Paul Scully MP visited Scale Space this week, a new scale up community based at Imperial’s White City Campus.
Scale Space is the UK’s first scale-up community created specifically to help innovative businesses accelerate and grow. During the visit, the Minister spoke directly with several exciting companies based in the facility, including:
- DNAe, a pioneering molecular diagnostics business
- Avado, a digitally-powered professional learning business
- Salary Finance, who partner with employers to improve employee wellbeing
- Agilisys, a digital transformation specialist to the public sector
- Second Nature, a behavioural science and smart technology business
As the Government’s scale up champion and Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets, Mr Scully has recently pledged support for Innovate UK’s new peer networks for scaling businesses, in collaboration with the ScaleUp Institute.
Welcoming the Minister were the Provost Professor Ian Walmsley, Mark Sanders, Executive Chairman at Scale Space and Irene Graham, CEO of ScaleUp Institute. Professor Walmsley introduced Imperial’s White City Campus to the Minister and explained that the College is creating a network of innovation spaces for businesses of all sizes – major corporations, high-tech and high-growth companies, SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs – to work alongside Imperial at every stage of their development and growth.
"Building up scaling companies through activities like Scale Space are a key part of our entrepreneurial system - and I’m delighted that the Minister was able to see that today and hear from the scale ups based at our White City Campus." Professor Ian Walmsley Provost
Earlier this year, Imperial College Business School opened a 12,000 sq ft purpose-built space dedicated to teaching and research, which is being used by Business School students and academics.
The Business School's suite of MBA and Master's degree programmes will have elements taught at two new teaching areas at Scale Space, providing students with the opportunity to forge connections with tenant companies, alongside the wider entrepreneurship community of White City.
Mark Sanders explained how Scale Space has been created to help the UK’s scale-up sector overcome growth challenges and secure the right support to grow effectively. It helps members overcome challenges for long term success by creating a growth community, connecting businesses together for mutual benefit, and drawing on the specific skills and expertise within Imperial and Blenheim Chalcot.
The Minister toured labs of DNAe, a spinout from Imperial, which is developing a platform that performs DNA sequencing on a microchip to provide rapid, actionable information to clinicians. A quickfire showcase of several other member companies, including Agilysis, Second Nature, Avado and Salary Finance, rounded off the visit at Scale Space, before the Minister then joined the ScaleUp Institute on the next leg of the scaleup tour across London to meet food manufacturer Chika Russell of Chika’s Foods, big data gurus Quantexa, and decarbonisation in action with Icax in Southwark.
"It was fantastic to meet so many engaging and creative business leaders at Scale Space" Paul Scully MP Minister of London
Clean tech startup Puraffinity, who recently graduated from White City Incubator, was also highlighted as a prime example of how the White City ecosystem supports fast-growth companies at each stage of their entrepreneurial journey.
The Minister said: “Scaleups play an absolutely pivotal role in creating jobs, pioneering innovation and generating wealth for the nation - they will be critical as we build back better from the pandemic.
It was fantastic to meet so many engaging and creative business leaders at Scale Space and to highlight the extensive support which the government is offering to boost private enterprise - including the new Help to Grow schemes, funding through the British Business Bank, the Peer Networks mentoring programme and the 38 English growth hubs.”
In summing up the day across London, Irene Graham said: “Today’s visit has shown the innovation, diversity and international drive of scaleup businesses, which are found in every sector and area of the UK. Circa 33,000 scaleups generate 50% all SME turnover to the UK economy - £1.1 trillion - and are key to levelling up employment and future economic growth in every locality. Clusters and hubs are essential to scaleup growth, and today we have seen an exemplar of that in action”.
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