Today marks the six month point of the first Upscale pilot programme from Tech City UK and we’re hosting a bowling tournament to celebrate some of the amazing highlights so far.
In January we launched Upscale to help businesses at the Series A stage in the UK to grow onto the next level in their lifecycle. The programme originally consisted of 12 intimate founder sessions with mentoring from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, our Scale Coaches!
The very first event on the Upscale calendar was a breakfast launch at the Ace Hotel with founders of the 30 selected companies in attendance. Upscalers were given a taste of what was in store with world class inspiration from Manchester United and England football legend Rio Ferdinand and one of the world’s leading polar explorers, Ben Saunders.
Following the first few sessions, many of the founders and CEOs on the programme expressed how rewarding Upscale had been and that they would like C-suite and the rest of their teams to benefit from a similar style of engagement. This led to a sharp increase in the amount of sessions and the range of topics discussed.
After six months there have/has (someone tell us which is right) been a whopping 48 sessions, including:
- Selecting and Managing Your Board
- Prioristising Product in a Scale-Up
- Building a High-Performing Team
- Policy Discussion at Number 10 Downing Street
- Strategy for Taking a Business International
- M&A and Exits: Best Practice
We then recruited even more experts to facilitate thought provoking workshops for Upscale companies around even more granular areas of the company. The Scale Coach count rose from 12 to 30 and the experience also proved to be extremely rewarding for the coaches involved, one of whom said:
“Making such an impression and helping them was such a great feeling. Really glad I have put myself under ludicrous pressure for the next session now.”
We’ve been getting feedback from some of the Upscale superstars, who’ve been advising on how they’ve found the programme and how the next version can be even better (watch until the end for a special surprise):
The programme has only been made possible thanks to the tech community (globally) paying it forward and providing space, marketing and their own time to make this truly incredible. So thank you to our sponsors Cooley and SVB and our programme partners ACE Hotel, Ozone Coffee Roasters, JCDecaux, Twitter, Amazon Web Services and ICE to name a few.
We’d also like to thank the Upscale advisors who helped shape the programme to become something of real value to entrepreneurs at scale:
The first 30 companies selected will now move into an Alumni stage on the programme and they’ll continue to support each other and many will transition to Scale Coach level for the next iteration of the programme. Keep an eye out for more information on Upscale 2.0 later in 2016!
You can also check out the Upscale blog to get first hand knowledge of some of the key sessions from this year’s programme.