Explore the ScaleUp Annual Review 2022

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Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst [2022]


Impact for scaleups

9 months

quicker time to market


gross GVA by SBC residents


investment in SBC based companies


Expected average employee growth rate pa among residents

6 months

acceleration of research on average

Key sectors

Life Sciences & Biotech

Newly endorsed by the Scaleup Institute, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC) is a collaboration between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), GlaxoSmithKline, Wellcome and Innovate UK. It aims to support a globally recognised vibrant ecosystem that brings together academics, biotech and pharma organisations in the spirit of collaboration and partnership. The campus offers a range of lab and office accommodation along with business and scientific support including access to peer networks, mentoring, funding, expertise, scientific equipment and facilities to enable businesses to scale up and deliver innovations.

Scaleups are supported to overcome key challenges including access to talent, markets and finance. This includes access to its dedicated Catapult onsite training lab providing specialist equipment to train apprentices through augmented and virtual reality and helping to address the skills gap in the cell and gene therapy sector.  

To enhance the talent pipeline there are around 13 active apprenticeships in addition to 12 with GSK. This includes the Advanced Therapies Apprenticeship Community provided by the cell and gene therapy Catapult that helps to address the crucial skills gap in the cell and gene therapy manufacturing sector. ATAC created the first apprenticeship programme. SBC’s Generation Stevanage initiative and summer school promote apprenticeships, training and career opportunties.  

The programme’s free DATA accelerator programme equips scaleups with leadership, business and commercial skills and connects them with investors. A dedicated Entrepreneurship and Business Development Director facilitates introductions to grant funding, investors and venture capitalists.  

The programme holds workshops with the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq and three scientific interest groups foster information sharing, collaboration and innovation. Its CEO network creates valuable peer to peer connections along with annual One Nucleus, BIA and BioTechYes events with industry professionals and academics. 

The new Spark Building provides space for scaling companies in advanced cell and gene therapy, providing space to manufacture clinical trial batches. A £900m investment in the campus by Reef Group UBS Asset Management will create further expansion space for businesses to scale and grow. The new campus will be one of the largest of its kind in Europe. 

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst supports resident companies to grow and scale quickly, speeding up the time to market by an average of nine months and research acceleration by six months. Resident scaling companies created a gross GVA of £87m. Since 2012, SBC based companies have secured £2.9bn investment and been awarded 51 research grants with a total value of £32m. In the next 12 months they expect an average employee growth of 25% while by 2040 SBC residents are expected to deliver £165m net GVA and 2,900 jobs.


Alderley Park [2022]


Impact for scaleups


Resident companies




Scaling support sessions in 2022 [988 in total to date]


Businesses raise 2.5 times more investment than equivalent firms


commitment to the Greater Manchester Cheshire Life Science Fund by Praetura

Key sectors

Life Sciences & Biotech

Bruntwood SciTech’s Alderley Park provides over 1m sq ft of state-of-the-art office and lab space to businesses in the life sciences and tech sector as well as support for companies from start-up to scaleup. There are now over 250 companies on site including national institutions such as Cancer Research UK and the Medicines Discovery Catapult.

As part of the Park’s £247m development plan, 2022 saw £20m investment into 86,000 sq ft of new biology and chemistry labs providing additional space for scaling companies. All resident companies have access to Alderley Park’s flexible infrastructure and scientific services, giving them the facilities they need to fulfil their growth potential, including dedicated vivarium space and access to highly specialised suites from surgery to level 2 containment and bio-imaging. Coworking laboratories provide access to specialised equipment operated by an experienced laboratory management team on a pay-as-you-go basis.

The campus’ accelerator offers commercial workshops, bespoke one-to-one engagement and access to specialist expertise for scaleup entrepreneurs and leaders. Workshops include a focus on scaling challenges, leadership skills and development along with access to finance and international markets. In 2022, it provided more than 400 scaling support sessions to resident companies. 

To support the ongoing growth of the companies onsite, in 2022, Alderley Park welcomed an Entrepreneur in Residence as part of its business support team, offering monthly one-to-one clinics to companies looking to scale and attract investment. Looking ahead, the Park will launch a new programme of specialist mentor support in 2023.

