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UpScaler is a programme of specific, tailored high-growth business support for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) that are growing rapidly or have the potential to do so. It was previously run in the D2N2 area.

This project originally ran from September 2018 to July 2021 and supported over 200 scaling businesses, delivering over 3500 of beneficiary hours and distributing £185k of grant funding and placed over 40 graduates into SME roles.

Due to the success of the project we are delighted to be able to continue the UpScaler support programme through our new Dryden Enterprise Centre as part of our European Regional Development Funded Programme. For more information on the new UpScaler Programme, visit here.

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About UpScaler

scale up

If your company is growing at a pace that is hard to manage, then UpScaler could be the ideal solution.

The project is an exclusive, invitation-only scheme for established successful businesses that are scaling up; have the potential to scale; or are ambitious to grow with a proven market and management team in place. Through the UpScaler project, selected businesses will have access to free or heavily subsidised and co-ordinated range of business support, including an intense diagnostic, leadership and management development workshops and access to a part-funded grant scheme.

The UpScaler project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund to support eligible SMEs in the D2N2 region.

Advantages to your business

UpScaler will provide a flexible combination of the following support  activities, tailored to your specific needs and growth requirements:

  • A detailed diagnostic of your individual scale-up challenges and opportunities, with recommendations for how UpScaler can best support your business
  • Access to an exclusive UpScaler Forum – so that you can learn from others
  • Leadership and management development programmes to enhance your skills as a leader
  • Workshops focusing on topical themes such as sales and marketing, access to finance and innovation
  • A grant towards the cost of high-quality coaching to help you identify and achieve your growth goals or
  • A grant towards the cost of recruiting a recent graduate to support your future talent needs

With this wide array of activities, diverse range of organisations and the exclusive group of participating businesses, UpScaler aims to create an active and dynamic support community that will help develop both the individual businesses and support the Scale-Up Community and help the D2N2 economy to grow.

Is your business eligible?

A SCALE-UP group highlighting the round tables

D2N2 UpScaler is an exclusive programme and is only available to a limited number of small and medium enterprises in the three following categories of high-growth business:

ScaleUp business

  • at least 10 employees
  • a turnover of £1 - 45 million
  • annual growth of over 20% for last 3 years

Potential ScaleUp business

  • at least 10 employees
  • a turnover of £1 - 45million
  • annual growth of either over 10% for the last 3 years or over 20% for the last 2 years

Ambitious business

  • Upscaler recognises that not all businesses will fit the above criteria but can still demonstrate their potential to scale-up and achieve some or all of the characteristics outlined below:
  • A Vision to Believe In - its people are invested in the businesses and understand how they contribute towards its success and future prosperity. They also see personal growth potential in addition.
  • A Solid Business Team - the Management Team all share a desire for growth. They embrace challenges and empower teams to provide solutions and innovation. They are aware of their internal capabilities and seek external support where this is missing.
  • A Process That Is Documented - internal processes are proven and run smoothly. The business can demonstrate delivery of product and Project on a consistent basis. It has contingency built in, being agile and flexible when needed.
  • Investment in Growth - the business has the reserves and appetite to invest in growth. Investments in new technologies are planned and “time” investment in people creates an environment of learning and mentoring.
  • A Digital Advantage - UpScaler businesses embrace technology and innovation openly, using it to their advantage.

Who delivers the D2N2 Growth Hub ScaleUp Project?

UpScaler is a delivery partnership between:

The delivery partnership combines academic excellence in leading-edge business thinking and dynamic business communication and networking, to build an established presence across the D2N2 region. UpScaler will provide the valuable, practical and effective support that high growth and scaling businesses need and want.

UpScaler case studies

To find out more about the businesses we've supported through UpScaler, you can watch a number of great video case studies talking about the project's impact.

Contact us

UpScaler is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Contact the UpScaler team at NTU via:

Phone: +44 (0)115 8488903

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