Successful Technology Entrepreneurs launch ScaleUp Group in conjunction with The Scale-up Institute

Drive to fill UK growth gap to ultimately generate an extra GDP £96 million pa by nurturing Global Champions in the making.

16th June 2015, London, UK: A group of renowned and highly-successful entrepreneurs have joined forces to help UK technology companies make the leap from young start-up to fast-growing mid-range business and beyond. In doing so, they hope to close what they call the ‘scale-up gap’ in this country. The new company ‘ScaleUp Group’ was introduced at the recent WCIT Enterprise Awards for technology entrepreneurs.

Chaired by John O’Connell, founder of Staffware, ScaleUp Group is made up of influential entrepreneurs who will lend their “active support” to the ScaleUp Group’s portfolio. ScaleUp Group companies will be able to draw on their expertise, connections and mentorship as they develop their own business. All the founders have grown highly successful technology businesses from scratch to become powerhouses in their own fields.

The Strategic Advisers include Dr Mike Lynch, OBE, founder of Autonomy and Invoke capital, Dr Steve Garnett, Chairman of EMEA who previously held leadership roles in Siebel and Oracle, Richard Holway MBE, Chairman of TechMarketView, Anthony Miller, Managing Partner of TechMarketView and Michael Tobin OBE, former CEO of Telecity. “We believe entrepreneurs need more than capital to be successful large businesses,” says John O’Connell, Chairman of ScaleUp. “Consequently, ScaleUp will provide a combination of services; experience and well-established relationships in the areas of management mentoring; talent finding; financial management; international expansion and related matters, as well as capital for growth. To this end, we have created a team of ‘Active Supporters’ consisting of founders and executives with expertise in these areas, including Duane Jackson- Founder of Kashflow; Paul Excell, Chair of BCS entrepreneurs and former global executive at BT; Neil Kipling, Founder of IDBS and Rob Wirszycz, serial mentor and investor.”

“We will also be pragmatic about allowing founders to have a measure of liquidity sooner. This would avoid them being tempted to cash out completely by selling their business prematurely, which happens far too often in the UK. I personally benefitted from being allowed to do this and Staffware went on to expand 11 fold in 8 years as a result, becoming a global champion in its field.”

The challenge of converting the UK’s success in creating start-ups to ‘scale-ups’ was emphasised last year in a *report to the government by investor and entrepreneur Sherry Coutu, who today announced also the Scale-up Institute, an industry-led not for profit company providing a platform to ensure that the UK increases the proportion of companies that scale globally over the next 10 years. Compared to the US, there are relatively few UK companies that progress to mid-size and then grow to become large corporations such as Google or Amazon or similar. ScaleUp Group is following the model of Silicon Valley where cashed out entrepreneurs invest in the next generation of up and coming businesses. The report’s research estimated that ultimately an additional GDP of £96 billion per annum could be generated if that gap were closed, over time.

Sherry Coutu said: “I am delighted that John O’Connell’s initiative, which I very much applaud, offers a range of support addressing all of the causes of the UK’s scale-up gap. I welcome his efforts with open arms and wish he and his colleagues every success. ”

Steve Garnett adds: “I am delighted to personally endorse ScaleUp Group to provide more than just finance but multi-disciplined active support to growing entrepreneurs in technology. This is much more like the Silicon Valley model where cashed out entrepreneurs are re-investing in the next generation of up and coming entrepreneurs – which I completely support. ”

For more information contact:-
John O’Connell
+44 (0)7795 662081

or Natascha Scholten
+44(0)7866 597430

*The Scale-Up Report on UK Economic Growth. Sherry Coutu CBE, November 2014.

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