In addition, Bruntwood SciTech committed £5m to the Greater Manchester Cheshire Life Science Fund by Praetura, launched in May 2022, underlining its commitment to supporting scaling companies both Alderley Park and across the wider region.


Babraham Research Campus [2022]


Impact for scaleups


Size of the community


Market value of campus companies


commercial investment raised in 2021/22


GVA impact of the Campus on UK economy

Key sectors

Life Sciences & Biotech

With the vision to become one of the best places in the world for discovery bioscience research and innovation and a leading sustainable ecosystem, the Babraham Research Campus brings together world leading bioscience research and business with a focus that accelerates scientific discovery and helps to build and scale businesses. The result is a highly connected, sustainable and dynamic ecosystem that creates new discoveries, therapeutics, jobs and growth to support the UK economy.

A supportive infrastructure is available to campus businesses offering access to laboratories and offices on short-term tenancies with the opportunity to grow into larger space as they evolve. Additionally, they can benefit from access to Venture Capital investors via the annual Babraham Investor Conference which brings together investors and companies seeking investment. 

The most recent review of the Campus’ economic impact, published in 2020, showed that companies estimated being located on the Campus had on average accelerated their fundraising by three months and increased the amount of funds raised to date by 10%. In addition, the number of employees is estimated to be around 20% larger than it otherwise may have been due to the Campus location. The total market value of the largest 14 companies on site was calculated to be £5bn. 

Additional support for early-stage life science start-ups is provided by the Accelerate@Babraham bioincubator programme which Labiotech recognised as one of the top 25 such incubators in Europe. Access is via an annual competitive application and pitching process with up to five early-stage ventures selected to experience life as part of the Babraham Research Campus. The programme includes a bespoke five-month timetable of scientific, business, and technical support, free lab space, access to the exceptional Cambridge Cluster network, investor introductions and £10k non-diluted funding. The fifth cohort of businesses started the programme in 2022.


Barclays Eagle Labs [2022]


Impact for scaleups




Mentoring sessions


Funding readiness participants


Black Founder Accelerator participants out of 700 applications


Investment raised by residents and alumni to date

Key sectors

Transport & Logistics Building & Construction Creative, digital, film, games & media Defence & security Engineering / Advanced Engineering Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry Finance Food & drink Healthcare Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Professional services Technology & Communications

Eagle Labs is a growing national network of growth spaces that provide business incubation, mentoring and co-working as well as office space for ambitious high-growth businesses. The Labs offer digital skills development and rapid prototyping through onsite digital fabrication equipment along with Industry 4.0 expertise at many of the sites.  

A major focus for the Eagle Labs is creating a community of like-minded entrepreneurs in a collaborative work environment with access to peers and opportunities to maximise growth through digital connections, curated events and funding opportunities.

Eagle Labs also specialise in positively disrupting key industries by linking major corporate players, industry bodies, and leading universities with ambitious businesses to enable rapid innovation and investment. Dedicated programmes cover key sectors including GamesTech, EnergyTech, LawTech, HealthTech, and AgriTech. 

The successful Barclays Black Founder Accelerator is now in its third year. Barclays expanded the Accelerator in 2022, supporting 50 businesses to complete the programme. 

Eagle Labs have also run four seasons of the Funding Readiness Programme and four seasons of Global Connect to immerse scaleups in international markets, including Silicon Valley, and with a focus on raising international funding.


Cambridge Cluster Insights [2022]


Impact for scaleups


Companies identified


Scaleups identified in 2021


Turnover increase of life science scaleups


Employment of scaleups


Turnover of scaleups


Employment increase of ICT scaleups

Key sectors

Transport & Logistics Building & Construction Creative, digital, film, games & media Defence & security Engineering / Advanced Engineering Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry Finance Food & drink Healthcare Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Professional services Technology & Communications

Cambridge Cluster Insights gives a picture of growth and economic health across the sub-region over eleven years and now includes over 90,000 companies and limited partnerships. Designed by the University of Cambridge in partnership with entrepreneurs, the tool supports scaling businesses in Cambridge and 14 neighbouring local authority districts to attract talent, customers and investors from the UK and overseas. Data and research from Cambridge Cluster Insights shapes and informs business support development and delivery across the region.

