Mike Bennett (businessman)

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Mike Bennett
Born (1974-07-02) 2 July 1974 (age 41)
Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
Nationality British
Education Woldgate School
University of Essex
University of Bristol.
Occupation Businessman
Known for E3 Media (digital agency) Bristol Media

Mike Bennett, (born 2 July 1974) is a businessman who started one of the UK's very first digital agencies in Bristol with his partners Stuart Avery. He is actively involved in the wider media and creative landscape of Bristol and the South West of England. Since September 2010 he has been employed as Bristol City Council’s "place-making director" on £72,000 per annum.[1]


Bennett went to school in Pocklington before reading Politics and Sociology at the University of Essex and then the University of Bristol (1993–1997). He was co-founder of digital agency, New Generation Productions (which later became E3 Media (digital agency)) along with his partner, Stuart Avery which they started in the cellar of their student house in Bedminster, Bristol six months before the pair graduated.

The agency experienced rapid growth and the early success of the business led to both Bennett and Avery diversifying their interests into restaurants, publishing and minority shareholdings in technology and media companies.

In 2006/7 Bennett and Avery were acknowledged as two of the city's leading young entrepreneurs and were jointly named Bristol Business Person of the Year.[2][3]

In the same year Bennett was also invited to be a founder member of the University of Bristol's Roll of Honour[4] along with other successful business entrepreneurs including Coffee Republic co founder Sahar Hashemi and Mark Ellingham, Joint Managing Director of Rough Guides.

In 2006 he took up the role of Chair of Bristol Media, the city wide support network for the creative industries. He was offered the newly created position of Chief Executive in March 2008, which he accepted.[5]

Although he remained in close contact with E3 Media (digital agency) he stepped down from the position as joint managing director (a position he'd had since establishing the agency in 1997) to focus primarily on building the Bristol Media network.

Bennett lectures to hundreds of students throughout the year [6] on subjects such as enterprise, entrepreneurship, business start up, digital media, and business risk management. He is also passionate about social mobility and the importance of promoting enterprise opportunities to underprivileged teenagers and young adults across South Bristol.

He is a director and shareholder of the award winning bar and restaurant Goldbrick House on Park Street, Bristol, a board member of Bristol + a founding member of Bristol City Council's, Prosperous and Ambitious board.[7] He also consults on digital and new media projects for national consultancy firms.

In March 2009 it was reported,[8] that Avery and Bennett had completed a management buy out of E3, taking back 100%,[9] of the company from the original investors Scott Davidson and Dougal Templeton.

In July 2009 Bennett highlighted his involvement in a new initiative to create a national digital network across the UK called onedigital [10] which saw three of the UK's leading industry networks, South East Media Network and Manchester Digital pool resources and collaborate.

Bennett was interviewed by regional marketing magazine, The Drum in June 2009 about his plans and aspirations for the Bristol Media network, after it was acknowledged by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that it was one of the UK's leading creative networks.[11]


Bennett was voted the most respected person in the creative industries [12] in a vote by over 300 people from businesses across the South West region. His agency, E3 Media (digital agency) also came 2nd in the most respected company category, after multi-award winning Aardman Animations

He was also jointly named by industry magazines Design Week and Marketing Week as one of 2010's HOT TOP 50 People influencing UK design [13] and E3 was named Digital Agency of the Year in the Marketing Industry Network Awards in November 2010 [14]


  1. ^ Evening Post: Bristol's new 'place-making director' could cost city up to £500K 24 January 2011
  2. ^ Bristol Evening Post, November 2007.
  3. ^ Page 9, Nonesuch University of Bristol Magazine, Winter 2007 http://www.alumni.bris.ac.uk/publications/nonesuch/winter07.pdf
  4. ^ University of Bristol Roll of Honour http://www.bris.ac.uk/research/news/2006/150206
  5. ^ Bristol Media 8 August 2008 http://www.bristolmedia.co.uk/2008/8/8/mike-bennett-takes-up-new-ceo-role-to-help-deliver-%E2%80%98wider-strategy%E2%80%99
  6. ^ Mike Bennett launches annual enterprise competition http://www.bristol.ac.uk/research/news/2006/241106b
  7. ^ Bristol Partnership Web Site http://www.bristolpartnership.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=15&Itemid=52
  8. ^ The Drum Magazine, March 2009 http://www.thedrum.co.uk/indepth/1793-buying-back-e3
  9. ^ Netimperative News Article 5 March 2009 http://www.netimperative.com/news/2009/march/e3-founders-complete-mbo
  10. ^ Manchester, Bristol and The South East collaborate to form onedigital http://www.crainsmanchesterbusiness.co.uk/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090723/FREE/907239985/1036/-/-/manchester-digital-forms-nucleus-of-national-network
  11. ^ The Drum Magazine Video Interview with Mike Bennett, CEO of Bristol Media July 2009 http://www.thedrum.co.uk/news/2009/06/22/10644-mike-bennett-ceo-of-bristol-media-talks-to-the-drum
  12. ^ The South West's Top 100 Creative Companies 2010, June 2010 http://www.swtop100.co.uk/top-5-most-respected
  13. ^ HOT TOP 50 People influencing UK design http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/hot-50-bristol-media/3009316.article
  14. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20110714035209/http://www.marketingindustrynetwork.com/awards/nominations

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