Tech City UK Blog

Upscale is an established scaleup growth programme aimed at accelerating the growth of the UK’s leading scaleups, and we’ve just opened applications for Upscale 3.0.

If you’re a UK-headquartered digital business, with Series A funding (or £500k revenue if bootstrapped), and can demonstrate a good level of month-on-month traction, this could be the programme for you. And the whole thing is free. Applications are open now, but you’ve only got until 3 November to apply.

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“Being part of the Upscale family has added significant value to our business.” Dan Bladen, Co-founder & CEO, Chargifi

The programme

Upscale is a six-month programme, running February to July 2018. Previous cohort members have included Monzo, Improbable, Seedrs, Kano, Bulb, Boiler Room, CharlieHR, Bloom & Wild, Signal Media and Sybenetix. Now entering our third year of running Upscale, we have so far worked with 63 amazing scaleups, who have raised a total of $710m+ since Upscale, 100+ awesome founders and over 40 world-class scale coaches.

Over the course of the programme, you will have the opportunity to take part in 35 deep-dive workshops focusing on the real challenges founders face, based on feedback from the companies we’ve worked with. Topics will include hiring, talent retention, company culture, growth, data, board management, international expansion, marketing and operations. These workshops are led by our incredible team of scale coaches, including industry-leading facilitators and globally-respected entrepreneurs.

Why join?

  • Alumni network of 60+ companies and 100+ founders
  • Access to 30 scale coaches
  • 35 workshops
  • Regular socials and meetups
  • Government business contacts access
  • Support from our partners: Silicon Valley Bank
  • It’s free!

Scale coaches

Previous scale coaches have included:

  • Niklas Zennström, Founder of Skype
  • Brent Hoberman, Executive Chairman of Founders Factory
  • Saul Klein, Co-founder of LocalGlobe
  • Jerry Colonna, CEO of Reboot
  • Tracy Doree, Founding Partner of Kindred Capital
  • Siraj Khaliq, Investment Partner at Atomico
  • Jess Butcher, Co-founder and Director of Blippar
  • Suranga Chandratillake, General Partner at Balderton Capital

The quality of the coaches and their enthusiasm, openness and honesty in sharing their experiences and advice was top notch.” Wendy Jephson, co-founder Sybenetix

What’s new?

For 2018 we’re doubling down on the areas of the programme that have proven most valuable for the companies we’ve worked with so far. We’ll be offering exceptional founder development through training and facilitation to create a powerful ‘founders forum’ group, that will provide ongoing peer-to-peer support on a range of business and personal challenges that come with scaling a company. This is something that Upscale alumni have told us they find super useful. We’ll also provide executive coaching, and coaching on mental well being, things that can easily be forgotten when your company is growing at pace.

Building your network

The networking opportunities with other series A, and beyond, tech companies are extensive, and an invaluable aspect of the programme. You’ll become part of the strongest scaling community in the UK, the Upscale alumni group, of close to 100 tech companies from Upscale 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. You’ll have access to unique socials, meetups and learning opportunities beyond the duration of the programme.

“Upscale provided a network of founders to ask the things that can only be answered by having gone through them.” Tamara Rajah, Founder & CEO, Live Better With

In addition, through our unique relationship with the UK government, your scaleup will also get access to key government business contacts, including help with visa applications for essential talent.

Your company will also be supported by having direct access to our programme partner, high-tech commercial bank Silicon Valley Bank.

What do previous Upscale companies say?

With what we’ve learned from the first two years of Upscale, we are more confident than ever that we’ll be offering you the skills and opportunities that are most important for scaling your business. Many Upscale cohort members have gone on to take part in other Tech City UK programmes, and here’s what a few of last year’s participants had to say about the programme:

“Upscale is a truly unique and hugely valuable programme. It’s hard to get in and you have to commit time to get the most out of it, but the investment is well worth it. The advice we’ve received and the friendships we’ve made have been invaluable.” Hayden Wood, Co-founder, Bulb

“Upscale enabled Team Grabyo to learn from experts who’ve done it before – invaluable access which is hard to get elsewhere – as well as providing validation and recognition, especially to the team for their hard work.” Will Neale, Founder Grabyo

“A wonderful programme, with such high quality companies and entrepreneurs. I would strongly recommend Upscale to any scaling startup.” David Benigson, CEO, Signal Media

The UK tech industry is going from strength to strength, and this is the perfect time to get ahead, scale up, and become a world-beating company.

The tech sector in the UK is growing fast, attracting twice the amount of private investment of any other European country, and creating jobs at twice the rate of the wider UK economy. At Tech City UK we are working to support the growth the whole tech ecosystem in the UK, and companies at all levels of growth. Upscale is built to support scaleups, by bringing together a peer group of companies of a similar size, and industry experts who really understand the challenges they face as they expand. We’re very proud of Upscale as one of our flagship programmes, working towards our mission of building a pipeline of high growth tech businesses here in the UK.” Jos Smart, Upscale Programme Lead

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Applications for Upscale open on 4th October and will close on Friday 3rd November.

Successful applicants will be notified in November and winners will be announced in January. Tech City UK takes no equity stake in the companies selected to join its programmes.

For more information go to: http://upscaleuk.com

For regular updates on startups, scaleups and UK tech, follow @TechCityUK and @UpscaleUK.

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