The latest update – published in March 2022– captures the effects of the second and third Covid lockdowns. The picture is one of continued and faster employment growth in Greater Cambridge driven by a strong performance in Knowledge Intensive (KI) sectors while non-KI sectors showed more modest growth. Life sciences and ICT sectors in the area continued showing their importance as engines of employment growth even at times of business and economic uncertainty. Turnover resumed its pre-pandemic pattern of showing a higher growth than employment. 

In the past year the programme completed three employment update studies, commissioned by the Greater Cambridge Partnership and Cambridge Ahead, creating an accurate and timely analysis of employment changes during the pandemic. It also enriched their employment database, by conducting a survey of the main non-corporate KI research institutions in the Cambridge region to gather their latest employment data. 

In 2021, 194 scaleups were identified in the area, contributing £4bn to the local economy and employing 29,609 people.  Scaleups in the ICT sector saw a 35.3% increase in turnover while those in the life sciences show 57.7% growth in turnover.  


Engine Shed [2022]


Impact for scaleups


Companies supported per year


Investment raised since start of programme


Scaleups access and use Engine Shed’s facilities


Jobs created in 2021


Generated in revenue in 2021


Events held in 2021

Key sectors

Transport & Logistics Building & Construction Creative, digital, film, games & media Defence & security Engineering / Advanced Engineering Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry Finance Food & drink Healthcare Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Professional services Technology & Communications

Engine Shed, based in Brunel’s historic building, is an enterprise hub led by the University of Bristol in collaboration with Bristol City Council, supporting ambitious businesses since 2013. The hub brings together investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics and corporates to drive innovation and inclusive economic growth. It provides flexible infrastructure for 300 fast-growing companies.

The SETsquared Bristol Incubator provides support to over 80 high growth technology businesses, and in 2021, it passed the landmark of £600m investment raised by member companies. In the past year women made up 45 percent of participating founders and ethnic minorities 24 percent. 

Furthermore, the hub links scaling businesses with investors through Investors in Residence and the hosting of an Angel Hub, in partnership with UK Business Angels Association. Its Investment Activator programme led by TechSPARK aims to increase the flow of equity investment in the South West. Targeted investment events bring together over 300 account managed investors with scaling companies seeking funding. More than 1,000 founders and leaders have attended to date.

Engine Shed hosted more than 1,000 events and conferences in 2021. It supports the Bristol Technology Festival through TechSPARK. A weeklong programme of 70 events and themed days, the festival is designed to showcase the entire Tech ecosystem. In 2021, the Festival attracted over 5,000 attendees.  

In addition, Engine Shed has a partnership with Geovation, the innovation arm of the Ordnance Survey to provide network members access to the quality location and property data, technical expertise and guidance in how to access a range of potential market sectors. 


“As many entrepreneurs will tell you, it’s crucial to build your network fast when you are starting out as a business. Being based at Engine Shed meant that many of the right connections were already there and easy to access. We were also surrounded by peers going through the same journey as us – and being able to share that experience with others encountering similar challenges was invaluable.” Tom Carter, CEO – Ultraleap



FCA Regulatory Sandbox [2022]


Impact for scaleups


applications and 13 selected since August 2021


firms tested in first seven cohorts


firms selected for digital sandbox pilot from 40 applications


regulatory sandboxes operating globally on FCA model


of firms participating in the second digital sandbox pilot reported active engagement with investors / raised investment

Key sectors


The Financial Conduct Authority’s Regulatory Sandbox, launched in 2016,  provides a testing environment for innovative products and services in the real market with real customers. Its successful model has now been replicated across the globe, including Africa, East Asia and the Pacific regions.

In August 2021 the programme moved from a cohort to an always open model allowing firms to submit applications throughout the year. Under this new model 13 firms have been accepted onto the programme, the vast majority from the retail investment and retail lending sectors. Innovation is dominated by data and technology infrastructure with firms using AI/machine learning, distributed ledger/blockchain technology, open banking, application programming interface, digital ID and predictive analytics. 5 firms that have been approved for the Regulatory Sandbox will also participate in FCA’s second Green FinTech Challenge to support the development and live market testing of new products and services that will aid the transition to a net zero economy. 

Following the success of its first Digital Sandbox pilot, the FCA launched a second pilot in 2021 focused on the testing and development of new products and services in the disclosure, environmental and social and governance data arenas. Twelve companies were accepted onto the pilot from 40 applications. All participants reported a significant impact on innovation acceleration, citing the value of networking and collaboration, and access to quality mentors and advisers.

