Today is Simon Bond’s first day as director of Bristol Innovations, an initiative launched by University of Bristol earlier this year to accelerate entrepreneurship among its researchers, students and staff. Bond joins from SETsquared, the global number-one incubator backed by the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, which he had led since 2014.
Bond tells us what attracted him to the new job and why it’s less of a goodbye and more of a deep dive with colleagues he’d already been collaborating with for years. He ponders what makes Bristol so successful at spinouts (a report earlier this year found its spinouts generate far above the average UK return per pound invested) and what lessons learned around diversity, equity and inclusion he learned at SETsquared that he hopes to apply in the new job.
He also talks about the importance of inspirational founders who are giving back to the ecosystem, like Science Creates founder Harry Destecroix, and why quantum, immersive media and telecoms are some of the sectors that Bristol Innovations will focus on.