The funding injection driving cutting edge innovation in the West Midlands

In the ever-evolving funding landscape there are now more avenues available for securing finance than ever before. GrowthAccelerator data shows that the businesses it works with have secured funding from at least 12 different sources, including banks, grants, business angels, peer-to-peer lending and many more.

Accessing finance has allowed some of the UK’s most innovative businesses to take off and succeed. Here is how four exciting businesses went about raising a combination of over half a million pounds worth of finance to fuel their growth with support from GrowthAccelerator.

Stoke-based engineer and motorbike enthusiast Dave Vout has raised almost £120,000 through crowdfunding site Seedrs to launch BikeHud – the world’s first heads¬-up display (HUD) system that gives motorcycle riders key information such as speed, engine revs and gear selection. His first drive for finance received so much interest from potential investors that the campaign was oversubscribed – a second one was started and boosted BikeHud’s investment by an additional £30,000. He’s also in discussions with independent investors in the UK and overseas.

The funding will allow the business to continue to develop the technology and drive sales. Vout says that advice and support was key in arming him with the knowledge of how to best go about securing the right finance for his business. “It’s one thing knowing you need the money to grow your business; it’s another to know how to get it” he comments. “The advice on intellectual property, financial management and the grants available to us has significantly helped us as a business. But it’s also had a real impact on me as an individual – changing me from an engineer into a businessman.”

For businesses that are based around new technology and machinery, an injection of finance is needed to develop the product before the business can begin to operate. Interpac is one of those – it is set to revolutionise the production of corrugated cardboard via a new process that uses 90 per cent less energy and costs 30 per cent less than the current method. GrowthAccelerator helped the company develop its business plan through its access to finance masterclass and they are now working on a prototype of the machinery, having secured £125,000 of funding from venture capitalists Midven and the Minerva Business Angel network. The company is also planning an additional round of finance later in the year to develop it further.

Other companies simply need additional finance to take their business to the next level. Telford based Mobile Solutions Ltd is using £150,000 of angel investment to develop its product further and take on the sales and marketing resource needed to penetrate the commercial transport industry. SmartCheck provides a fully compliant method of recording vehicle defect checks for commercial vehicles without the hassle, inaccuracy and delay associated with the traditional paper-based process. Thanks to the finance they secured they have successfully added the necessary cloud-based web addition to their offering and SmartCheck is now commercially live and being very well received by the haulage and bus & coach sectors. Mike Kenny and his management team have also taken advantage of a leadership and management grant to provide them with financial management training, allowing them to manage their funds effectively.

These companies demonstrate that whatever stage your business is at, financial investment coupled with some support and guidance can have a significant impact on the company’s future growth potential. With so many ways to access finance, assess which is best for you and your business and make sure you are well prepared to grab it with both hands.