Over the course of the second pilot the number of participants actively engaging with mentors rose from 50 to 100 percent and the proportion engaging with investors and investment advisers increased from 30 to 73 percent. External evaluation found that the pilot was pioneering in bridging the gap between FinTech and sustainability. The FCA has now committed to establishing a permanent operating model for digital sandbox. 

The Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), launched in 2019, is chaired by the FCA and brings together over 70 international organisations committed to supporting financial innovation in the interests of consumers. Members include the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the USA’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. Building on the model developed by the FCA Sandbox it has developed a cross-border testing environment for scaleups.


NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator [2022]


Impact for scaleups


Scaling businesses (5,472 overall)


Investment raised (£220.57m overall)


Jobs created (3,764 overall)


Female entrepreneurs


BAME entrepreneurs

Key sectors

Transport & Logistics Building & Construction Creative, digital, film, games & media Defence & security Engineering / Advanced Engineering Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry Finance Food & drink Healthcare Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Professional services Technology & Communications

NatWest delivers its Entrepreneur Accelerator programme in person and digitally, offering participating business leaders networking events, workshops and one-to-one and one-to-many coaching sessions to help them scale their business. Fourteen enterprise hubs, including two new hubs in Cambridge and Southampton, support the programme and provide access to ecosystem partners and customers. 

Over the last year, three new specialist accelerators were successfully launched – Clean Transport, Interactive Entertainment and Welsh Food & Drink – bringing additional industry specific support from key partners such as Warwick Manufacturing Group. Further accelerators catering to specific regional and sector needs are planned.

Recognising the importance of effective account management for participating businesses NatWest has a team of Local Enterprise Managers, Regional Ecosystem Managers and Entrepreneur Acceleration Managers who support scaleups, providing expert guidance, coaching and access to growth networks. 

The Accelerator delivers a comprehensive events programme focused on the barriers to scaling up, including a series of funding and investor readiness workshops. Events take place every six months and are aimed at different funding stages, drawing on investor insights.    

In response to the energy crisis and shift to a green economy, a new Carbon Planner supports scaling businesses to manage fuel and operational costs and reduce their carbon footprint. This sits alongside a new event focusing on the circular economy and aimed at climate-focused high-growth businesses following environmentally sustainable practices. 

NatWest has committed to support 35,000 businesses through enterprise programmes with 250,000 customer interactions to start, run and grow a business. 


The financial and other information appearing in the Impact for Scale Ups section is aggregated information derived from information provided by customers that has not been verified or assured by NatWest Group plc or any of its subsidiaries (NatWest Group plc together with its subsidiaries “NatWest Group”), the ScaleUp Institute or any other person. Accordingly, NatWest Group, or any member of the NatWest Group or the ScaleUp Institute makes no representation, warranty or assurance of any kind, expressed or implied, and accepts no responsibility or liability as for the fairness, accuracy, reliability, reasonableness, correctness or completeness of any information, opinions or conclusions expressed in the Impact for Scale Ups section including differing methodologies used by customers in providing the information. Viewers should not, therefore, place undue reliance on the reliability of the information appearing in the Impact For Scale Ups section, including the infographic in any decision-making.  


Digital Catapult [2022]


Key sectors

Defence & security Food & drink Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing

Created in 2013, Digital Catapult drives early adoption of advanced digital technologies. It supports scaling and pipeline businesses through its accelerator and open innovation programmes. Their goal is to break down barriers, de-risk innovation, open up markets and responsibly shape the products, services and experiences of the future. 

Since 2018, Digital Catapult has supported more than 3,000 companies in 50+ accelerator cohorts. Collectively, these companies have raised over £477 million and created over 2,000 high value tech jobs.

In 2021, Digital Catapult launched its flagship FutureScope programme bringing together a diverse range of acceleration programmes for early stage and scaling businesses. These foster collaboration across technologies, business stages and markets and address real-world challenges through innovation in immersive technologies; artificial intelligence and machine learning; future networks, including 5G and IoT technologies; and distributive systems such as distributed ledger technologies. 

