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Next Practice Series: Scaling Start-ups. The Exciting Nightmare of Managing High-Growth Businesses

Growing scale-ups is more ambitious and challenging than producing a greater number of start-ups or celebrating entrepreneurs. This segment of high-growth businesses are those achieving more than 20% average annual growth in turnover over a three-year period and annual turnover of between £1 million and £20 million. Out of 5.3 million UK companies, scale-ups make up less than 1% of businesses and yet they are responsible for creating one in every three new jobs. A number of top-down initiatives for turbo-charging the economy intend to crack the scale-up code. Yet what are the realities of managing high-growth businesses in the UK? And how do their founders overcome the distinct challenges of scaling up? Such as finding talent that grows with your business, accessing capital markets or internationalising your value proposition. Few founders or managers know what to expect from the ‘exciting nightmare’ of scaling up and there are few case studies or ‘how-to’ guides on how to do it effectively. This month’s Next Practice series brings together the founders of some of the UK’s most successful scale-ups and their investors. Join our panellists during this year’s Enterprise Week to explore questions of managing cash, scaling talent and meeting metrics.

Host: Dr Christopher Corbishley, (In Residence, Imperial Enterprise Lab)


  • Karl Harder (CEO & Co-Founder, Abundance Generation & Imperial MBA ’09)
  • Emma Heal (Retail Director,
  • Umerah Akram (Head of ELITE, UK at London Stock Exchange)
  • Tony Hickson (Managing Director, Imperial Innovations)

This month’s Next Practice event coincides with Imperial’s Enterprise Week, and will take place on Monday 20th March at Imperial’s newly-launched incubator at White City. To showcase the space, we are arranging a tour of the new facilities starting before the event. This event is open to anyone to attend. Those interested in the White City Incubator tour, pleases arrive at 5.30pm on the evening of the event

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