The new chairman of Birmingham Forward has taken a swipe at the city's MPs for failing to pull their weight.
Derek Inman said they would be held to account if they didn't start delivering.
The former BT executive's hard hitting comments came at the organisation's annual meeting at the Hippodrome Theatre.
He said: "Perhaps controversially I would say one of our major weaknesses on punching our weight is our MPs.
"Leaving aside personalities, they rarely meet with the business organisations and more importantly do not act as a cohesive group for our benefit.
"In this, the run up to the General Election, we will be issuing a challenge to prospective MPs via The Birmingham Post. If you want our votes how are you going to work together for the benefit of our city and the business and professional services within it?
"What are you going to deliver on investment, jobs, integration, transport and infrastructure? We will be holding them to account, at six months and a year as to what they have delivered; if they want our vote they should be ready to be accountable."
He went on: "It is true to say that Birmingham is at a crossroads and we now need to take the right track to go forward and get the recognition that the city and the business and professional services within it deserves, both regionally, nationally and in fact on the world stage.
"Reality is now way ahead of perception. The old idea of a smoke stack city strangled by a concrete collar is unfortunately the image many, who have not visited lately still retain.
"Reality is that the city has gone through a real renaissance; look at the many cranes around the city, at Brindleyplace, The Mailbox, the Bullring, Colmore Circus, Millennium Point and the potential of Eastside. All contributing to an environment that we can all be justly proud of and which many want to buy into and live in.
"Equally however, we cannot deny the challenges of New Street Station, the Library, and the transport infrastructure. Urgent solutions are required."
It was, he said, up to the likes of Birmingham Forward chief executive, Simon Murphy, Neil Rami at Marketing Birmingham, Mike Whitby, leader of the City Council, Linn Homer council chief executive, Andrew Morris at the NEC, Richard Heard at the Airport, and Fiona Alexander, editor of the The Birmingham Post, as well as long-standing Birmingham advocate Sir Digby Jones, director general of the CBI, to "make a difference, put us on the map and get us the recognition we deserve".
He added: "The London office being launched in April will give us an opportunity to fight our corner, punch our weight, be part of the debate and lobby in the corridors of power."
Birmingham and the West Midlands should be seen as the "economic engine" of the UK.
Mr Inman said the issue of ethnic inclusion also needed to be tackled.
He warned: "We cannot carry on with the vast ethnic differences on our doorstep, in employment opportunities, in housing and the environment between different parts of this city.
"Many Afro Caribbeans in Aston would never dream of aspiring to jobs in accounting or legal services. This cannot be right. There may be some skill gaps but we have some excellent colleges in the city to address this. Birmingham is a young city, we must make it an inclusive city."
New deputy chairman of Birmingham Forward is lawyer Andrew Sparrow.
Five new board members were elected - Gary Cardin, Mary Daunt, Martyn Finnegan, Sue Primmer and Richard Winfield.