Founder of the Year Award

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While Open Bionics was in San Francisco pitching for half a million dollars, our founder Joel Gibbard was named 'Founder of the Year' at The Sparkies awards.

TechSpark set out to shine a light on the 'very best people, products and companies' that make up the tech sector in Bristol, Bath, and the broader West of England region.

The awards celebrate individuals and companies that champion and drive tech innovation in business.

As well as Joel winning 'Founder of the Year', his company Open Bionics made it as a finalist in two other categories.

For the 'Founder of the Year' award judges were looking for someone in the tech community who has consistently demonstrated a significant entrepreneurial spirit and whose digital activity has shown commitment, enthusiasm, success and achievement.

The judges said of Joel and Open Bionics: ‘Brilliant use of new technology to disrupt a tired old sector and transform lives by making prosthetics more capable, affordable and accessible. Joel combines technical brilliance with a positive social mission, making this a real example of entrepreneurship at its best.’

Joel was sad to have missed the annual tech event but had electronics engineer Patrick Brinson to pick up the award for him.

You can see the full list of winners and those nominated here: The Sparkies. 

TechSpark put together this video to celebrate Bristol and Bath's tech scene. Spot our founder and robot hand (we love the ending best).

Open Bionics is based in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, a world leading research and innovation centre for robotics.