Tenth Silicon Valley comes to the UK announces 2016 Scale Up Club

New research shows UK tech sector is leading source of jobs and business growth over last ten years

In its tenth year, Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (‘SVC2UK’) has invited 50 UK high-growth technology companies to join the 2016 ‘Scale Up Club’. Together the firms have a combined revenue of £205 million this year, employing nearly 2,500 people across the UK. This year’s club is made up of some of the UK’s fastest growing tech businesses from across a range of sectors, with an average growth rate of 47 per cent – including Dressipi, New Voice Media, Poq, Syndicate Room, and VentureFounders.

Over the last ten years the UK’s tech sector has been a leading source of jobs and growth for Britain’s economy, according to new data released to coincide with the tenth anniversary of SVC2UK and commissioned by London & Partners, The Mayor of London’s promotional company1. The data revealed that the UK’s tech sector currently employs over 1.15 million workers across the UK and has seen a 17 per cent rise in the number of jobs created since 2006, greater than the seven per cent increase across all sectors. Britain’s digital sector has also created more new businesses than the wider economy, recording a 44 per cent growth in digital businesses, compared to a 23 per cent across all industries.

London has been a driving force behind the growth of the UK’s digital economy, with the data showing that the capital’s booming tech sector has outperformed the wider London and national economy.  From 2006-2016, London’s digital sector recorded 77 per cent employment growth and a 90 per cent growth in the number of digital businesses. According to the latest figures compiled by Oxford Economics, London’s tech sector is currently home to 46,000 businesses, contributing 240,000 jobs across the city.

Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, said: “With our unrivalled mix of investors, talent and creativity it is hardly surprising that tech businesses and entrepreneurs are clamouring to be part of London’s tech story. These latest figures underline that London is the best place to invest in tech and how important this sector is as a driver for the UK economy.

“In recent weeks the Mayor and I have been speaking to business leaders in tech and beyond to reassure them London is open for business. Moving forward, Sadiq’s plans include the establishment of a ‘tech talent pipeline’ to ensure young Londoners have the digital skills to access employment and to encourage Londoners, especially girls, to work in tech.”

SVC2UK was launched in 2006 by Sherry Coutu CBE, Reid Hoffman and Ellen Levy. Previous Scale Up Club alumni such as TransferWise and SkyScanner are now valued at over $1 billion and represent some of the UK’s most successful technology companies. SVC2UK offers Scale Up Club mentoring and support from highly influential entrepreneurs and investors from both side of the Atlantic including: Megan Smith, (White House CTO), Julie Hanna (Kiva), David Hornik (August Capital), and many many more.

Sherry Coutu CBE, serial entrepreneur, angel investor and a founder of SVC2UK, said: “I can hardly believe that SVC2UK is ten years old this year. When Reid, Ellen and I founded this initiative we couldn’t have foreseen that ten years on it would still be going and have grown into such an incredible and impactful programme that has helped so many companies achieve more, and scale up faster. We see from our own internal data that the UK’s tech and digital industry is growing year on year – and now combined with London & Partners data about tech growth over the last ten years this is resolutely confirmed. I am so very proud of what we are doing at SVC2UK and I wish all those included in this year’s Scale Up Club the very best in what will be a challenging yet exhilarating year ahead.”

SVC2UK has been supporting this incredible growth over the last ten years by:

  • helping over 400 first time CEOs to scale up their businesses
  • hosting over 170 prominent serial entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley to share insights and knowledge of scaling and learn about the UK Tech scene
  • hosting over 30,000 guests at events across Cambridge, Manchester and London and inspiring SVC2U events in other cities such as Tallinn, Latvia and San Francisco
  • working with over 1,000 volunteers in running the SVC2UK events
  • supporting over 60 Female CEOs to raise their ambitions and scale up their businesses
  • Leading two International Trade Missions to Silicon Valley for Female CEOs from the SVC2UK Scale Up Club to share learnings and connect to influential networks to grow customer base
  • inspiring the creation of Founders4Schools, a registered charity that has facilitated over 112,000 student-employer encounters since it was born in 2012

This year’s SVC2UK programme kicked off on Tuesday, 1st November in Cambridge, in partnership with Bailey Fisher Executive Search, with a debate about ‘Artificial Intelligence’ at the Cambridge University Debating Society followed and AI roundtables hosted at Mills & Reeve. The programme then moves to London with events across Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd November in the capital, including masterclasses on scaling a company at Google Campus; a ‘Ten Years From Now’ series of keynotes at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. The week culminates with the annual CEO Summit for all those selected to join the 2016 Scale Up Club, hosted at City Hall. This year, SVC2UK is also partnering with Pitch@Palace, taking place on the evening of 2nd November, the WIRED Festival on Friday 3-6th November and the Edtech UK Summit on 4th November. See full programme here.

Janet Coyle, Director SVC2UK at London & Partners said: “Once again, this year’s Scale Up Club includes some of the highest growth tech and digital businesses from across the UK. We are excited to welcome so many brilliant entrepreneurs and investors from the US and the UK and we are so grateful to them for the time and energy they have put into mentoring and inspiring throughout this year’s programme – and so many years before.”

Mark Barnett, President UK & Ireland, Mastercard added: “Over the last ten years the UK’s technology sector has gone from strength-to-strength. With a world class financial centre, access to talent and a thriving start-up ecosystem, London has emerged as a leading innovation hub and is now a world leader in areas such as fintech and retail technology. Through initiatives such as Silicon Valley Comes to the UK and MasterCard’s Start Path programme, we see a growing opportunity to work with London’s start-up and high growth businesses to develop the latest technologies in retail, big data, security and payments.

This year’s summit is being run by London & Partners with support from SVC2UK partners including Mastercard, Google (Campus London), KPMG, Barclays, Pennington Manches, Bailey Fisher Executive Search, Royal Society, Mills & Reeve, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, Mind the Bridge and FieldHouse Associates.

The full list of Scale Up Club entrepreneurs can be seen here.

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