– An initiative for ambitious, high growth private businesses
– First 19 ELITE companies unveiled today – drawn from across the UK and a wide variety of sectors
– Two year programme for founders and CEOs to help develop their businesses and readiness for investment
– Support from over 40 corporate advisory and investment partners
– Builds on success of ELITE Italy programme launched in 2012
London Stock Exchange today launches ELITE, an innovative business support programme for high growth private UK companies. Matthew Hancock, MP, Skills and Enterprise Minister launched the inaugural event and welcomed the first 19 ELITE company CEOs to the scheme. The event took place at Imperial College, hosted by Xavier Rolet, CEO of London Stock Exchange Group and Professor G. ‘Anand' Anandalingam, Dean of Imperial College Business School.
The 24-month ELITE programme will provide companies' founders, CEOs and executive teams with a tailored portfolio of business support tools, education services provided by Imperial College Business School and access to a select group advisers and investors. Major trade body supporters include the CBI, ABI, BBAA, BVCA and Tech City (full list below). In addition, companies will have access to the programme's ELITE Entrepreneurial Fellow, Sean Phelan, founder of Mulitmap and angel investor.
As part of their journey through ELITE, management teams will be guided on how to adapt and shape their businesses for further long-term growth and how to increase their visibility and attractiveness to potential investors.
About the companies
ELITE is for a select group of UK companies that are revenue generating and rapidly growing. The first cohort of companies showcases the UK's ability to produce great businesses across numerous sectors and across the country. The first cohort includes manufacturing, technology, healthcare, retail and media businesses. Of the 19 companies joining today, 13 are from outside London, including two from Scotland. As the initiative develops, multiple cohorts are expected to join every year.
Matthew Hancock MP, Skills and Enterprise Minister said:
"Innovative, imaginative and inspiring small businesses are essential for the British economy and it is part of the Government's long term economic plan to ensure that they have the right environment to grow. Programmes such as ELITE that offer access to high quality education, advice and support will help businesses scale up in the right way."
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said:
"Small and medium sized businesses are the lifeblood of London's economy providing employment for over 50 per cent of working Londoners. It's vital that ambitious young companies are supported as they grow so I warmly welcome the launch of ELITE, which is set to provide practical help and advice."
Xavier Rolet, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group, said:
"Having witnessed the success of the ELITE programme at Borsa Italiana, we believe that the environment in the UK is ripe for a similar programme to support high growth businesses. Innovative businesses are often the most ambitious companies, but to get ahead they need new resources, new relationships and new funding which many businesses find challenging or time consuming to access.
"ELITE will provide high growth companies with the essential tools they need to develop and help foster a connected financial ecosystem, promoting the right type of funding for businesses at each stage of their journey.
"We firmly believe that these companies will fuel the long-term growth of the UK economy, and that ELITE is a unique platform to help them achieve their full potential."
Professor G ‘Anand' Anandalingam, Dean of Imperial College Business School, said:
"SMEs are fast becoming the key drivers of growth within the UK economy. This partnership with London Stock Exchange will enable us to share Imperial's academic expertise with the founders and executives on the frontline of business innovation. We look forward to helping equip the first ELITE company CEOs with the tools they need to take their businesses to the next level.
"ELITE has already achieved success in Italy where the programme was launched in 2012. To date, over 130 companies have participated in the programme, with several companies having raised private investment and others now looking at potential stock market or mini bond listings and actively engaging in funding talks with Private Equity and Venture Capital firms."
Details of first cohort
Further commentary from ELITE partners:
Robert Hingley, Director of Investment Affairs, ABI
"ABI members as institutional investors have a strong interest in ensuring the continued health of UK capital markets, including a flow of high quality companies to the market. We particularly encourage early engagement between companies as part of building a solid investment case. ELITE offers a unique platform to support the introduction to capital markets of some of UK's most promising companies."
Tim Hames, Director General, BVCA
"A thriving and interdependent ecosystem of growth companies, advisers, academia and market infrastructure is essential for the private equity and venture capital industry. LSEG's ELITE programme will be an excellent addition to the marketplace in helping businesses understand, aspire to and access the greatest possible range of growth financing opportunities, including venture capital, private equity and the public markets, as well as improving exit routes for existing portfolio companies."
Sean Phelan, ELITE Entrepreneurial Fellow
"As an entrepreneur and investor in early stage, high growth businesses, I know only too well the challenges that ambitious companies can face as they develop beyond start-up status. The ELITE programme will be of huge benefit to these companies providing them with not just world-class advisors and partners, but a community of like-minded businesses and CEOs. As ELITE's Entrepreneurial Fellow, I'm looking forward to sharing my own experiences with the companies and to learning alongside them."
Tim Ward, Chief Executive, The Quoted Companies Alliance
"The ELITE programme is a welcome initiative by the London Stock Exchange to enable the engines of growth in the UK to learn more about the equity markets, the funding options available to them and the ways of the investment community. We congratulate the Exchange on the launch of this programme and believe that this will help companies kickstart their growth plans."
Joanna Shields, Chairman, Tech City UK
"ELITE will play a vital role in the development of high quality tech and digital companies in the UK, equipping firms with the confidence, networks and education they need combined with access to the widest possible range of funding opportunities so they can reach their full potential. More start ups successfully achieving global scale will have a galvanising impact on innovation culture in UK, encouraging more people to imagine, start and build their businesses. ELITE will further raise the profile of the tech sector amongst professional investors, helping to build essential sector expertise to compete with the pull of the US markets and ensure that British firms create high quality jobs here in the UK."
Nigel Walker, Technology Strategy Board
"Innovation is often the key to unlocking growth potential for ambitious businesses and at the Technology Strategy Board we are keen to offer support in order to help drive them and the UK economy forward. We frequently see that the technology-led businesses that we support also need assistance in developing their broader business capabilities and connecting with suitable sources of finance and so we are pleased that the ELITE programme offers a tailored programme to help achieve this."
Jenny Tooth, CEO, UK Business Angels Association
"UK Business Angels Association is pleased to support the new ELITE Programme. This will offer angel backed businesses with high growth potential the opportunity to gain new insights and expert support to take their business to the next level and increase their opportunity to access the next stage of growth capital. We are keen to ensure that business angels and their portfolio businesses can engage with this exciting programme".