Earlier in the month I attended the SETsquared Scale-Up Program Event at the Science Park in Chilworth. Having never been to anything like this before I had no idea what to expect, but it was an excellent morning.
The whole thing was very well organised and the Panel selection was superb. They were all people who’d been through, or were going through, the transition from Start-Up to Scale-Up. The levels of openness and honesty made the whole event very genuine and very stimulating. Clearly a lot of focus was on how to fund the difficult step into a different operating regime and the challenges of accommodation and cash flow etc. However, one of the panel was also incredibly open about his realisation that he was not the right CEO to take the company into the next phase and his subsequent decision to step away from that role.
Alongside the financial ramifications there was also discussion about finding the people needed to take Start-Ups into Scale-Up. Given my reasons for attending, this was of particular interest to me as there was some to-and-fro about the issues finding the right senior people with the right experience.
The networking session after the main presentations was very useful and I did manage to hand out some business cards, have some really interesting conversations, and make some new contacts.
I enjoyed it so much that I registered for, and have been offered a place on, the next Scale Up Program Event which is in Exeter on the 17th of April.