Working with business, public and voluntary organisations


Latest news from Loughborough University

4 May 2016

Growth Builder announces first cohort

Growth Builder, the business growth programme designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, has today announced the first cohort of 48 businesses selected to participate in the 12-month programme. 

The first of its kind to work with Government, universities including Loughborough, entrepreneurs and leading UK corporates, Growth Builder has been built specifically to help established British businesses that want to take on the next stage of growth.

The cohort consists of businesses from a range of sectors including Digital and Technology (32%), Professional Services (17%), Construction (10%), Manufacturing (8%) and Wholesale and Retail trade (8%) with full-time, permanent staff ranging between two and 232 (the average number of FTEs is 40). On average the businesses taking part are hitting £4.5m revenue a year, and are looking to take on the next growth challenge.

Companies taking part were picked based on existing proven successes and their potential for further growth by a panel of esteemed industry experts, including David Chapman at the UCL (University College London) School of Management; Paola Cuneo at UKTI, and Alistair Brew at Business Growth Fund. The panel was looking for businesses with either £1.5m revenue or 20 staff and that have grown by more than 20% per year for the past two years.

The 48 businesses will enjoy unrivalled access to Government, university innovation, corporate expertise, investors and successful entrepreneurs, including programme ambassadors like Brent Hoberman (,, Founders Forum and Founders Factory), Sherry Coutu CBE (Founders4Schools), Sarah Wood (Unruly) and Ed Wray (Betfair). Dale Murray CBE (Sussex Place Ventures), Simon Devonshire OBE (Entrepreneur in residence at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Glen Calvert (Affectv), Brynne Herbert (MOVE Guides) and Neill Ricketts (Versarien plc) are the latest successful entrepreneurs to join the programme as ambassadors.

The programme has been designed by UCL, Natwest, UKTI, BT, PIE Mapping, Fast Growth Forum, the UK Business Angels Association and Loughborough University. This is the first time Government, entrepreneurs, universities and leading UK corporates have joined forces to help British growth businesses.

The programme kicks off on 4th May when the cohort will meet for the first workshop and networking drinks.

Ben Fletcher, chairman of Growth Builder, commented: “Since launching the Call for Applications in February, we’ve been delighted with the calibre and number of applications received. This programme was built because we believed there was a need to help already established businesses achieve their next level of growth – be that launching into a new sector, geography or attracting big contracts. On average applicants were already hitting revenues of £4.5m, backing our belief.

“We’re looking forward to bringing together the first cohort with Government, universities, entrepreneurs and leading UK corporates at the first workshop on 4th May.”

Sherry Coutu CBE, serial entrepreneur and investor, commented: "In my 2014 Scale-Up Report we identified a need to support rapidly expanding ‘scale-up’ companies to create a significant proportion of the UK’s economic growth; RBS analysis suggested an additional 238,000 jobs and £38 billion additional turnover is possible if we reverse the ‘scale up gap’.

“In this report I called for Government, entrepreneurs, educators, investors and large corporates to work together to support these businesses. With this in mind, it’s great to see the launch of an initiative like Growth Builder and I look forward to working with the 48 businesses over the coming 12 months and to celebrating every single job they create by fulfilling more and more customers’ orders from all over the world in coming years.”


Notes for editors

Article reference number: May News

Companies selected onto the Growth Builder 12-month programme:


The Oxford & London Building Company



CloudThing Ltd

CommonTime Ltd

Cream (UK) Ltd

Crystal Palace Physio Group

DCSL Software

Dekko Interiors Ltd

DevOPsGuys Ltd


Express Microbiology

Groupcall Ltd  

Growth Engineering

Growth Street  

Health & Parenting

Humphries & Parks Ltd

InSkin Media Ltd

Inspire Digital

Intelligent Data Collection Limited

Just So Films


KeroniteGroup Ltd

Knight Security Ltd


Movement Strategies Limited


MWS Technology Ltd

MyTutorWeb Ltd





SalesGossip Ltd

Simco External Framing Solutions (UK) Ltd

Solomon&Wu Ltd

Spirit Ventured Limited

Surgical Holdings

The Chemistry Group

The Drum

The New Craftsmen

The SFS Manufacturing Group Ltd

Touchnote Ltd

Ultra Surefire Limited

Yoyo Wallet

Zone3 Ltd

About Loughborough University

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines. It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named the best in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey. Loughborough was ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2017 and was also named University of the Year in the In the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes. In September 2015 the University opened an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offers postgraduate and executive-­‐level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

About NatWest

NatWest is part of RBS. RBS is a UK-­‐based banking and financial services company, headquartered in Edinburgh. RBS provides a wide range of products and services to personal, commercial and large corporate and institutional customers through its two main subsidiaries, The Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest, as well as through a number of other well-­‐known brands including Ulster Bank and Coutts.

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of five customer-­‐facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979m with reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

About UCL (University College London)

UCL was founded in 1826. We were the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. We are among the world's top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently has over 35,000 students from 150 countries and over 11,000 staff. Our annual income is more than £1billion.

About the UKTI

UKTI works with UK based businesses to ensure their success in international markets through exports. We also encourage and support overseas companies to look at the UK as the best place to set up or expand their business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in  the  UK,  and  in  British  embassies  and  other diplomatic offices around the world. For more information on UKTI, visit

About the UK Business Angel Association

The UK Business Angels Association is the national trade association representing angel and early stage investment in the UK. Each year private investors account for circa £1.5 billion of early stage investment in the UK – the single largest source of early stage capital in this country. The UK Business Angels Association represents and connects all those involved in the angel investment market, including early stage VC funds, Banks and also non-traditional sources of finance, as well as advisers and intermediaries; policy makers and academics with a view to ensuring a coherent ecosystem for financing the growth of start-up and early stage businesses. The trade association has a number of roles:

Building and Connecting the Angel Ecosystem

The Voice of the Angel Community to Government and Policy Makers

Improving Quality, Standards and Education

Resource for Market Intelligence and Thought Leadership

Providing Access to Quality Dealflow

About PIE Mapping

PIE Mapping is creating a vehicle management and commercial vehicle journey planning platform for any person or business that has to manage drivers, vehicles and customer orders. This is being delivered for DPD UK (PIE for Delivery). This includes our Smart City offering PIE for Construction which navigates HGVs, minimising the likely collisions with cyclist. This is being delivered for Canary Wharf Group Southbank Place project. Our mission is to provide a solution that every business with a fleet can afford, easily use, and access time dependent information to increase efficiency.

PIE is the winner of Last Mile Labs, runner up on Cognicity Transport Challenge. Selected Technation200 company for 2015.

About the Fast Growth Forum

Fast Growth Forum and Fast Growth Icons are events for growth businesses that help the founders understand the challenges they will face as they scale. Forum looks at the first major growth transition when you grow to 50+ employees, and Icons is all about the hurdles to be overcome to reach £100m+ of revenue. The events are founded in the belief that it is the quality of your execution, not the quality of your ideas that matter most in creating a successful business.