12th Growth Tech – The funding and talent landscape – part 2

22nd June 2021 from 5:00pm — 6:30pm • Zoom

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“We are definitely living through the age of entrepreneurship…as well as support for innovation and access to talent, high growth firms need access to capital…to help fill the scale-up funding gap” (Rishi Sunak May 2021).

All entrepreneurs face the challenge of finding great talent and raising capital. But how can you address these issues when your business is scaling-up at pace?

Growth Tech events provide a platform to discuss and debate the opportunities and/or concerns confronting IT companies in the near-term. GT12 is focused on two key challenges faced by all SMEs: securing funding and hiring the right talent. In GT11 we considered start-ups and early-stage companies; and in GT12, the second event in a trilogy during 2021, we will explore the issues faced by scale-up businesses as they grow their workforce and seek finance.

The Debate

Discussion will be driven from an IT perspective, led by three business leaders with diverse experience of private equity investment as well as sourcing talent.

The UK sees more start-up investment than anywhere else in Europe, $15bn last year, and tech start-ups generally thrived over the past 18 months as the pandemic accelerated digital adoption in healthcare, online shopping and remote working. However, for UK plc it is vital that we support tech entrepreneurs not just in the early stages but also in raising later stage capital to succeed globally.

“This year has highlighted the UK tech sector’s enormous resilience and world-beating innovative spirit. In the face of a major global crisis, it has not only survived; in many areas, it has boomed…tech scale-ups are at the centre of rebuilding our economy…successes of the past decade have shown what the UK is capable of when policy foresight, investment and a diverse and ambitious pool of talent come together …” (Gerard Grech, Tech Nation March 2021).

“Founders know their product/market but have never scaled a business before. Research by Crunchbase shows that 83% of founders are doing it for the first time. They don’t have the experience, method, and skills to add the systems, processes and governance they need to change gear. The business needs to shift from the founder pulling all the levers to being run by a well-rounded management team. The most acute skills gap lies in sales and marketing. Customer acquisition and retention is a science, but often this is where smaller businesses fail. It is one thing for a founder or CEO to drive sales through passion. It is quite another thing for an experienced sales team to drive scale” (Simon Philips ScaleUp Capital – growthbusiness.co.uk March 2021).

Our fabulous speakers will share their views and insights followed by audience Q&A.

Guest Speakers

John O’Connell, Chairman ScaleUp Group

John O’Connell is a high profile London based technology entrepreneur and investor. He co-founded, floated on the UK LSE and sold, for circa $200 million, Staffware plc which, at the time, was one of the leading software companies in the UK. Over the last 16 years, he has personally invested in and chaired 16 technology businesses, including startups, VC/PE backed or AIM listed. In addition to Staffware, exits include: AIM listed Portrait Software; Imperial College spin-out InforSense; and Opta Sports Data Ltd.


Dave Bryant, Director The Mothership Group

The Mothership Group is a VC backed business focused on “creating truly inspirational and innovative businesses.” A Chemical Engineer with heavy industry production management experience, Dave spent 22 years at Mars working across different areas of the company overseeing business change, human resources and the retention of staff. He joined Lorna Davidson as an Executive Director at Tactical Solutions for 12 years and has been a non-exec Director at RedWigWam since 2015.


Lorna Davidson, Founder/CEO at RedWigWam

Lorna Davidson is an entrepreneur with a history of successfully building, managing and exiting businesses. Lorna built her first business, Tactical Solutions (a leading field marketing agency), over 13 years before selling for £29million. In 2015, she created RedWigWam as an online portal matching very short-term contracts with temporary staff. The business has grown rapidly and today boasts over 120,000 people looking for work and approx 3,000 medium and large companies seeking staff.




There is no charge, but we encourage you to donate to the WCIT Charity here.


Zoom connection details can be found in your confirmation email.