Top tips for accessing finance in your business

As part of Leicestershire Innovation Festival 2023, DMU invited a panel of angel investors, VC consultancies, banks and Government advisers to sit down and answer your questions on accessing finance and investment for your business.

From start-up loans to equity deals and understanding how VCs work, to tackling the application forms for Innovate UK funding, our panel demystified the process for a host of businesses in the room.

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We asked them for their top tips - here's what they told us:

Lewis Stringer, British Business Bank

There have never been as many finance options for businesses as there are now. Seek out those sources of information that will be able to help you. Take advice and guidance from people who have been there and done it.

Sam Stephens, TBAT Innovation

Get yourself a good cashflow forecast. Understand how finances work – profit/loss, cashflow, at how you are going to grow your company. We had someone come to us who wanted £100,000 but when we sat down and worked it out they needed £280,000 and actually understanding that got him £320,000. Just through understanding the cashflow.

Poonam Sharma, Barclays Eagle Lab manager

You only know what you know. Wen I’ve learned since becoming Barclays Eagle Labs ecosystem manager is that there’s so much support out there and a lot of it is free. Find out what mentoring and coaching is available, what accelerator programmes there are and use them.

Paul Tranter, Kappika

You cannot beat meeting people. Once you understand where are you in terms of the business point I think it’s important to understand what’s important from the be clear on what you want and what that means for you it’s doing the mental gymnastics to understand what they are going to want from me.

Julian Bowrey, Innovate UK

Keep on having conversations don’t get suckered into this belief that innovation is thus lightbulb moment most innovation I a process of iteration and looking for opportunities and be prepared to have hard conversations

Posted on Wednesday 8th February 2023

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