage anyone involved with such businesses to join the network and to come to our events, both of which are free.’

‘BEN will increasingly collaborate with other business networks and partners, to become an essential source of news, events, jobs and resources relating to our region’s technology businesses.’

Paul Harrod of Research and Enterprise Development at the University of Bristol welcomed the appointment. ‘The University is proud of the success of the network. We have over 1,500 members, and the quality of the speakers we are able to attract is very high,’ he said.

He continued: ‘But it is time for a new direction – and time for someone with a track record of entrepreneurial success to lead it – we are very pleased that Martin has accepted this appointment. The University will continue to play a full part in the development of BEN in the future.’

For more information, and to join the network, please visit the BEN website or contact Martin Coulthard, email, tel 0786 668 7154.


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