Winning Pitch proved a new approach could drive the success of start-ups beyond expectations for Business Wales. The broad stroke ambition for the Welsh Government was to boost the Welsh economy and generate jobs, but within that was an intent to foster new entrepreneurs and ideas, get start-ups to launch, see them through the challenging early stages and onto solid, secure and rapid growth.
Winning Pitch’s response was to purpose-build an innovative package of coaching, support and specialist mentoring dubbed the High Performance Start-up programme (HPS). One of the elements that set it apart from more traditional initiatives was its portfolio approach to managing and apportioning support.
A business we believed had the potential to create 20 new, higher-paid positions would receive a level of support and encouragement above that of companies that might deliver only a few jobs, It wasn’t so much about picking winners as guiding public sector money towards those companies not just likely to generate jobs, but likely to generate the most jobs.
Central to the support the companies received were group workshops addressing the speed bumps young businesses typically meet when scaling their enterprise. They were coupled with a well-tested set of ‘growthology’ tools, “techniques that are practical, visual, concise – on one page if we can – and specifically related to overcoming the common constraints startups face.
COMPANY CASE STUDY
Gareth Rees, Managing Director
Developing a true grasp of the sales pipeline and the priority order for anticipated conversion… managing and identifying the decision processes and timescales related to bigger contracts… building stronger relationships with people in the client businesses… understanding the cash implications in relation to larger contracts… moving premises… recognising the importance of expansion into export markets, and achieving it.
Increased from £1 million to £4.7 million while on the programme
Jobs created. Grew from 10 to 35 employees
New depot in Gibraltar. Also exporting over £100,000 pa to Poland
Immediately improved turnover, profitability and sustainability by acquiring a closely aligned business
“With the assistance of the Welsh Government, our financial position was strengthened allowing us to buy a plant hire and sales business adding substantially to the profitability of the business. Without this assistance it would have been impossible to expand so rapidly and to create the sustainability we now have.”