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The Scaleup Programme: for high potential scaleup businesses

The Innovate UK Scaleup Programme helps the highest potential businesses realise their ambitions.
Paul, CEO at Photocentric with his Scaleup Director Chris.

Delivering growth at scale is at the heart of Innovate UK’s emerging strategy for business innovation in the UK. Innovate UK Business Growth is a key enabler of this strategic priority and through the Scaleup Programme, helps the highest potential businesses realise their ambitions.

Read about independent research that demonstrates the programme's high return on investment.


Scaleups have a disproportionately large economic impact: They bring solutions to market, create highly skilled jobs, drive up productivity and maintain UK competitiveness. It is incumbent on us as the UK’s innovation agency to develop businesses that grow through innovation and can go on to do so at a meaningful scale.


Scaling a business for growth

Our bespoke, scaleup director-led support helps to address the key scaleup challenges. These challenges include but are not limited to access to markets of the future, access to connections and resources and attracting growth capital. The result will be more innovative UK businesses growing and scaling and doing so globally, to build a strong and sustainable economy.

The most outstanding scaling businesses that are disrupting their industries, capable of internationalisation and achieving over 50% growth p.a. are invited to join our Scaleup Programme for enhanced support.


The Scaleup Programme

Innovate UK Business Growth’s highly regarded Scaleup Programme provides one-to-one, bespoke and funded support centred around innovative scaleups’ specific needs. It is available to those scaleup companies achieving, or with the potential for, 50% compound annual growth rates (CAGR) and over.

Participants are assigned a Scaleup Director who works with them as their designated single point of contact, to identify key scale up challenges and enablers that the collective resources, skills and connectivity of a 'Scaleup Board' can address. The Scaleup Directors on this Board provide a matrix of skills and connectivity across domains such as finance, M&A, international markets, IP, supply chains, scale up leadership and talent management.

A high level Strategic Advisory Board in turn provides another layer of connectivity and access to resources.


Scaleup Programme Alumni Community

Every programme participant, past and present, is invited to become a member of the Scaleup Programme Alumni Community, which will convene scaleup peers and ecosystem players for connections and knowledge-exchange that will continue to propel growth journeys

Watch the video below to understand how we have helped Photocentric to scale:


How am I selected for the Scaleup Programme?

Invitation to submit an Expression of Interest

Following an initial call with a Scaleup Director to discuss your strategic business growth plans and the Programme’s specific value added support, you will be invited and supported to submit an Expression Of Interest (EOI). Please contact us to initiate the process, or if you are already working with an Innovate UK Business Growth innovation and growth specialist, please go through them. 


Evaluation by Scaleup Board

Our expert Delivery Board evaluates all EOIs for eligibility. Those EOIs scoring above set thresholds are collectively considered by the Board for progression to the third selection stage: A site visit by two Scaleup Directors.


'Deep Dive' site visit

During the site visit, we will get to know more about your business and start mapping out your scaleup aspirations and challenges in order to compile a detailed report, which will comprise the basis of your final stage selection.


Scaleup Board final evaluation

After the visit, your Scaleup Directors will present your company, via the detailed report to the rest of the board, who in turn collectively decide if you are to be accepted onto the programme.



If your application is successful, you will be assigned a Scaleup Director to develop and deliver your bespoke support action plan, addressing the challenges and enablers agreed with you at the site visit.


You can read more about the origins, structure and benefits of the Scaleup Programme in the ScaleUp Institute's Annual Review 2020


Discover some of the best books for scaling your innovation business, as chosen by the team of Scaleup Directors.


Scaleup companies


Joining Innovate UK's Scaleup Programme put cleantech company ICAX in a very strong position to take a new domestic heat pump product to market.

The company secured R&D funding from the Welsh Government and is projected to turn over £6.5million this year.

Scaleup directors helped ICAX establish itself in a rapidly growing and important marketplace in the UK.

Read more about the company's intensive and bespoke support from the Scaleup Programme.

Talent Intuition

Being invited onto the Innovate UK Scaleup Programme was 'the best thing that has happened to us at this stage in our growth', said the CEO of Talent Intuition, Alison Ettridge.

The company provides strategic workforce intelligence data to global and fast-growing businesses.

With the support of Scaleup Directors, Talent Intuition now has a clear go-to-market strategy and a sharper value proposition - and achieved a 269% growth in revenues from 2020 to 2021.

Read more about how the Scaleup Programme supported Talent Intuition to address key challenges.

What our clients say about us

Paul Holt Photocentric

Innovate UK has brought my R&D-intensive business huge benefits We have doubled in size this year and its scaling support has been critical.

Paul Holt Photocentric
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