SHIFT- Inclusion in Conversation

July 19th 2018 at 6pm

SHIFT is a TechSPARK programme working with underrepresented talent (including women, people from BAME backgrounds, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities) to empower and amplify their voices. Through training, individual introductions and invite-only events we enable our intake to speak at major conferences, act as mentors, become board members and have a significant impact on the Bristol & Bath tech, digital & creative cluster.

Locally we have a very strong startup and tech scene but there are still challenges faced by founders, startup teams and employees. In this event, we will hear from successful people who have shown exceptional leadership and overcome challenges.

These events give everyone the chance to learn from some amazing people and also to network with an invited audience made up exclusively of leaders in the tech community here and our SHIFT intake.


Chair Marina Traversari, Programme Lead Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator. Marina manages the UK&I hub for Oracle's Startup Accelerator, she was previously programme and policy lead for skills in the West of England LEP and has a background leading production in the TV industry.

  1. Zara Nanu, Founder Gapsquare. Prior to launching Gapsquare Zara was an activist and community worker in Bristol helping run Bristol Woman and the Young Women's Trust. Zara was also Director of Envanta coordinating the Bristol Counter Trafficking Coalition.

  2. Thanh Quan Nicholls, Co-Founder Desklodge & Co-Founder Women's Tech Hub. Thanh has helped set up several networks and businesses in Bristol, led on Bristol City Councils economic development activity and previously acted as an advisor into the Cabinet Office.

  3. Deanna Marbeck, Developer Interactive Scientific. Deanna is a web developer at Bristol startup Interactive Scientific and co-runs the LGBTQIA+ in Tech Bristol group. She leapt into a new career as a developer in her 40s, after 15 years in UX, data and project management at the BBC and Amazon. She is passionate about raising the visibility of under-represented groups in tech.

  4. El Knight, one of the three in the team running Bristol VR Lab - Bristol’s immersive co-working space. After making the decision to leave education their excitement for immersive technologies led them to join the team and help open Bristol VR Lab. Outside of the lab, they keep their hands busy by helping organise events for people from underrepresented backgrounds in STEM and also work to promote local queer/feminist DIY bands.


Additional Information

The event will be opening at 6 pm 19th July with the panel starting at 6.30pm. Following on from the panel we'll have more networking drinks.