Thursday 12 November 2015 2:20 pm

Tech City launches programme to help address UK's scale-up issue

There's a new initiative out there to help London's fledgling tech businesses boom.

Today, Tech City UK, a publicly funded nonprofit focused on nurturing digital businesses, launched Upscale, a programme that will connect 25 promising scale-ups – companies that have grown beyond the start-up phase – with free expertise and advice to grow their business to their fullest potential.

Gerard Grech, chief executive of Tech City UK, said: "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."

The businesses chosen for the government-backed initiative will be given advice from business leaders including Zoopla chief executive, Alex Chesterman, and Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström.

Sherry Coutu, executive chair of the Scale Up Institute, wrote in a guest column for City A.M. last week that while the UK is leading the way in start-ups, there's a big problem with the success rates of scale ups who are failing to find the employees and resources they need to grow.

"There is so much that we can do to help these companies: We can join together as stakeholders, in the private sector, but also the leaders of LEPs, city mayors, regional business organisations, universities and schools; any effort in good, but co-ordinated collaboration at a local level in by far the best," she said. 

To be considered for the Upscale programme, digital businesses need to be headquartered in the UK and growing by 40 per cent month-on-month over the last quarter on their key business metrics  such as active users or subscriptions.