February 25, 2016

Growth Builder, a new accelerator designed to help high-growth companies in the UK scale beyond the startup stage, celebrated its launch earlier this month with an event at the iconic BT Tower in London. Bringing together public and private partners to offer a tailored 12-month program, Growth Builder aims to provide entrepreneurs with the tools they need to advance their businesses to the next stage and accelerate growth.

The foundation for Growth Builder was developed over a two-year journey during Team London’s participation in the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP). A unique global executive education program based at MIT, REAP helps regions around the world accelerate economic growth and job creation through innovation-driven entrepreneurship (IDE). Regions form teams comprised of representatives from five key stakeholder groups—entrepreneur, risk capital, corporate, government, and university—to work together to analyze their area’s strengths, determine a strategy based on comparative advantage, and implement a first step for achievement.

REAP Stakeholder_500

In 2014, Team London was formed by a full set of stakeholders, and it then joined partner regions—Morocco, Qatar, Moscow, Puerto Rico, Valencia, Singapore and Seoul—in REAP’s Cohort Two, which is coming to a close in June 2016. After participating in three workshops and working with MIT faculty to build a customized strategy for enhancing their IDE ecosystem, Team London determined that many startups were being produced in their region, but in order for these startups to grow, a scale-up accelerator was needed. The end result was the development of Growth Builder, which will help innovation-driven entrepreneurs across the UK collaborate with seasoned business leaders; provide unrivaled access to key stakeholders across government, universities, corporations, and risk-capital investors; and experience an adaptive, content-rich program tailored to support and apply learnings to their companies.

Fiona Murray, the Bill Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT, associate dean for innovation at MIT Sloan, and co-director of the MIT Innovation Initiative, and Phil Budden, senior lecturer at MIT Sloan and diplomatic advisor to REAP, attended Growth Builder’s launch event to show their support. “I look forward to welcoming Team London to MIT for their final workshop this summer, to hear how companies are benefitting from the Growth Builder experience and to see them ‘graduate’ and join other REAP alumni in our global innovation network,” says Budden. He continues, “On behalf of all the REAP faculty and staff, we are proud to congratulate them on their individual and collective accomplishments.”