The second edition of our ScaleUpFood program was fully digital, which allowed for our first international cohort – a group of some of the best-in-class ventures from all over the world. We had people dialling in every week from Nigeria, the Netherlands, Israel, South Africa and Groningen, who brought entirely new perspectives to the table and enriched the sessions immensely.
We kicked off the program with our brand new tool, the ScaleUpScan – a complete diagnostics tool that evaluates how ventures perform on each of our success factors, combined with an assessment of team dynamics and data analysis of website performance. Each company gets their individual scan results, which are discussed in a 2-hour session with a senior ScaleUpNation expert. This kick-starts a reflection on the ScaleUpJourney of each venture, and the role of its leadership in transforming from a start-up into an enterprise.
The Focus sessions covered a variety of scale-up topics, that are relevant for each venture in the class. The Strategy Session (day 2) for instance, covered 3 techniques: (1) Scenario-thinking, (2) Articulating a great vision, and (3) a Reframing Exercise. Some of the breakthroughs were:
- One venture realized that being small wasn’t a limit to creating impact – its product is scalable and easy to fund. It can allow them to become a big player in the market and create global impact.
- One team initially had concerns that their product wasn’t sexy enough, being a raw material, but reframed the value proposition to leverage on its unique technology and usability.
- A founder reframed a belief from “very few people know about the benefits of our product” to “people will be excited to learn about the benefits of our product”
At the end of the day the new insights were translated into action plans, to allow for clear accountability on follow-up: the CEOs translated the reframes into 2-3 ‘must-win’ activities for the coming months.
For the Scan and Focus modules, ventures brought their leadership teams, sometimes even up to 6 people per company, to ensure that the new insights really became part of the vocabulary of the company. In the coming weeks, we’ll continue to work with the individual ventures in the modular Boost program on skills, leadership issues and strategy topics that are relevant for their individual journey. All participants will join FoodValley for 2020, becoming part of the primary agrifood ecosystem in the Netherlands.
At ScaleUpNation, we realise that awareness of the growth challenges is just the start of a structured approach to scaling. The Art of Scaling is not created in a classroom setting, but in the dirty practice of real life, when the real dilemmas pop up and crises occur. We therefore offer continuing support for MTs of scaling ventures through our flight program.