Bristol influencers
The city of Bristol. Image: Anna Jastrzebska/Shutterstock

Moving to Bristol? Here are 10 people you need to know about

15 Feb 2018

From lifestyle advice to the top influencers in sci-tech, we’ve rounded up 10 people you should get to know from the Bristol area.

We can often take for granted how familiar we have become with the place we live and work. You might think you know very little outside your own bubble, but that’s rarely the case.

There is a wealth of specific information about one particular location that you’re unknowingly well aware of, from average housing costs to the best places to grab lunch.

If you’re relocating for work, you might suddenly realise how much of a void that information fills when compared to somewhere completely new.

This month, we’ve been focusing on Bristol to help those considering moving there become more acquainted with the vibrant sci-tech city.

We’ve already taken a look at what its living, breathing sci-tech ecosystem looks like. With the help of Hays, we’ve zoomed in on the most in-demand tech roles for those thinking about relocating.

But if you’re moving to a city and you want to soak up as much as possible, what better way than to scan through the who’s who of the place?

Getting familiar with some of the biggest sci-tech influencers in Bristol will start you off on the right foot.

We’re also well aware that you expect to have a healthy work-life balance while you’re there. With this in mind, we’ve added some other Bristol influencers to the list that might help you get to know the city better from less of a professional point of view.

Monika Radclyffe (@moni_gi)

Monika Radclyffe is the centre director of SETsquared Bristol, an incubator backed by Bristol University. Radclyffe manages the centre’s strategy and delivery of incubation activity to its high-tech ventures.

Radclyffe’s career includes setting up a student incubator at the University of Westminster, running an entrepreneurial community of 6,000 members, setting up co-working spaces and leading delivery on fintech innovation programmes at ENTIQ.

Matthew Tosh (@MatthewTosh)

Matthew Tosh is widely considered the UK’s number one firework science presenter, taking his magical and inspiring world of pyrotechnic science around the country. He’s built a reputation for bringing energy, enthusiasm and a creative ‘spark’ to events, live performances, television, radio and education projects.

Tosh is both an experienced presenter and a professional working pyrotechnician. For anyone with a passion for science, fireworks and pyrotechnics, he is a must-follow.

Rachel Andrew (@rachelandrew)

With more than 20 years’ experience, web developer Rachel Andrew is known for her expertise in HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP. Andrew is also a Google Developer expert and a former member of the Web Standards Project.

Andrew is also the co-founder of Perch CMS, and has written a number of books on CSS and HTML. She is the current editor in chief of Smashing magazine.

Henry Cazalet (@thesmsworks)

Founder of Text Marketer, one of the UK’s leading SMS providers, Henry Cazalet has now also founded a second SMS start-up: The SMS Works.

After spending almost 15 years with his first SMS business, Cazalet successfully sold it in 2013. Following a break of a few years to renovate his home, he’s back on the entrepreneurial wagon in Bristol and definitely one to watch.

Dr Becky Sage (@Becky_sage)

Dr Becky Sage is the CEO of Bristol-based Interactive Scientific, an edtech company working to make science communication fun and accessible to all. Sage developed Nano Simbox, an immersive platform that enables people to explore the invisible scientific underpinnings of atoms and molecules.

A passionate advocate for women in STEM and more interactive science education, in 2016, Sage won an Innovate UK Infocus award for enabling and emerging technologies.

Dominic Mills (@Dominic_Mills)

With almost 20 years’ experience in delivering mission-critical digital solutions, Dominic Mills is the chief technical officer (CTO) of digital agency Zone. Mills previously founded Auros before it was acquired by Zone in 2013.

In June last year, Mills joined the board of directors of Bristol Media, an industry-led organisation whose primary role is to facilitate collaboration and growth within the region.

Sally Eaves (@sallyeaves)

Widely considered to be one of the most influential people within the fintech and emerging technology spheres, Sally Eaves has a lot of strings to her bow. She is CTO of MindFit, technology and business mentor at The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, and a member of the Forbes Technology Council.

Eaves regularly speaks at international events and her most recent accolades include joining blockchain platform Nuggets as senior strategic adviser. She also joined the Omnitude Foundation Board to assist with governance and education.

Silas Adekunle (@ReachRobotics)

Silas Adekunle is an engineer with a first-class honours in robotics technology from the University of the West of England, Bristol. He is the founder and CEO of Reach Robotics, a company that has developed the world’s first gaming robots.

In November 2017, Adekunle signed a deal with Apple, ensuring that his ‘MekaMon’ robots will now be exclusively sold in Apple stores in the UK and US. Adekunle is definitely one to watch on the Bristol tech scene.

Shonette Laffy (@Shonette)

Stepping away from the world of sci-tech, anyone wanting to get a feel for all things Bristol would be well advised to follow Shonette Laffy on Twitter. As the digital marketing manager for Destination Bristol, Laffy is an avid Bristol explorer, gig attender and restaurant-goer within the region.

Anyone relocating to Bristol will want to catch up with Laffy’s tweets and blogs for an insight into what Bristol has to offer outside of the innovative sci-tech context.

The Bristol Nomad (@TheBristolNomad)

For our final entry, we wanted to ensure your revamped Twitter feed has some visually pleasing new additions that will give you a stunning glimpse of Bristol. Known as The Bristol Nomad, this photographer frequently posts stunning photos of the UK city.

As exciting and interesting as all things sci-tech are, it’s nice to break up your social media with something a little different. For anyone looking to get to know the city of Bristol in a more visual way, you won’t regret following The Bristol Nomad.

The city of Bristol. Image: Anna Jastrzebska/Shutterstock

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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