Growth Forge 2024


Join Growth Forge and receive impactful business support to achieve your goals.

TSW Growth Forge logo tight white

Dynamic support for your growth priorities

Growth Forge gives you precise and targeted business support based on your priorities. An online Growth Assessment ensures focus on areas of impact and opportunity for your tech business. You are then paired with specialist coaches and experts to develop and implement proactive strategies.

This is not a one-size-fits all programme, but dynamic bespoke support from growth experts based on your priority needs.

Growth Forge covers strategy, leadership, innovation, technology, market awareness, commercialisation, team, funding, finance, marketing, brand, legal and risk. But, using the data you give us and our new interactive assessment tool, we will focus on the key 2-3 areas that we will have the most impact on your business growth.

Programme Timeline

22 May: Peer Group (online)

25 June: Growth Day (face-to-face)

16 July: Peer Group (online)

25 September: Peer Group (online)

9 October: Growth Day (face-to-face)

How can Growth Forge support your business?


  • Perfect your pitch
  • Secure your first round of investment
  • Nail your MVP
  • Build your startet tech toolkit
  • Know & Grow your A-Team
  • Build the brand
  • Identify market fit


  • Hone your product range for future growth
  • Scale your Investment
  • Secure your IP
  • Enhance your tech stack
  • Implement a winning talent strategy
  • Create your Brand Strategy & maximise AI
  • Adopt full Business Development strategy


  • Diversify into new markets
  • Complete Financial and Funding Strategy
  • Establish your ESG credentials
  • Full tech strategy
  • Get the board you can't afford
  • Develop your professional network
  • Full Sales and business development capability and partnerships

Bursaries available

Bursaries are available for up to 100% of the programme fee.

To apply for a bursary, simply fill out the programme application form at the bottom of this page and tick " I wish to be considered for a bursary".

The bursaries are made possible by the generous support of our programme partners. Positive impact companies and early stage startups will be given priority.

Growth Day

Secure investment

In association with Angel Investors Bristol (AIB), several Growth Forge companies will have the opportunity to pitch to AIB's investment committee.

It’s an opportunity to attract investment that could be used to help develop and launch your MVP, build traction, match-fund an Innovate UK grant, or scale your existing business.

Growth Forge focuses on eight key areas:

Strategy Roadmap & Growth Mindset

Shaping your roadmap and adopting the right approach for maximum impact.

Market Awareness & Commercialisation

Defining market opportunity; transitioning your products to the marketplace.

Leadership & Team

Empowering great teams, crafting culture, attracting great talent.

Business Development & Sales

Tools and techniques; using data and insight; filling the pipeline and conversion.

Marketing & Brand

Value proposition, market position and alignment; purpose and strategy.

Innovation & Technology

Identifying opportunities, developing your technologies

Legal & IP

Protecting innovation and market offering as you grow

Financial & Funding

Financial planning, securing funds, investment and pitching.

You'll gain access to:

Growth Days

Peer-to-Peer Learning

Expert Partners

Business Coaches

Tech Mentors

Data & Insight

Ongoing 1-1s

Angel access

You'll receive:

  • Two tickets for your team to join face-to-face Growth Days
  • Expert support and advice from Growth Forge Partners and Growth Coaches
  • Complete Growth Roadmap development and action planning
  • Access to the Growth Forge Peer Group
  • Induction to the programme
  • Full access to the online Growth Forge Assessment Tool and Resource Hub for 12 months

What other tech leaders are saying

“The Growth Programme has given us an unparalleled opportunity in the South West to professional support and networking opportunities.”

Jo Muncaster

Head of Finance, digiLab

“Participating in the TSW growth programme has been a valuable part of Kelpi’s journey as we transitioned from startup to scaleup. We landed new clients, nearly doubled the size of the team and made huge progress with our materials technology.”

Neil Morris

CEO & co-founder, Kelpi

“You’ve built an amazing network of people, investors, institutions and companies in the South West and your programmes do a great job of bringing it all together and making it accessible.”

Michael Calver

CEO, Amutri

"It's been really valuable because it makes you lift your head to look around you and engage with other people, other ideas and other perspectives."

