The first in a series of peer-to-peer networking events for scale-up businesses in Berkshire was held on Tuesday (5th February 2019) by ScaleUp Berkshire – a specialist support programme for leaders of ambitious scale-up businesses with an annual turnover of over £1million and 20% year-on-year growth.
Funded by the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and delivered by Oxford Innovation with the support of existing local scale-up business leaders1 , this new programme brings together scale-up experts to create a better-connected and visible scale-up ecosystem in the county and help generate further growth.
The inaugural networking event was held at the prestigious Henley Business School and was attended by CEOs and founders of dynamic scale-up businesses from across Berkshire, including Fantoo, Universal Networks and ComXo
Peter Fleming from ScaleUp Berkshire explains:
“The objective of these networking events is to provide an exclusive forum for founders of scale-up businesses to share ideas, learn what works and build mutually beneficial relationships with other leaders. This first event was a great way to kick-off the programme and we are looking forward to further building upon this success.”
Guest speaker at the event was Martin Taylor, Director and Co-founder of Redwood Technologies Group, a Berkshire-based business going from strength to strength. Since launching as a start-up hardware and software company in 1993, with seed money of just £20,000, Redwood Technologies Group has grown into a world leader in cloud communication technologies, with 2018 turnover in excess of £31million. The business has grown its revenues by an average of 30% per annum over the past three years, and in the last 24 months Redwood has more than doubled its headcount to over 260.
Commenting on the event, Martin Taylor said:
“We have been headquartered in Berkshire for 25 years. In that time we have passed through every stage from start-up micro business, through small to medium and beyond. Berkshire has always been a great place for us to scale up, and so it was a pleasure to speak with an inspiring group of fellow founders and executives making the same exciting journey in their different businesses. I look forward to attending more ScaleUp Berkshire events in the future.”
Among the business leaders who attended the event was Eddie Hing, CEO of Universal Networks:
“It’s always inspiring to hear other business owners’ success stories and Martin’s story was both entertaining and thought provoking. I came away with a page of notes and new ideas to take back into my own business. Without doubt some positive changes will follow.”
It is estimated that increasing the number of scale-ups in Berkshire by 1% will add around 4,000 jobs and £912m in GVA to the local economy2 demonstrating why support for scale-up businesses is a key priority for Thames Valley Berkshire LEP.
Designed specifically to support scale-up businesses to grow faster, ScaleUp Berkshire will help business leaders access the services available locally and nationally, connecting them to a range of private and public-sector organisations who offer dedicated support to scale-ups.
Launched in September 2018, the ScaleUp programme is part of a wider series of support services available to Berkshire business owners and entrepreneurs through the Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub.
Robin Barnes, Director and Enterprise Lead for the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP adds, “The LEP is focused on ensuring that the sub region supports business growth. We have funded, supported and facilitated a number of initiatives including over £3m into a Business Growth Hub and a Funding Escalator to provide loan and equity investments of £25,000 to £300,000. The new ScaleUp Berkshire Programme will allow Oxford Innovation to provide expert guidance and assistance to shine a light on the scale-up community and support them to the next level of growth.”
The next event is on 3rd April 2019. For further details on ScaleUp Berkshire and how to apply for the programme, visit www.scaleupberkshire.co.uk or call 01344 388005.
1An Advisory Group including: Oxford Innovation; TVB LEP; Chris Dodson Chairman Business United and Mortimer Technology Group; Jurek Sikorski, Executive Director of Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship at Henley Business School and Adam Hale Chairman of DevOpsGroup, Board Member Tech Nation, Board Advisor to ScaleUp Group UK, former CEO Fairsail, guides the Programme.
2Extrapolated from national data produced by Deloitte https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/uk/Documents/strategy/deloitte-uk-scale-up-challenge.pdf