Explore the ScaleUp Annual Review 2020

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Access to Markets

Access to Markets

Programmes that are Endorsed or Ones to Watch


Mayor of London’s International Business Programme [Annual Review 2020]

Impact for scaleups


Businesses supported since programme started


jobs created


increased GVA


finance raised

Key sectors

Technology & Communications

The Mayor’s International Business Programme is now in its fifth year and has an established reputation for delivering a high-quality export programme. Launched by London & Partners in 2016 it has supported some of the fastest growing tech companies from London which are now recognised brands in their fields.

To be eligible for the programme businesses must be scaleups that are London-based and looking to expand internationally; they should employ between 10 and 249 workers and be generating revenues of at least £1m per annum, or the equivalent in funding (or a combination of both)as well as demonstrate scaleup growth with active projects, domestically or internationally.

The free 12-month programme is individually tailored towards each business, providing support and guidance for international expansion success. It offers practical advice and on-the-ground support, both in London and in global markets. Selected companies join in quarterly cohorts and get access to a range of support services, including workshops, events, access to trade missions and connections to an extensive network of mentors, alumni, investors and partners. They have been helped to expand in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia.

Notable alumni include four unicorn businesses: Revolut, Checkout.com, Babylon Health and Monzo and some very well-known names serving Londoners and global consumers today: Brompton Bikes, Starling Bank, Mindful Chef, Onfido, Mr & Mrs Smith, Soldo, sideways6 and Bloom & Wild.

In response to the pandemic in March the programme pivoted to provide its full suite of opportunities, services and knowledge-share events virtually; the Autumn Cohort Launch in September was entirely virtual. 

In May, the programme introduced virtual trade missions which offered a new way to digitally connect with prospective partners, investors and top corporates in new markets. Following the success of six such missions, the programme now plans to make virtual experiences a routine part of the MIBP strategy, in recognition of their accessibility and ability to open up trade opportunities at an earlier stage.


Sharing in Growth (SiG): Action through supply chains

Access to Markets

Impact for scaleups


Value of contracts won


Jobs created and secured


Business coaches and global experts

Key sectors

Engineering / Advanced Engineering

Faced with the challenge of Covid-19 and the Government’s commitment to increase R&D spending, high value supply chains will be vital to deliver economic value to the UK. Since 2013 Sharing in Growth (SiGwww.sig-uk.org) has worked with aerospace supply chain companies to improve their productivity and competitiveness and be better placed to win a share of the global aerospace market. As a result companies on the programme have secured more than £5 billion in contracts – equivalent to more than 9,000 high-value jobs.

Offshore wind – a significant growth sector – has also been added to the programme of targeted support that comes from SiG’s 100-strong team of business coaches as well as a network of global experts including the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing, Deloitte and the National Physical Laboratory. 

The economic shock of Covid-19 has had a massive impact on many UK companies’ cash balances. It has made facing up to the complex leadership tasks of restructuring, accelerating productivity, diversifying and winning new customers, while managing short term cash and preparing for EU Exit vital. These challenges lie at the heart of SiG’s offering. A recent interim independent assessment for BEIS noted ‘a significant increase in beneficiary turnover and headcount compared to their control groups’. It is also the recipient in 2020 of a Princess Royal Training Award for its impact on participating companies.

During Covid-19 SiG strengthened its remote learning, adding over 25 subject specific webinars as well as providing safe onsite support when conditions allowed. SiG has also produced over 60 case studies and online resources.

they use. As fast-growing companies need access to knowledge, expertise and coaching to move through their stage of growth, each programme reflects detailed knowledge of the individual business context and is delivered on site. Tailored support lasts up to four years, is scaled to a company’s ambition and recognises that the needs of a smaller, evolving company are vastly different from a multi-site corporate.


Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SVC2UK) [Annual Review 2020]

Access to Markets

Impact for scaleups


Scale Up Club members in 2020


Female founders benefited from international trade visits


Scale Up Club Alumni


Revenue generated in 2019

Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SVC2UK) was founded in 2006 to boost the global ecosystem for tech entrepreneurship at a time where knowledge and investment felt siloed within Silicon Valley.  Today, it exists to support all entrepreneurs on their journey to scale by removing barriers and connecting them to the tech ecosystem.

To achieve its mission SVC2UK organises a series of invitation-only events that bring together students, policymakers and first-time CEOs with serial entrepreneurs and investors from the US and the UK. It has also provided bespoke mentoring to over 740 first time CEOs of scaleups to help them build their businesses and make new connections in Europe and Silicon Valley.

SVC2UK has now run over 7 international trade visits for over 100 Female Founders to Silicon Valley, Paris and New York to help them connect, build their confidence and new networks and pitch for investment.

Every November it also hosts a summit which has been attended by 34,000 guests to date. This year in response to the Covid pandemic, the global tech community gathered virtually in London over three days in London and were joined by business leaders and investors from Southeast Asia, China and India’s tech hubs for the first time.

During 2020 SVC2UK also produced more digital content and made its network more accessible to new members recognising the importance of collaboration, communication and community on the path to recovery.

SVC2UK is run out of London & Partners, a not-for-profit public-private partnership, funded by the Mayor of London and a network of commercial partners.


Match-Maker Ventures [Annual Review 2020]

Access to Markets

Match-Maker Venture’s (MMV) ambition is to create a world where business collaboration has no borders. It is working to achieve this by guiding growing businesses and established corporations to each other, accelerating the process of collaboration. 

Based in Vienna MMV’s global network has now increased to around 100 Match-Makers and it is active in more than 30 countries across Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia. In the past year MMV has intensified its focus on the sectors of Telecoms, Financial Services, Insurance and Energy & Utilities. 

MMV’s approach is based on the insight that nine out of ten buying decisions are made with peer recommendations. Using that approach it matches its network members who have executive experience in specific industries, understand the sector and have access to corporate customers to growing businessess and manages the collaboration process from end to end. This approach enables businesses to scale fast while corporates benefit from pre-selected, globally scouted and well-prepared innovation.

Portfolio companies are offered a phased programme based on the understanding that . selling to large corporates is not a straightforward process but requires knowledge and preparation. As a result, businesses are initially offered a sales acceleration service that involves examining their business model, agreeing a sales approach and identifying target customers. Companies are also assigned an engagement manager.

In the second – market approach phase – match-makers approach priority companies and open doors, assess the likelihood of a deal and any barriers and perform sales activities alongside the company. In the full match-making phase MMV develops opportunities to close deals. In January MMV hosted its third summit to bring all portfolio companies, the Match-Maker network and HQ team together to network and share insights.

Mostly working internationally with scaling businesses across Europe, MMV has provided its full service to 25 companies and delivered sales training to a further 75; the organisation has created more than 75 matching opportunities for different clients and is continuing to grow its network. Although at an early stage we believe MMV has an interesting proposition and will watch with interest the development of international collaboration and the impact in the UK market.

Page URL: https://www.scaleupinstitute.org.uk/articles/programmes-endorsed-ones-to-watch-3/

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