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This month we would like to introduce Paul Forster, Community Manager at SETsquared Bristol, who joined us at the start of the Summer. Fresh-faced after a stint at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where he has been touring with his other love ‘For Books’ Sake’, we have asked him a few questions about what he aspires to bring to the newly created role at SETsquared Bristol.
1. What is your background?
I spent 7 years working in training, conferencing and events at The University of Manchester and most recently was Programmes Manager for TechHub – the global startup community for tech entrepreneurs. Where I designed their startup programme forum from the ground up and rolled it out globally.
2. What does your new role entail?
For the time being my modus operandi is to engage with all of SETsquared’s current ventures and alumni to see how I can help them connect with each other. This will include identifying where the gaps are in provisioning that need filling and seeing if, and how, they may be able to give back to the SETsquared community. Further to this I’ll be engaging with the wider Bristol ecosystem – especially other incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces, as well as building relationships with a wide range of external stakeholders and service providers.
3. Why is it important?
With such a large and varied group of talented people in SETsquared it is imperative that they are connected with each other in a cohesive way in order to foster a sense of community and collaboration. Encouraging this connectivity and the autonomy to solve problems and skill share will benefit our ventures, SETsquared as a whole, and the South West region by creating jobs and encouraging economic growth.
4. What’s your impression of SETsquared Bristol and its members?
Coming from London it is very apparent that there are a lot more technical founders in Bristol looking for business support, whereas in London it is seemingly the opposite. SETsquared Bristol is an amazingly inspiring place to work and the members I have met are all innovative, welcoming, inquisitive and super smart.
5. Who have you got your eye on?
I try not to play favourites, being Community Manager means I need to give my time to all the ventures as equally as possible and have faith in their ability to grow their businesses. However, we have a ‘pre-incubation’ space where the up and coming businesses are, so I keep a close eye on them to see how they are growing and what I can do directly to impact on their business, growth and development.
Keep an eye out for Paul Forster roaming the inside of The Engine Shed where SETsquared Bristol is based, and please do approach him with any questions regarding his work on firstname.lastname@example.org
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