Scale-ups are young, innovative companies that are able to grow into large companies after the start-up phase. Scale-ups are a job engine and make an important contribution to the innovative power of the economy. Scale-Up Lab offers scale-ups concrete tools to grow into large companies with a positive impact on society.
Scale-Up Lab is an initiative of ScaleUpNation. In the first part of this project, the critical success factors of scale-ups were mapped on the basis of existing scientific research and extensive field research among more than a hundred (potential) Dutch scale-ups.
From this study it appears that successful scale-ups are usually led by entrepreneurs with a lot of experience in setting up companies. Scale-ups also invest a lot in research and development, and opt for the development of a new product rather than the further development of an existing product.
The second part of this project builds on this through additional research among 200 companies. The aim of this phase is an instrument with twenty success factors with which young companies can assess for themselves how they can increase their chances of growth.
The third part of Scale-Up Lab focuses on increasing knowledge about the four most important success factors for scale-ups: 1.measuring and improving the learning speed of the company, 2.defining the right customer segment, 3.the measuring and increasing customer satisfaction, and 4. attracting talent.
CEO: Critical Success Factor
A crucial success factor is the personal leadership of the CEO. At the end of the start-up phase, in which creativity and innovation are essential, companies often end up in a leadership crisis because many CEOs of start-ups are insufficiently equipped to lead the next growth phase.
An important solution to these crises lies in the development of better management skills of the CEO. On the one hand, it concerns tasks such as driving innovation and introducing new products (important for start-ups). On the other hand, it concerns the operational running of a company, including the dealings with external stakeholders (essential for the success of a scale-up).
In order to achieve an optimal balance, a Scale-Up Lab sub-project is working on a software tool that allows CEOs to see whether they divide their time properly in practice between innovation and running a company, and between internal and external communication.