Serial investor Sherry Coutu has teamed up with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman in a bid to help more British start-ups emulate the success of their overseas counterparts
While the likes of Funding Circle, Shazam and Just Eat are currently flying the flag for London's start-up scene, their valuations pale in comparison to those of Uber, Snapchat and Airbnb, not to mention Google, Apple and Facebook. So, as we wave goodbye to an incredibly successful London Tech Week, two questions continue to linger on many people's lips. Can the UK replicate or surpass the success of the United States when it comes to spawning multi-billion-dollar start-ups? And, if so, how?
In a bid to close the UK's 'scale-up gap', serial entrepreneur and angel investor Sherry Coutu and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman have launched the Scale-Up Institute, which will look to turn Blighty's best start-ups into global giants – and boost the UK economy in the process. It will build on the Scale-Up Report, written by Coutu last year, which called for greater government and private sector emphasis on policies and practices directed towards businesses growing by over 20% per year. Analysis from Deloitte showed this could deliver £225bn of additional Gross Value Add (GVA) and 150,000 net jobs by 2034.
The Scale-Up Institute will officially launch in September and already has the support of Google, Business Growth Fund, London Stock Exchange Group and Smith & Williamson, along with numerous other industry bodies. It will function as a not-for-profit membership organisation, working with its members and partners so that every region and city in the UK has the resources it needs to support the development of its scaling businesses.
Coutu said: “I am humbled by the support that has gathered behind scale-ups and excited by the opportunity to make the UK not only the best place on the planet to start a business but also the best place to grow it into a substantial one. Our aim is to bring about and report on the increase in the proportion of scale-ups in the UK and the economic growth we will enjoy as a result.”
Xavier Rolet, CEO of London Stock Exchange Group, added: "Growth businesses, looking to scale, are the job creators, the innovators and the economic powerhouses of tomorrow. Anything we can do as a business community to support these dynamic and vital organisations should be warmly welcomed.”
It's safe to say we're giving the Scale-Up Institute a very warm welcome indeed.