What start-ups want from the ‘City of Opportunity’


Wolverhampton has been attracting the attention of foreign investment recently. According to Express and Star, work is currently under way on the i54 for the new location of engineering firm Tentec. This investment is set to grow Wolverhampton’s business landscape exponentially, as the new development will create new jobs, and attract other investors as the operation expands. The West Midlands is increasingly becoming the destination for investment outside of London, especially for businesses in the technology, engineering and creative industries. This is great news for the city of Wolverhampton, or the ‘City of Opportunity’ as its branding proclaims.

But what does this all mean for a start-up in Wolverhampton? As a newbie with limited experience in business, how do you convince potential investors to back your idea with real hard cash?

Every start-up needs investment whether it’s the initial capital investment to build your prototype or that needed cash injection to scale up. There is an array of potential investors in the West Midlands, and businesses looking for investment in Wolverhampton usually start with the Black Country Growth Hub, who provides a list of available grant funding streams and business tools. The consensus from the investment community is that investors are looking for innovative ideas but also likable individuals who are good communicators within strong networks. Innovation Networks is one example whose grant scheme supports SME’s collaborating together to develop products or services.

Recent research suggests that start-ups are looking for investors who are in tune with their vision and product. The research by UK Innovation Hub highlighted that chemistry; a strong track record and access to a great network were the top three qualities of the ideal investor. The research also indicated that on a personal level, start-ups are looking for someone they like, trust and someone who could provide valuable guidance and coaching.