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Tech City UK launches Upscale

Tech City UK has launched Upscale, a new free programme designed to provide UK scale-up digital businesses with direct access to expertise and advice from world-leading entrepreneurs.

It is a six-month pilot programme designed to accelerate the growth of 25 early stage high-growth digital businesses. Its creation follows research suggesting founders who are mentored by successful entrepreneurs are three times more likely to become top performers.

Through a series of workshops with leading founders from Europe and the US, Upscale will provide UK businesses with strategic advice and expertise on the critical challenges of scaling domestically and internationally.  It has been developed as a feeder into the Future Fifty programme which targets the next level of UK-based digital businesses preparing for exit or IPO.

Gerard Grech, CEO, Tech City UK, said, “Upscale facilitates the sharing of experience and ideas at the precise moment ambitious entrepreneurs need it most.

“The digital business ecosystem is known for its desire to fail fast, learn and succeed. Upscale aims to bring together a powerful peer network, connecting aspiring founders with proven business leaders who went all the way and now want to give back to the next generation of leaders, strengthening the long term future of the UK digital industry, providing direct benefit to the British economy and ultimately increasing its productivity.”

The ‘Scale Coaches’, who will provide insight and advice based on their first-hand experience of growing successful global digital companies, include:

  • Niklas Zennström, Skype, Atomico
  • Brad Feld, Techstars, Foundry Group
  • Alex Chesterman, Zoopla
  • Saul Klein, LoveFilm, Kano, Seedcamp
  • Sarah Wood, Unruly
  • Greg Marsh, One Fine Stay
  • Simon Calver, LoveFilm, Moo
  • Jerry Colonna,
  • Alexandra Depledge,
  • Tracy Doree, Llustre, Spring Ventures
  • Doug Monro, Adzuna
  • Anthony Fletcher, Graze

If you want to be considered for the Upscale programme, you need to be:

  • UK headquartered companies
  • Growing at 40% month on month (over the last 3 months) on your key business metric (such as active users, subscriptions, sales, as relevant to the company and sector)
  • Funded up to Series A (or equivalent) or with £500k revenues (if bootstrapped)

Applications for the programme are open now

Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, said, “The UK is one of the fastest growing digital economies in the G20 and we must embrace new models like Upscale in providing effective targeted support for fast-growth insurgent businesses that back the new jobs in our economy.

“Building on the Government’s commitment to turn the UK into a nation of business builders, Tech City UK’s Upscale is focused on equipping the next generation of digital entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills and confidence of turning their startup business into a scale-up success via mentorship by world class experts who have successfully scaled their own businesses internationally, which will further strengthen the UK’s digital economy.”