Congratulations! You have just moved from startup to scaleup! Corinne Esteve Diemunsch, Director of Marketing, LimonetikPosted:
Are you an innovative company? Do you have at least 10 employees? Has your business grown by over 20% over the last 3 years? Voil! You're a scaleup!
How did this evolution come about like getting a Pokmon Go Level-Up reward?
In late 2013, the French government launched FrenchTech, a program promoting the “startup culture". Its mascot would be the little pink origami rooster, representing the people who work in French startups. Nurtured by the French Finance Ministry, the ecosystem of SMEs and innovative young internet businesses could be described by the keyword: AMBITION.
Ambition has been driving French businesses, transforming the country into one of the world’s biggest startup nations. Federation acceleration innovation is the credo boosting startups and helping add value to the economy.
Back to the startup
After typically weathering many ups and downs, once a company had found its business model and target market, it continues to flourish and becomes a job creator. By coping with problems of growth, financing and human capital, it gains energy and strength. At which point, to continue in the growth-phase life cycle a startup must to assert itself and solve the challenges of scaling up. So here we are! Moving from startup to scaleup.
Stand up and scale up!
The main difference between a startup and a scaleup is in the change of scale, i.e. the idea of going international. A number of specialised “accelerators” have helped these extremely dynamic and promising young saplings reach into the international market.
To succeed you would start by bringing some international talent into your team. Your growth will be sustained by multiculturalism, which accelerates your access to the outside world and helps to underpin your project.
But why place “the team” at the top of the recipe book? Because the main challenge of a scaleup is human resources. Having good people is what matters. This requirement is all the more urgent for businesses that strive to preserve their DNA and creativity.
As they evolve, to increase their international dynamic these companies must develop size. What makes a scaleup so attractive is the imposing aura it creates. Use it! A scaleup attracts investors because of its exponential growth. As an example, French scaleups represent 39% of GDP, according to the study “Hyper-growth Company: The challenge of the French entrepreneurial system”, by KPMG in partnership with the IFOP, an international market research group.
Finally, businesses seeking to be profitable apply an organic growth strategy in 90% of cases. This is called hyper-growth. In sum, a scaleup is supported by three strong concepts: transformation innovation disruption.
Win the ultimate contest. Then join the unicorn club!
It is essential for a scaleup to keep the startup mind-set: preserve its identity, its pioneering DNA; stay focused on conquering new markets and be self-financed.
The next step: win the ultimate contest and become a unicorn! A unicorn is a business with a billion-dollar valuation like Airbnb, Uber, Snapchat or Frenchie Blablacar that does not necessarily offer publically traded stock.
A business should leave the safe nest of accelerators, co-working spaces and other incubators, and structure itself. It should invest in human resources, build up its treasury and bump up management without losing its soul. The challenges are many, and the ascent is dizzying. This is what scaling up is all about!
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