Richard Wyatt-Haines

Founder and Chairman, HCI

Delivered in partnership with

Gain insight from experts in:

Tom Nation

Tom Nation

Tom is the relationship builder of the Sandler team: with his engaging style and consultative approach, he uncovers the opportunities for businesses to overcome their growth-related challenges.

Andy McCreadie

Andy McCreadie

Andy McCreadie is an award-winning coach, facilitator and trainer who excels at identifying core sales and management challenges and implementing growth strategies. Over the last decade, Andy has worked with leadership and sales management teams on both national and global accounts.

Harriet Harrison

Harriet Harrison

Harriet is a strategic consultant, trainer, and coach at Sandler, and in her role as a director, oversees business strategy, as well as client success. Harriet delivers Sandler’s Leadership for Organisational Excellence, Emerging Leaders and Strategic Customer Care training programmes, working closely with leadership teams, senior and mid-level managers, and customer-facing front-line employees.

Pippa Clarke BF

Pippa Clarke

An excellent tax advisor, Pippa gives fully rounded tax advice aligned with personal, business and development strategies and goals.

Pippa works with clients across all stages of the business lifecycle. Her support ensures tax is within business strategy, and clients achieve their goals.

John Talbot

John Talbot

John is an expert in audit and compliance services, working with a wide range of clients across many sectors. He is passionate about delivering robust, high-quality and clear advice, whilst ensuring all regulatory and commercial deadlines are fully met.

Hazel Tucker

Hazel Tucker

Hazel is an ACA, FCCA qualified Partner who provides proactive and pragmatic accounts and tax services to aspirational business leaders. She enjoys investing time in building relationships with clients to enable her to understand their business activities, commercial challenges, future ambitions and personal life goals.

Dan White

Dan White

Dan has experience of working with businesses in a variety of sectors and sizes. Dan’s clients tend to be enthusiastic, ambitious business owner looking to achieve sustainable growth.

Len Dean

Len Dean

Len leads the VAT team at Bishop Fleming and brings a wealth of experience and a practical approach to provide user-friendly VAT advice and get the best solutions for his clients. Len helps his clients navigate UK and global VAT systems to ensure they know what to expect, get it right, and above all know they are in good hands so they can focus on their priorities and achieve their goals.

Ben Herbert

Ben Herbert

Ben is an expert in corporate taxation working predominately with owner managed businesses. He is passionate about innovation and before training as an accountant studied Physics at university, this enables him to bridge the gap between his client’s innovation and the lucrative innovation tax reliefs available, such as Research and Development Tax Credits and the Patent Box regime.

Becky Targett

Becky Targett

Becky is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor providing tax services to a wide range of businesses in the South West. Becky has over 12 years experience in business taxation working with clients of various sizes and from a multitude of industry sectors, giving her a broad range of knowledge and insight.

Jamie Pelmear

Jamie Pelmear

Jamie believes that getting under the skin of his clients and their business is key to delivering great professional advice. Having spent a significant amount of time across the firms’ core service lines, Jamie draws on this experience to provide pragmatic and commercial advice using a commence sense approach.

Todd Gifford

Todd Gifford

Todd has been working in IT since the late 90's, and specifically in Cybersecurity since 2005. Now leading the team at Cyber focussed MSP Optimising IT, Todd splits his time between getting the team what they need and helping customers with their approach to Cyber and Information Security. As a certified CISSP and ISO27001 Lead Auditor, with extensive experience in audit, training and technical, in particular network security, Todd can help improve security pragmatically for organisations of all shapes and sizes. Todd is also a big advocate for solar energy and storage and spends his off time at the beach or mountain biking across the many hills here in Devon.

Ben Smith

Ben Smith

Ben has been with Optimising IT since 2016 and now spends his time helping customers with their Cybersecurity approach, with a focus on Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials plus. From reviewing customer environments against the latest version of the standard, to helping with cybersecurity and maximising the value in their IT investments, improvement projects and Consultancy, Ben spends the majority of his time face-to-face with customers.

Chris Dyson square

Chris Dyson

Chris, head of the technology and digital transformation sector at Ashfords, is a specialist in venture capital and mergers and acquisitions, advising a wide range of UK and international investment funds, growth companies and entrepreneurs. He is recognised as a Leading Individual for both venture capital and technology work in the Legal500.

Chris has extensive experience advising high profile technology companies and has worked with many of the UK's best known technology investors, as well as global funds and corporates investing into the UK. He also has significant experience in European and U.S. cross-border investments and exits.

