Let’s Chat: Isabelle Chatel de Brancion, Geovation

Isabelle Chatel de Brancion
Isabelle Chatel de Brancion

Our Let’s Chat series shines the spotlight on our all-important stakeholders who form a vital part of Engine Shed. We sat down with Isabelle Chatel de Brancion, Business and Innovation Lead at Geovation, to find out what Geovation can offer for startups and businesses in the West of England.

What is your current role and what is your background?

I’m passionate about fostering innovation ecosystems and communities. In my current role at Geovation, I lead a cross-functional team encompassing marketing, events and more, to cultivate a thriving environment for innovators. My background is anything but traditional. I transitioned from architecture to entrepreneurship, leveraging my experience in both technology and business to fuel my current endeavours.

What does Geovation offer for businesses in the West of England?

Geovation is a fantastic opportunity for anyone using location data. We offer a vibrant niche community of like-minded people using geospatial and property data. Businesses from across the UK are welcome to join our ecosystem to understand how to use the data, meet fellow innovators, attend our thought leadership and tech events. We also have specific programmes, like our accelerators. They are a great opportunity to learn and grow, access data and potentially get up to £20,000 equity-free funding.

What are the challenges that tech and innovation startups on your programmes currently face and need help with?

Our Accelerator Programme specifically targets early-stage startups. This stage comes with a unique set of challenges, with the three most prominent being data access and utilization, funding acquisition, and achieving product-market fit (the ultimate goal for any startup). We address all three of these challenges, but with a data-centric approach that sets us apart.

Data is at the heart of what we do. Participating startups gain access to valuable datasets, including Ordnance Survey and HM Land Registry data, through specific licenses (free of charge!). Additionally, our dedicated tech team provides ongoing support to help startups effectively leverage these datasets.

How have you worked with Engine Shed and its Innovation Partners in the past? Do you have any future plans or initiatives you’re ready to share?

We have a partnership agreement with Engine Shed and, in the past, we have hosted joint events. It is very much something we would like to do more of. We also receive applications to our Accelerator Programme from companies at SETsquared Bristol, your tech incubation partner.

The University of Bristol’s new Enterprise Campus will open in September 2026, working with partners and the community to build on its collective strengths in research, innovation, learning and societal change. What future role do you see for UK universities in sustainable social, economic and environmental planning?

Universities are vital engines of innovation. They play a crucial role in the ecosystem by fostering collaboration between academics, businesses and innovators. We’re eager to partner with universities and particularly excited to see the potential of Bristol’s new enterprise campus.

You’re personally very committed to the causes of environmental sustainability and social justice. What are your proudest achievements to date for these causes and what are your future ambitions at Geovation? And how can we help?

My greatest contribution to environmental sustainability and social justice comes from supporting incredible startups. I’ve had the privilege of founding startups myself, and those experiences were invaluable learning grounds. Now, I’m honoured to empower others tackling a diverse range of challenges. Witnessing founders thrive and develop impactful solutions brings me immense pride.

Another source of immense pride is the creation and launch of the Geospatial Innovation Awards. This initiative aims to raise awareness about the transformative power of geospatial data in creating solutions for a better world. It also celebrates innovators across various sectors who are dedicated to improving the future for both people and the planet.


If you’ve enjoyed this Let’s Chat, take a look at the other interviews in our Let’s Chat series

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