View all news

University enterprise leader secures top position

Nick Sturge, new South West regional chairman for the IoD

Press release issued: 23 November 2015

Nick Sturge, Director of the Engine Shed enterprise hub and the University of Bristol’s SETsquared Centre, has been named as the new Institute of Directors’ (IoD) South West regional chairman.

A former Bristol IoD committee chair and member for over 10 years, he officially takes over from Richard Ayre in January 2016.

Nick will represent the interests of the IoD’s 2,500 plus South West members at a national level as well as supporting the six regional committees in Bristol, Bath and Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Dorset.

He said: “I believe that the Institute of Directors is the leading organisation promoting effective leadership and governance which is critical to business growth.   

“I intend to work closely with strategic business, investor and professional partners and build on the strengths of the Local Enterprise Partnership network and the region’s universities to further the impact of the region at a national economic level.

“The South West is set to experience some significant developments in the near future with Hinkley C and the proposed electrification of the rail mainline between London and Bristol.

“My job, and the job of the Institute of Directors, is to ensure that our members, whether they be SMEs or multinational corporates, can make the most of the opportunities that these developments represent and play an active and influential role in the growth of the South West economy.”

The SETsquared partnership, which includes the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, has recently been ranked the best university–backed business incubator in Europe by the University Business Incubator Index (UBI).

Richard Ayre, executive director of children’s educational books supplier Clickety Books, remains an IoD Council member.

Further information

About Nick Sturge

After working in a number of small medical electronics companies, Nick joined Inmos, part of the global semiconductor business STMicroelectronics.

He co-founded Motion Media Technology to develop video communication equipment, which was listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in 2000, achieving a market valuation of over £270m.

Later that year, Motion Media acquired the old Severn View motorway services at Aust and converted it to office use.

Nick is now SETsquared Bristol's Director, responsible for business incubation of high-tech, high-growth businesses at the University of Bristol. The Bristol SETsquared Centre won the UKBI Business Incubator of the Year award in 2008 and the Outstanding Contribution to Business Incubation in 2012.

In 2013, Nick oversaw the relocation of SETsquared Bristol into Engine Shed - a refurbishment of Brunel's Grade I listed original station at Bristol Temple Meads which is a unique collaboration between the University and Bristol City Council. 

Nick has been chair of the South West Science Park and Incubator Leaders’ Forum and has sat on the boards of several business, charitable and voluntary organisations.

He currently represents the Bristol & Bath area on the TechCityUK Cluster Alliance and is on the advisory Board for Common Purpose South West.

About SETsquared

SETsquared is a long-standing partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey which specialises in growing high-tech start-ups through its incubation programme and other business acceleration services. SETsquared provides mentoring, access to investors and corporate innovators and a wide range of industry experts through its network and training programmes.

Its business incubation programme is ranked by the University Business Incubator Index as the best in Europe and over the last decade it has helped over 1,000 high-tech start-ups to develop and raise more than a £1bn of investment.

Independent research carried out by Warwick Economics estimates the economic impact of SETsquared member companies to be £3.8bn over this period, with the creation of 9,000 jobs and that these companies will go on to deliver a further £15bn of impact to the UK economy in the decade ahead.

About Bristol SETsquared

The Bristol SETsquared Centre, now located within the Engine Shed in the heart of Bristol's Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, supports 64 members who between them employ over 840 people globally.

Since 2007, companies supported by Bristol SETsquared have raised over £188 million and an aggregate turnover, in that period, of over £155 million. It has contributed to the success of Engine Shed, which opened in December 2013 and is credited with powering economic growth in Bristol and the West of England, adding £8 million to the local economy in its first year.

Edit this page