Go to Grow: Mayor of London’s International Business Programme
Launched in 2016, the Mayor of London’s International Business Programme Go to Grow is helping 800 London-based scaleups to expand internationally over a three-year period. Participant companies come from the technology, life sciences, and urban sectors.
Planning, Mentoring and Partnering
Scaleups join the programme for 12 months and receive access to mentors both in London and in overseas markets, to corporates, workshops and trade missions. After the first year, CEOs remain on the programme as mentors to other entrepreneurs at an earlier stage of their own scaleup journey.
Participation on trade missions with genuine credibility is critical for scaleups, helping them to open the right doors and secure high-level access to the right potential customers. International trade missions play a central part in the programme’s activities; in 2016, eight trade missions were organised to San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Cologne, Barcelona, Helsinki and China. Those to Chicago and New York were led by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and the Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal. In 2016, the programme also supported more than 60 cohort companies on business visits to China and India.
At home, guidance is provided through mentoring sessions and workshops. ‘Linking up’ is a strong feature of the programme: scaleup leaders are connected to VCs, corporates, mentors and other scaleup CEOs. Monthly “Meet the Mentor” roundtables provide expert advice and guidance, while sessions covering “Meet the Corporates” sessions offer bespoke workshops to help cohort companies increase their customer base. The mutual support and peer to peer learning from being a participant of Go to Grow also provides significant value.
The programme measures success by tracking the number of companies helped to expand internationally; the number and size of the deals done; new investment secured; and jobs created for Londoners by scaleups. The results have been going from strength to strength and the programme will be expanded in 2018.
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