Starting a business in Bristol: Wriggle

The "last-minute" mobile app describes what it has learnt from starting up in Bristol and why it's a "perfect test-bed" for a business...

Company name: Wriggle
Founder: Rob Hall
Founded: 2013
Description: Wriggle is mobile-app bringing last-minute offers at hand-picked independent restaurants, bars and events; and helping local businesses fill empty spots on-the-day

What’s great about starting a business in Bristol?

For Wriggle, Bristol is the perfect city. It’s got a thriving independent food and drink scene, it’s a great size to launch a business in since it has a good-sized population but it isn’t unmanageably large, and it has a strong young professional & student population.

When we decided to launch the business, Bristol was the obvious city – not least because we knew it well and it’s a vibrant city in which to live.

What business support in Bristol have you used? How was it?

There’s a strong start-up community in Bristol. We applied to be part of Webstart Bristol, an early stage start-up incubator based in the Engine Shed, Bristol’s new technology hub.

Being part of that, and subsequently the SETsquared accelerator has been a huge help in building a network in Bristol, and provided key support in areas such as recruitment, office-space, legal-help, accounting, design work and mentoring.

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

  1. It’s a dynamic and creative city – people are willing to try and support new things.
  2. Size of the city – it’s a perfect test-bed for a business.
  3. It’s a beautiful place to live – why wouldn’t you want to set up a business here?

Where could Bristol be better / what does it need?

Better internal transport!

How easy has it been to access finance to grow?

There’s a strong angel network in Bristol to support the thriving startup scene and, once you know where to access it, a number of great tools to support small and medium businesses – such as the Regional Growth Fund, local Innovation Vouchers, University funding of interns, and the grads for growth programme.

Building a website for your business idea is easier than you might think. Our online tool ranks the top website builders that offer free trials.

Where do you go to network in Bristol?

The Engine Shed and SETsquared are at the route of most start-up networking – providing lots of technology-related events and seminars. The South West Founders meet-up group is a great monthly opportunity to meet like-minded people, and there are also other groups such as the Institute of Directors monthly meet-up.

Where do you take a client for a business lunch?

We work with a whole bunch handpicked independent restaurants and bars, so we’re not short of places.

Where’s great for a company night out?

Hundreds of places! It’s why we came to Bristol – the city has a plethora of amazing independent restaurants and bars. We’d probably end up somewhere along the Gloucester Road or Stokes Croft.


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