London Stock Exchange launches ELITE initiative to help prime start-ups for investment

First 19 start-ups revealed by LSE as part of its new scheme that helps gear companies for future listing

London Stock Exchange launches ELITE initiative to help prime start-ups for investment

Back in March, we revealed details of ELITE, a new programme from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) designed to prepare high growth start-ups for a future listing or IPO. Now, with the launch of the initiative, we know the identities of the 19 lucky start-ups that have been hand-picked to go through the scheme first. But before we get to that, let’s look at the finer details of ELITE.

ELITE was launched and hosted by Xavier Rolet, chief executive officer of LSE and Professor G. ‘Anand’ Anandalingham, dean of Imperial College Business School. It aims to guide and teach high growth start-ups on how they can shape their businesses for long-term growth while increasing their attractiveness to potential investors. 

The 24-month programme will provide company founders, CEOs and executive teams with a tailored portfolio of business support tools, education services provided by Imperial College Business School and access to a select group of advisers and investors. Companies will also have access to the programme’s ELITE entrepreneurial fellow, Sean Phelan, angel investor and founder of Multimap, the mapping and location-based services provider that was acquired by Microsoft in 2007. 

Among the 19 companies that have been selected for the scheme are Graze, the online food producer and retailer, Unruly Media the social video marketing platform and Naked Wines, the online wine retailer. The full list can be found on the LSE’s website.

“SMEs are fast becoming the key drivers of growth within the UK economy,” said Anandalingam. “This partnership with London Stock Exchange will enable us to share Imperial’s academic expertise with the founders and executives on the frontline of business innovation. We look forward to helping equip the first ELITE company CEOs with the tools they need to take their businesses to the next level.” 

The launch of the scheme follows the success of the ELITE Italy programme, which was launched in 2012. Rolet said: “Having witnessed the success of the ELITE programme at Borsa Italiana, we believe that the environment in the UK is ripe for a similar programme to support high growth businesses. Innovative businesses are often the most ambitious companies, but to get ahead they need new resources, new relationships and new funding which many businesses find challenging or time consuming to access.” 

Perhaps the UK may finally be capable of building a Google, Facebook or Microsoft. Let’s wait and see. 

Tom Davis
Tom Davis

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