Starting a business in Birmingham: WAMBIZ

The EdTech start-up offers insight into running a business in Birmingham, the city's changing infrastructure and how it compares to London...

Company name: WAMBIZ
Founders: Harry Jawanda and Andrew West
Founded: 2012
Description: WAMBIZ builds private and controlled industry specific social networks that deliver customer critical content empowering clients to maximise revenue by leveraging today’s most relevant form of communication.
Website: www.wambiz.com

What’s great about starting a business in Birmingham?

Having come from the West Midlands it was great to be “coming home” and establishing WAMBIZ in the city, joining the many companies and start-ups flocking there. Having studied at the university and spending so much time there growing up it was familiar territory from day one.

What business support in the city have you used? How was it?

It’s been great and great credit to Innovation Birmingham who helped us locate at Faraday Wharf and become one of the hundred start-ups and small businesses working under one roof. They’ve been able to offer advice on funding and local investors, as well as helping us become part of a wider network of the Birmingham tech start-up scene.

Name the top three reasons to set up a business in Birmingham: 

  1. It’s not London: London is brilliant but there are other opportunities, customers, connections and funders outside of the capital
  2. Location, location, location: it’s in the centre of the country so it makes getting to clients and other cities easier
  3. Getting from A to B: Good transport links from motorways to trains out of New Street

Where could  Birmingham be better / what does it need?

There is massive transformation happening across the city and building is under way left, right and centre. We just need to make sure it gets done on time and shout about the opportunities for start-ups and the tech sector up here.

How easy has it been to access finance to grow?

Within two months of working out of the city we had a series of meetings with potential investors and a local angel and his network have invested £600,000 to fund the next stage of our growth and expansion.

Where do you go to network in Birmingham?

Innovation Birmingham holds an event once a month called “Tech Wednesdays” where local and regional based tech companies, as well as tech investors come to meet the start-ups. It provides a great opportunity for us all to ask questions, learn and network.

Where do you take a client for a business lunch?

Birmingham has some great restaurants. I tend to head to the Mailbox if arranging a business lunch with a client, its’ convenient yet sophisticated.

Where’s great for a company night out?

Typically we would start a night at one of the many amazing curry houses in the city, followed by either a bar in Brindley Place or The Arcadian and we may just end up on the dance floor at Mechu!

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