School for Scale-Ups

A programme for accelerated leadership growth in Cambridge businesses. As a company grows from start-up to scale-up it needs to develop leadership and succession at many levels. Leaders and managers need a complex set of skills to deal with the challenges they face including forming and getting the best out of a team. CEOs deal with team and people issues, usually while delivering the day job. Inspiring, well-informed leaders throughout the business make a huge difference to the level of success a business can achieve.

Cambridge Network’s Learning Collaboration has tailored a suite of courses that some of Cambridge’s most successful organisations have used during their own scaling up.

Participants will benefit from collaborative learning with peers and mentors inside and outside their own company, accelerating their learning by exchanging ideas and experiences with Cambridge companies with similar management challenges and opportunities.

In addition to the planned formal learning, delegates are offered wider reading and a number of optional events and courses, with individual coaching and mentoring if appropriate. We include in the School visits from successful business leaders who are happy to share their experience and give their insights on issues that members may have.

“School for Scale-Ups would have been invaluable to Orthomimetics and CamGaN and I am certain that it will prove to be a fantastic resource as we build Fluidic Analytics.” Andrew Lynn, CEO of Fluidic Analytics

Who is it for?

The programme is designed for leaders of businesses who can see their path from start-up to scale-up, and for individuals who want to play a significant part in the future of their company that is already scaling up.

At CSR for example, the company recognised the issues early on and asked their strongest technologists  and  operational  team  leaders  to  learn  about  wider  aspects  of leadership.

“We have just completed Programme 7 of Cambridge Network’s management development programme and approximately 70 people have been on it in total. The programme has been well received. Team leaders have found it useful and been able to apply learning back into the business. One of the benefits is the networking that has taken place.”

CSR is one of the most successful home-grown Cambridge scale-ups, and, whilst the  School for Scale-Ups doesn’t take any credit for their concepts and leadership at the top, the programme helped many of the wider team.

We are now offering the same courses to others in order to help Cambridge businesses be the best they can be, and to get more, sustainable scale-ups

Modules in the programme refer back to four key aspects of the health of a business described by Larry Greiner:

  • Environment (reward systems, work patterns, structure and culture)
  • Behaviours (feelings, thoughts, attitudes)
  • Capabilities (skills – technical and personal)
  • Values-Beliefs (what binds us together)

Delegates take eleven modules to make up their basic programme, adding others as options to broaden their understanding and practical skills.

The Programme

A dinner and talk on leadership and scaling up from a well-known Cambridge business leader and investor will kick off module 1, with the core modules to follow:

Module 1 - Personal Leadership - Roles & Responsibilities

Module 2 - Effective Communication

Module 3 - Project Management

Module 4 & 5 - Managing Performance

Module 6 - Effective Influencing

Module 7 - Picking a Winning Team

Module 8 - Negotiation

Module 9 - Effective Appraisals and Succession Planning

Module 10 - Coaching for Managers

Module 11 - Managing Change

Additional modules depending on development needs and interests.

For full details of the programme please click here

Wrap Up

We hold a debriefing session for delegates at the end of the programme to recap some of the learning and review lessons learned during the year. We will support each cohort to join an ongoing peer group.

Case Study: Raspberry Pi

School for Scale Ups has made a substantive difference in the way that I work and I'm very, very pleased that it has done." Liz Upton, Co-Founder, Raspberry Pi

You can see Liz talking about her experiences on the School for Scale Ups programme on our YouTube channel.

You can see this video on our YouTube channel.  This clip is 1.5 minutes long. 


You can see this video on our YouTube channel. This is the full 3.10 minute interview.

Thank you to Cambridge TV for their filming and editing services.


Programme Cost

The basic offer is an 11 day programme for a cohort of individuals from different businesses taking the course together for best learning. It is spread over a 15 month period. Each session will include peer learning time when participants are able to seek input on a current issue if they wish to. The optional additional sessions and coaching  can be interspersed  with the basic programme or used to bring forward some elements of the course.

The programme costs £4,800 plus VAT per person. 

We expect an average of 10 participants per cohort.

To find out more please contact or the Cambridge Network team on 01223 760108