What is a scale-up? And why should we even care? An event dedicated to high growth and its challenges, organised by GrantTree and Advantage Business Partnerships


There are exciting things happening around us in tech: since early 2013, DueDil has raised $22 million in venture capital, in the last 12 months the MOO Crew has increased by 38% with over 280 people across it’s UK and US offices, GoCardless’s business grows 600% year-on-year and they collect more than half a billion pound each year while founded only in 2011.

So just how mature are the UK startup scene? In the shadow of Silicon Valley it is easy to overlook how many European economies – including the UK – are capable of producing new businesses as effectively as the US. As we all know it – many of us from firsthand experiences -, startups are fragile organisations, with a more than 90% chance of failure. Even if we all set out to change the world for the better, real, large scale impact only comes with survival, a certain size and a sustainable structure. Provided all those are in place, the results can be dramatic also on the level of national and EU economics: game-changing inventions, reduction of unemployment and well, a significant raise in GDP.

This is why Scale-up Britain’s ambitious goal is to identify high-growth businesses and support them on the long term to generate scale and ultimately help shape the future into an optimistic direction.

Shifting the conversation from startups to scale-ups is about building sustainable businesses. Where large organisations and government lead initiatives can help is preparing the ecosystem, so it is ready to engage and collaborate with new companies. Considering that while high-growth companies are only 1% of the total business population, they have created a million new jobs, or 23% of the total between 2007 and 2010, they indeed have a huge impact.

The Scale-up movement is already in motion: the report on scale-up programs and initiatives sums up 50 different reference cases worldwide, from Colombia to the Ukraine and it is clear that there are a healthy number of initiatives in the UK too.

The goal of the Scale-Up Report is to drive attention to the wildly successful UK startups, attracting talent as well as capital. But it is impossible to develop a sustainable company without facing the challenges arising from hyper growth and talk about the hard questions too. How do you scale your production to print more than 407 million business card since 2006? ( How do you answer 5 million questions in 5 years? (Stack Overflow) How do you maintain the same company culture with 180 employee as you did with 2? How does it feel to double your size in a year or cater to 1 million users? (DueDil) What are the challenges coming from being in over 50% of top line UK postcodes in the country? And what does it take to secure over $10 million founding within 12 month? (Osper)

On the 26th of November we are dedicating a whole afternoon to these questions and the state of scale-ups. Join us at the offices, and you will be amongst the first to hear about the Scale-Up Report, from the conductors of the research. You will also have the opportunity to hear founders and management members of some of the most successful UK scale-ups mentioned above, such as Alick Varma from Osper and Justin Fitzpatrick from DueDil and gain advice from active members of the startup support ecosystem, representatives of Wayra, TechUK and Smarta amongst others. We aim for starting an actual dialogue, where your real and pressing questions get answered and practical advice is given. In order to achieve this goal, please feel free to e-mail your current challenges in advance to us, so we can bring them up during the panels throughout the event. The Scale-up movement is about us after all and understanding the ecosystem is only the first step.

Organised by Advantage Business Partnerships and GrantTree and supported by countless amazing partners, we are looking forward to open up a conversation sustainable growth on the UK market.

Get your ticket here and we are looking forward to see you at the event!

If you have any questions, concerns or a challange to bring, feel free to send an e-mail or connect on Twitter, via @GrantTree or @lynnalinn

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