Suzie Miles

Suzie Miles

Suzie, partner in the commercial team at Ashfords, specialises in IT and technology including software licensing, IT outsourcing, E-commerce and information security.

Suzie advises traditional IT businesses as well as helping businesses navigate more complex legal issues surrounding the use or development of more ground breaking technology such as AI, blockchain and robotics.

Brett Lambe

Brett Lambe

Brett, senior associate in the commercial and IP team at Ashfords, is a commercial lawyer with over 10 years' experience advising businesses on a range of commercial and IP matters, with particular expertise in the technology and digital health sectors.

He has worked on a range of strategic projects from outsourcings and digital transformation initiatives to the development of commercial partnerships. Brett is a skilled contract negotiator working with vendors, suppliers and customers, with particular market insight and experience advising on IT contracts to procure or license systems and bespoke development. He regularly advises tech businesses looking to commercialise their IP – particularly those businesses seeking investment and international growth.

Lucy Savin

Lucy Savin Cert CII

I’m a Commercial Account Executive and Team Leader and within my role work closely with customers and insurers to develops bespoke policies to protect businesses.

By building strong client relationships and knowing that no single approach is the right one for every company and individual, I take the time to understand the customers’ needs and strive to exceed expectation.

I like to get people excited about the things I’m excited about, for me that’s Howden – an employee owned, people first business with our customers at the heart.

Tyne Hill

Tyne Hill Cert CII

Tyne, Commercial Account Executive at Howden, is passionate about delivering tailored insurance and risk management solutions.

As a strong advocate for the West Country, Tyne actively champions local businesses. 

Fuelled by a love for technology and innovation, Tyne ensures that businesses receive the comprehensive coverage that’s essential for sustained growth and protection, helping founders and established businesses navigate uncertainties with confidence. 

Andrew Finn

Andrew Finn

Andrew Finn is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Evo Talent, bringing over 14 years of comprehensive experience in the recruitment sector, spanning agency and client roles. Specialising in digital and tech recruitment, Andrew has adeptly facilitated the acquisition and retention of top-tier talent for numerous ambitious tech companies across the UK and Europe..

In 2023, driven by a commitment to prioritise people over profits, Andrew spearheaded the launch of Evo Talent. His vision encompasses a fresh approach to empowering ambitious tech companies, ensuring they not only attract but also retain the finest talent in the industry.

James Shakespeare

James Shakespeare

James Shakespeare is the Founder and CEO of the Evo Group of companies, encompassing Evo Agency, Evo Talent, and Evo Academy. With a passion for innovation, James has steered the group towards excellence in creative, technical, and digital marketing spheres, as well as in the specialised recruitment of top-tier talent and youth training.

With the establishment of Evo Talent under Andrew’s leadership, James has expanded the group's reach, addressing a critical market need for highly skilled professionals. Evo Talent operates at the intersection of recruitment and talent development, leveraging a deep understanding of the digital and technical sectors to connect companies with exceptional individuals.

Caroline Orr

Caroline Orr

Caroline is a dynamic brand and marketing strategy expert, who excels in guiding clients to create and execute impactful marketing and brand strategies, consistently delivering remarkable outcomes.

As one of the Founders and Directors of the agency, Caroline supports clients with specialised consultancy in addition to overseeing the agency's operations. 

Holding a Level 6 Professional Diploma in Marketing and a Mini MBA in Brand Management, she is well-equipped with advanced theoretical knowledge in addition to many years of on-the-job experience.

Her proficiency spans a broad spectrum of marketing competencies, including strategy formulation, brand development and management, leveraging social media effectively, creating unforgettable customer experiences, and navigating international markets. 

Dan Pritchard

Dan Pritchard

Founder of Tech South West and CEO of Program, Dan is a creative communications expert who has worked agency and client side. A former journalist and Government and energy sector PR specialist, he launched his first agency in 2013. 

Collaborating with leaders and organisations across the region, he founded and built Tech South West to become a leading tech cluster, helping elevate the sector across the region and beyond. With extensive brand and communications expertise, coupled with key relationships and connections at a regional and national level, Dan is well placed to help clients achieve their goals.