Participating companies access a range of support and facilities including labs and testbeds as well as ethics and business support. Access to finance is a key theme for scaling businesses and Digital Catapult helps them meet this challenge through tailored investment support and mentorship along with a series of fundraising masterclass sessions to help scaleups identify fundraising options. Scaleups benefiting from the programme include Grey Parrot, an AI waste analytics platform, and Carbon Re, a climate tech company using cutting-edge AI solutions to decarbonise cement and steel.

Digital Catapult is government-supported and works with partners across the UK. It has centres in London, the North East, Tees Valley and Northern Ireland.


Level39 [2022]


Scaling  businesses in sectors ranging from fintech, AI, data, blockchain and cybersecurity to smart cities, and retail technology can benefit from Level39’s 80,000 square foot innovation space in Canary Wharf’s One Canada Square. 

Currently the hub which operates on a membership model is home to 180 pipeline and scaling businesses who are encouraged to work with one another, buy from one another, and collaborate. The workspace offers a dynamic ecosystem giving scaleups access to mentors, investors and peers as well as events that encourage collaboration and partnerships. 

As a subsidiary of the Canary Wharf Group, it offers flexible space to ambitious companies many of whom lease space in the East London business district. Level39 is developing its role in the scaleup ecosystem in response to member needs. This includes investment in new advanced technology for event space, meeting and board rooms as well as enhanced quiet zones and collaboration and wellness space. In the last 12 months Level39 has also developed an Ecosystem Membership – a virtual membership, for overseas entrepreneurs looking to tap into and build their business profile in the UK. This was in response to their international community, especially for scaling companies that may have relocated but wish to maintain access to, and in association with, the Level39 community.

The hub is an ecosystem partner for Tech Nation’s Tech Zero initiative. In May 2022, it hosted its first in person event, introducing seven Level39 members to the tech climate action group. In the past year it has provided over 30 in person and virtual member introductions to institutions and corporates including Austrade, Sella Group, IF Norway and Sicoob Bank and partnered with key industry events, giving members access to networking business development opportunities. 

As well as providing access to flexible infrastructure, Level39 works with organisations such as InChorus, London & Partners, Innovate Finance, Tech Nation and a pool of mentors, investors and partners to provide support to members in areas such as funding, access to customers, ED&I, international markets and talent. Level39 member companies have raised over £1bn in finance.


Scale Space [2022]


Key sectors

Transport & Logistics Building & Construction Creative, digital, film, games & media Defence & security Engineering / Advanced Engineering Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry Finance Food & drink Healthcare Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Professional services Technology & Communications

Building upon the work of ScaleUp Institute on the importance of hubs and clusters and the need to address the scaling challenges of access to markets, talent, infrastructure and leadership, Scale Space’s purpose is to help businesses to scale by creating a community connected to the talent and expertise of world-leading universities such as Imperial College London and the University of Nottingham and UK digital venture fund, Blenheim Chalcot.

Innovative scaleup and early-stage businesses are co-located with companies in the same sector and at the same stage of development. Members share knowledge, good practice and facilitate customer and supplier introductions via working groups, monthly meet-ups and hackathons. These powerful connections provide scaleups with access to talent, research, contacts and know-how that are vital to fast track their growth. Scale Space White City, was built in collaboration with Imperial College and offers a 23-acre platform for innovation and entrepreneurship within Imperial’s major new campus. Scale Space Nottingham, launched in 2021, has partnered with the University of Nottingham to create a FinTech & Data Innovation Hub based in its Wollaton Street building.

Scale Space offers a network of growth expertise including venture builders, academics, researchers, tech leaders and scaleup experts dedicated to scaling and innovation. Scaling businesses can book half an hour with a serial entrepreneur to collaborate on key topics they need support with, or join exclusive roundtable events. Additionally, access to the community platform allows businesses to access research and insights on business growth topics including case studies, research, and insights from Blenheim Chalcot, the universities and their expert partners.

Scaleup residents are able to access talent through connections with students and graduates looking to gain industry experience and monthly clinics for recruitment guidance, talent scouting opportunities and research consultancy. 

Furthermore, introductions to mentors are made through their match-making programme, while members can also access a curated list of trusted service providers, including tech experts, R&D support, brand builders and training providers. 

In 2022, Scale Space White City made available a series of wet labs, ranging between 500 to 1000 sq. ft that can be modified to the business requirements ahead of the opening.

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