• Josie Hart, Manager |
3 min read

Birmingham is not just a city with a rich industrial history, but a hub of technological progress. Birmingham Tech Week was a fantastic week of innovation, collaboration, and left us with a renewed sense of excitement for the future of technology in the UK’s second city. The annual event organised by TechWM has become a focal point for tech enthusiasts, industry leaders, and aspiring innovators to come together to share ideas, and explore the latest trends in the technological landscape.

Lessons from investors

As part of Birmingham Tech Week, KPMG hosted a “reverse-pitch” event alongside KPMG Acceleris, Pitchflix and Tech West of England Advocates.

Investors were put in the hot seat and asked to share insight into their investment philosophies, success stories, and what value they offer to the founders they support. The session led to some interesting lessons to what founders can learn from investors in getting the key ingredients for growth just right.

1. Team: teamwork makes the dream work

Behind the foundations of any successful business lies a robust team of interested, motivated, and aspirational individuals. Success often hinges on the collective ability and willingness of this team to execute the business plan. Fostering a diverse and dynamic team is not just a checkbox, but a cornerstone for sustainable growth.

2. Market opportunity: crafting a compelling narrative of disruption

The differentiation of any product is only as impactful as the ability to articulate its value proposition. Founders are encouraged to assess the market opportunity with a critical eye, ensuring that their offering possesses the disruptive potential to captivate the market. The challenge lies not only in having a unique product but also to be able to explain it in a compelling and relatable way.

3. Adapt: a culture of continuous learning and flexibility

The most successful entrepreneurs are those who not only acknowledge the need to adapt but embrace it as a fundamental aspect of their journey. This willingness to evolve extends beyond the business, encompassing self-awareness and a keen understanding of the changing dynamics within and around the start-up.

4. Relationships: nurturing the bond between founder and investor

The connection between start-ups and investors is paramount. Selecting the right investor involves more than just securing financial backing - it's about finding a partner whose guidance and experience align with the unique needs of the business. Open communication and a collaborative mindset will enable founders to leverage the full range of an investor's expertise, addressing holistic challenges such as succession planning, global expansion, and board structure.

5. Options: exploring diverse avenues beyond VC funding

While VC funding is a common path, it may not be the ideal fit for every start-up. Entrepreneurs should have an awareness of alternative avenues such as grant funding, private equity, debt financing, or the organic and profitable growth of the business. Understanding that funding is just one part of the entrepreneurial journey empowers founders to make strategic decisions aligned with their long-term vision.

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