Dan spent time in newspaper and television journalism before embarking on an epic PR journey of exploration that began in East Anglia two decades ago.

For Dan, Astley Media — Program's former self — was the inevitable next step after his time as Media Manager at EDF Energy, culminating in leading the company’s London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games media operations.

Chris Noble

Chris Noble has spent his entire career as a visual storyteller.

Back in the ’90s he started a small but globally renowned sports culture media company, as creative director, almost as his first job. It was there that his M.O. of authentic, aspirational creative was instilled — as well as a solid understanding of business considerations.

They sold that company in 2007 and Chris moved to the west coast of the USA. There, he worked on all shades of design and creative, from digital to environment design to global omnichannel marketing campaigns, with brands ranging from Nike and Adidas to Providence Healthcare and P&G as well as a few startups.

He returned to the (more sensible) shores of the UK in 2020, where he has continued his work on world-class brand design.

Chris Noble
Isobel Shaw

Isobel Shaw

Isobel first joined the agency in 2017 as an intern, and hasn’t looked back since!

After interning, she joined the agency as a PR and Marketing Assistant, and discovered her passion for communications and content creation. In 2018 Isobel went part-time and completed her degree in marketing at the University of Kent, where she delved into project management, sustainable marketing, and consumer psychology.

Isobel graduated in summer 2021 with a First class and rejoined the Program team, eager to bring her new knowledge to her work. She now leads half of our client team, managing clients in tech and local government.

Richard Potter

Richard Potter

Richard is a Director Digital Strategy at Microsoft, where he advises business leaders on how to create value through digital transformation and innovation.

With over 20 years of experience in the digital field, Richard has a proven track record of leading and delivering complex and impactful projects across various sectors and geographies. He is a creative and people-oriented problem-solver, an entrepreneurial and dynamic leader, and a confident and engaging speaker. He is passionate about empowering organisations and individuals to embrace the opportunities and challenges of technology and its impact on business and society.

Growth coaches

Ruth Farenga

Ruth Farenga

Leadership Coach

Andy Clarke

Andy Clarke

Business Acceleration Consultant

Martin Barnes

Martin Barnes

Pitch & Presentation Coach

Lucy Paine

Lucy Paine

People Connector

Anthony Story

Anthony Story

Business Strategist

James Cater

James Cater

Leadership & Strategy

Alicia Grimes

Alicia Grimes

Culture Designer

Matt Jones

Matt Jones

Scaling Strategist

Ready to start your Growth Forge journey?

Submit your application

Terms and Conditions

Growth Forge 2024

These terms and conditions ("Terms") govern your participation in the programme ("Growth Forge") offered by Tech South West ("Tech South West"). By enrolling in Growth Forge, you agree to comply with these Terms. Please read them carefully before proceeding.

Programme Overview:

Growth Forge is designed for businesses seeking to enhance their capabilities and skills.

Participation in Growth Forge requires payment of a specified fee unless otherwise covered by a bursary provided by Tech South West.

Bursaries are available at the discretion of Tech South West and may cover the entire cost of participation in Growth Forge.

Application and Acceptance:

Companies may apply to join Growth Forge, but acceptance is subject to the sole discretion of Tech South West.

Tech South West reserves the right to accept or decline any application without providing a reason for its decision.

Bursary Eligibility:

Eligibility for bursaries is determined solely by Tech South West.

Companies are not guaranteed to receive a bursary, and Tech South West's decision on bursary allocation is final.


Companies who have paid to join Growth Forge may request a refund within seven (7) days of payment.

Refund requests made after the seven-day period are not guaranteed and will be considered on a case-by-case basis at Tech South West's discretion.

Refunds are not guaranteed for companies that choose to withdraw from Growth Forge after the seven-day period.

Communication Consent:

By joining Growth Forge, companies consent to receive communications from Tech South West and programme partners.

Communications may include but are not limited to updates, newsletters, promotional offers, and relevant information related to Growth Forge.

General Provisions:

These Terms constitute the entire agreement between Tech South West and participating companies regarding Growth Forge.

Tech South West reserves the right to modify, suspend, or terminate Growth Forge or these Terms at any time without prior notice.

Participation in Growth Forge does not establish any partnership, joint venture, employment, or agency relationship between Tech South West and participating companies.

Governing Law:

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales, without regard to its conflict of law principles.