Announced just last month, ScaleUpScotland2.0 is a programme with huge implications, both for the games industry in Scotland and the country as a whole.
It’s a partnership between the Scottish National Investment Bank and the Hunter Foundation; one which seeks to raise ambition in Scotland by supporting large scale-up businesses, those with the potential to reach £100 million in turnover.
An All-Star Support Network
12 Scottish businesses have been chosen as the beneficiaries of the ScaleUpScotland2.0 programme thus far, and will receive advice, mentoring and strategic consultancy support from some of the most prominent business figures in the UK. These include Theo Paphitis of Dragon’s Den fame; Sir Tom Hunter himself, chair of West Coast Capital and the Hunter Foundation; and Scottish games titan Chris van der Kuyl, CBE, head of 4J Studios and Chroma Ventures.
The programme will see these business legends delving deep into the specifics of developing scale-ups, providing tailored advice and support which will help them reach their full potential. Beyond this, quarterly retreats for company CEOs will also be offered, providing a focused space to tackle common business challenges alongside mentors and peers. This package of support has an estimated value of over £50,000, such is the pedigree of those providing it.
Building for the Future
It’s all part of the vision Sir Tom Hunter has for business in Scotland. Discussing the new programme, he said:
“Through our existing ScaleUpScotland programme we recognised we needed to deliver a programme for the next level up and that’s what we are doing with the 2.0 version offering far more tailored, one to one sectoral growth support.
“Multiple studies, including our own commissioned by Oxford Economics, detail precisely why Scotland needs more scale-ups – this programme will provide precise, laser focussed support to high growth businesses with massive ambition.
“Scotland fundamentally needs far more ambitious scale-ups and to enable them we have to offer the right support – our economy depends on scale-ups, they are the engine of growth and prosperity so if we want to deliver a ten-year growth strategy this is one starting point.”
Ambition and specificity are the keywords here, and they’re echoed by Willie Watt, chair of the Scottish National Investment Bank, the other organisation behind the programme:
“I am delighted that the Bank is partnering with The Hunter Foundation to launch this exciting programme to Scotland’s scale-up companies. The ScaleUpScotland2.0 programme aligns with the Bank’s missions and a key strategic priority for the Bank is to support businesses looking to scale.
“The Bank is committed to investing in innovation and industries of the future with the aim of supporting a more resilient and productive economy.
“We know that the success of high growth business is critical to boosting Scotland’s productivity and this programme not only looks to address the financing gap for scale-up businesses but will provide future business leaders with mentoring and expert advice to support their growth ambitions. This will enable CEOs to take a longer-term approach to value creation and help Scotland to build more home-grown businesses.”
A programme such as this, with so many business heavyweights on board, can’t help but make a huge impact once it gets going. It would be wise to follow the fortunes of the initial 12 companies closely, and to consider applying for the programme yourself, if you’re a big company with bigger ambitions. As the Scottish games industry goes from strength to strength, programmes like this become more and more relevant, and exciting, for those working within it.