Tech City UK launches free initiative to turn start-ups into scale ups
13 Nov, 2015
Government-backed Tech City UK has announced the launch of a new, free, scale-up programme. The programme will provide digital start-ups access to industry advise from European and US entrepreneurs.
The six-month programme has been named ‘Upscale’, and will support twenty five fast-growth start-ups in the digital sector. A series of workshops, mentoring and strategic advice, and in-house lectures will prepare start-ups for the challenges of scaling.
So far an impressive array of scale-up professionals have offered their expertise to the programme. The star-studded panel, which will work as ‘Scale Coaches’, includes Alex Chesterman, CEO of Zoopla, Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, and Sarah Wood, co-founder of Unruly.
There are however certain requirements start-ups need if they wish to participate. Businesses must be based in the UK, have grown at least 40% month-on-month for the last three months, or have annual revenues of £500k if bootstrapped.
“Upscale facilitates the sharing of experience and ideas at the precise moment ambitious entrepreneurs need it most.” said Gerard Grech, CEO, Tech City UK. “The digital business-ecosystem is known for its desire to fail fast, learn and succeed.”
Banks to use Bitcoin tech blockchain next year
In a previous insight Bit of good news: Bitcoin currency hits a 2015 high we explored how Bitcoin has steadily been gaining speed. Indeed last month news broke that the digital currency registered its highest 2015 value.
Now, however, a report carried out by TABB research claims that banks could be integrating the tech underpinning the cryptocurrency Bitcoin into elements of their organisations as early as 2016.
Bitcoin utilises blockchain technology that permits transfer of financial assets over secure, encrypted networks. This, consequently, removes the need for any third-party intermediary – thereby saving time and costs.
TABB’s report alleges that blockchain solutions could be implemented into syndicated loans as early as the second quarter of 2016.
“Blockchain’s adoption across capital markets and for a range of use cases is a matter of ‘when, not if’” the report said. “Over the next 12 to 24 months we will see early adoption grow.”
3 Reasons SMEs need Business Intelligence
For young start-ups lacking an in-house IT team, the notion of investing in software systems might seem an unwarranted expense. However, Business Intelligence (BI) software has changed. Not only is it increasingly affordable and accessible, but it is also becoming an imperative tool to deliver that competitive edge.
There are three fundamental reasons why BI can help SMEs:
1. Technical advantage
Development in the Software-as-a-Service space has allowed organisations to reduce expenditure. By shifting the cost and maintenance issues of running an in-house network to an external service provider, companies are able to streamline without compromising on quality. What’s more, cloud-based BI affords young SMEs the flexibility required in early stages of company growth.
With more user-friendly and easy to navigate software, companies no longer need to embark on lengthy, and often expensive, in-house training schedules. Non-technical users can independently access data-analysis tools, rather than seeking out-of-house experts.
3. Financially feasible
BI platforms are now cheaper than ever before. Rather than a luxury, or a tool reserved for larger organisations, BI platforms are allowing SMEs to work effectively with a skeleton team – before they have the financial backing to scale-up.