Meet the winners

After much discussion, our judges have picked their two winners for Startup at Boxworks 2023. 

Huge congratulations to Husebox and Loopin! Two very different businesses at different stages in their journeys. They will move into their spaces at the beginning of April, so be sure to follow along as we share more about their story and journey with us.

Once again, thank you to everyone who entered this year – there were some truly inspiring entries and the decision was not easy. We’ll be running the competition again in 2024, so please check back later in the year for more details.

Shortlist announced

We had some amazing entries from a truly diverse range of businesses from cutting edge STEM startups through to creative agencies. It was a very hard process to whittle down the entries, but the judges all agreed there were 4 standout ideas that should make our shortlist, which we are delighted to announce today.

– Dave and Jim want in

– Husebox

– Lighttrace

– Loopin

If your business is listed above – congratulations! Our judges will be sitting down to discuss their favourites and choose their winners over the next week. In even better news, we’ve decided to pick 2 winners rather than just 1, which means 2 businesses will be getting a 3-month tenancy! 

If your business isn’t listed above, do not feel disheartened. The entries were very strong and the decisions were not easy to make. What’s more, we’ll be opening up the competition again next year so there will be another opportunity to take part.

Startup at Boxworks – 2023 competition now closed.

Are you a new business just starting out, or a fledgling company finding its feet?

One of the biggest steps for any new venture is finding a workspace. It’s a big investment that can sometimes put pressure on you at a time when you need freedom and space to concentrate on your work. 

That’s why Forward has teamed up with Bristol Creative Industries and Circus Journal to launch Startup at Boxworks.

What's the prize?

A 3-month tenancy in a studio or ‘box’ at Boxworks, completely free of charge. 

Studios are 28sqm and are the ideal space for 6 people (8 at a squeeze). They’re unfurnished, super-insulated, come with 100MBPS fibre, 24/7 access and benefit from Engine Shed facilities too. They’re an ideal blank canvas.

How do I enter?

We want to hear about your business and how you think a studio space would help you grow. Maybe you simply need more space to help your ideas grow, room to get your team together in one place or perhaps being around other small businesses motivates you. Whatever the reason, we’d love to hear more about you and your business. You can either send us a written statement (up to 500 words), a presentation of no more than 10 slides or a video of no more than 2 minutes. 

Things to include in your submission:

– The story of your business, how it started, what your goals are and what makes you different

– Who’s in your team? What’s interesting or special about the people you work with?

– What is your plan for the next 12 months?

– How would your own private studio space benefit your business?

The 2023 competition is now closed. Please check back later in the year for details on the 2024 competition.


The competition is open to sole traders and small businesses with a turnover of £150k or less. 

Longlisted entries will be contacted towards the end of February and the shortlist will be announced early March. Shortlised entries may be invited to provide more information upon the judges request.

Meet the judges

Emily Payne, Editor, Circus

Emily Payne is the editor of Circus Journal: a bimonthly print magazine focusing on creativity and community in the south-west, distributed in Bristol, Bath and beyond.


An experienced features writer and journalist, her work has appeared in the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times and many national magazines. She is also a copywriter and lectures at the University of Gloucester.

Gavin Eddy, CEO, Forward

Gavin is the Founder and CEO of Forward a managed workspace company providing shared workspace to start-up and scale-up businesses.  He is also the Founder and CEO of Coherent a prop-tech business which has developed software for managing workspace.


Gavin works closely with the University of Bath’s entrepreneurship programme and is a former Set Squared Business Mentor of the Year.  He invests in early stage businesses and holds a number of Non-Executive Director positions in growing companies.

He claims he does not believe in good ideas, just good execution.

Alli Nicholas, Membership Manager, BCI

Alli has been part of the BCI team since 2012.  Primarily responsible for supporting and growing the membership base, Alli is part of the leadership team, involved in other day-to-day operations including supporting BCI’s events and managing community initiatives.


Prior to joining Bristol Creative Industries, Alli spent 20 years working in recruitment with 10 years spent purely recruiting for the creative industries.