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SVC2UK wants UK to ‘think big’

Don’t Just Start Up – Scale Up is the theme of this year’s Silicon Valley Comes to the UK 2012 (SVC2UK), taking place 14-16 November.

Aimed at helping to support the growth of the next multi-billion-pound companies in Europe, this year’s SVC2UK programme seeks to tackle the challenges of creating the mindset and conditions required for businesses to grow into global winners by focusing on a wide range of stakeholders in the UK including secondary school students, university students, first-time CEOs, serial entrepreneurs, academics, angels and VC investors.

SVC2UK 2012 brings leaders from companies such as Google, Linkedin, Facebook,, and Edmodo to the UK with the singular goal of inspiring us to think big for ourselves and for the economy. In the last six years, the top six per cent of high-growth firms generated over half of the new jobs in the UK – showing the huge impact scaled businesses have on the economy. In the past year, Cambridge’s top companies grew their employees by 23 per cent on average and their revenues by 17.6 per cent.

SVC2UK 2012 includes 35 events that run concurrently in 12 cities across six countries to inspire more than 6,500 attendees.  The activities, which include mentoring, coaching, workshops, competitions, masterclasses, lectures, dinners take place at venues such as The House of Commons, University of Cambridge, Tech City and a variety of schools. In addition, there will be special sessions on scaling-up two of the most promising sectors: MedTech and EdTech.

SVC2UK 2012 will also see the launch of a service to help the plethora of hypergrowth businesses in Cambridge do business more easily with professionals around the world and to attract top talent. This service reveals which companies are growing the fastest and have the most potential. It shows what a powerhouse this 50 year-old cluster is for the economy with a critical mass of “scaling companies”.  The top 50 companies in Cambridge grew their revenue by GBP1.3bn last year, (from GBP6.1bn to GBP7.4bn) an impressive hike of 17.6 per cent. The same 50 companies also grew their employment by 4,164 (from 24,192 to 28, 356) by 14.7 per cent.  The 50 companies that hired the most took on 23.2 per cent more staff on average (grew from 19,536 to 25,437).

The UK’s scale-up rate per capita is estimated to be less than half that of the US according to last year’s SVC2UK research that was prepared by Entrepreneur First and Mckinsey.

Sherry Coutu (pictured), SVC2UK co-chair, says: “This is a dismaying statistic, and one that SVC2UK hopes to work with stakeholders to help the UK overcome. SVC2UK wants to help governments, universities, companies and students recognise what it takes to create world-beating multi-billion pound companies. The UK was featured in the world spotlight twice in 2012 ,inspiring a generation of sports people, and we hope that SVC2UK 2012 will help put the UK in the spotlight again; this time for inspiring and supporting the next generation of ambitious and capable entrepreneurs.”

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