Joel Gibbard of Open Bionics named Founder of the Year at SPARKies

Issue date: 31 October 2014

Joel Gibbard holding Dextrus

Joel Gibbard of Open Bionics, has been named Founder of the Year at The SPARKies award put on by TechSparkUK. The award was announced last night at the SPARKies awards ceremony at Komedia in Bath, as part of Bath Digital Festival.

Open Bionics is a business based in the Bristol Robotics Lab (BRL) Technology Business Incubator (TBI) making innovative low cost lightweight prosthetics using 3D printing and robotics technology. Joel who is currently pitching for the Intel Make it wearable competition in the US said, "It was great to be nominated and I can't believe I won, but I'm glad Open Bionics is making a name for itself in Bristol and Bath's burgeoning tech community.

"It's really nice to be acknowledged locally, particularly in a region where I know the competition is very strong.

"It's great to have these awards and it's a shame I couldn't be there. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it when I get back from pitching in California."

TechSparkUK's SPARKies awards celebrate 'the best in west' in the world of technology, engineering, and digital creativity.

This year, judges had to whittle down over 220 nominations for the fourteen categories. The judges said candidates had to show a number of traits including 'digital creativity,' 'big ideas,' and 'ingenuity'.

Open Bionics made the shortlist for two of the categories, 'Best Start-up' award and 'From Chips to…' award (a category that celebrates innovative uses of hardware).

The Bristol Robotics Lab Technology Business Incubator is a visionary pilot program to stimulate and support technology start-ups. Working with undergraduate, graduate, post-graduates, staff and partner spinout businesses the TBI ensures an up-to-date and detailed understanding of technology start-up needs and enhances the BRL's creative and entrepreneurial culture. It provides valuable input to courses, research and research exploitation.

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