People value experiences over things.

As global citizens, the people at UP are energised by working with the power of cultures, experiences and corporate brands galvanised by innovation that is shared through the deployment of new technologies and content.

As innovation cycles shorten, both incumbent and challenger brands are increasingly required to differentiate through authentic and purposeful interaction with customers, employees, partners and shareholders.

UP works with international corporations, venture-backed start-ups, and investors to de-risk and accelerate the process of bringing innovative ideas, products and ventures to market and then helping to drive them to scale.

UP’s package of products and services is the world class way to create bigger, better, faster businesses.

The BilitzscaleUP Programme in partnership with  

The BlitzscaleUP Programme sees UP work with major international partners such as PwC to drive companies with high growth potential to achieve scale.

UP and PwC help entrepreneurs to grow bigger, better, faster companies through a carefully curated matching process of high quality mentors and startups, tailored masterclasses and events. Thanks to the strength of our trusted networks, we can increase collaboration between startups and large brands more efficiently.

Focussed on a series of major thematic issues, the BlitzscaleUP programme connects fast growth startups and large organisations to drive innovation and create business opportunities.

UP is currently working with PwC to deliver The Future of Health at MediaCityUK in Manchester – a programme for fast growth, high potential companies shaping the future of health through scalable innovation.

The UP Accelerator Lab

Subject to successful application and final selection, young companies will get a brilliant collaborative environment, access to some of the world’s biggest market making corporations, and exposure to investors and partners ready to back great teams with disruptive ideas.

The UP lab, delivered by our global network of entrepreneurs, mentors and advisers is designed to provide deep domain expertise, live connections and access to a wide range of partners to develop great businesses, and a team with all the skills, knowledge and networks to drive that business forward on an international scale.

We source and connect corporates to the best startups and scaleups in our network of international centres of innovation with particular expertise in the media, finance, retail and health sectors. We organise and run the application process and tailor our renowned programme to suit your objectives. We deliver working solutions and accelerate market entry by driving customer acquisition.

The MVP Innovation Lab in partnership with 

In partnership with The Landing at MediaCityUK, we have access to world class technical testing and product development facilities (Innovation Centre). This allows us to develop, test and validate new product development ideas quicker and more cost effectively than our cohort companies and our corporate clients can achieve themselves.

UP offers time, space, expertise and access to a range of funding partners to help you accelerate into the market and achieve scale quicker than you would otherwise achieve. There’s a comprehensive package of business support allied to a wide range of investment funds. We ensure that these businesses get hands-on support in legal, accounting, strategy, operations, sales, marketing and people management. UP’s interests are aligned with the entrepreneurs because we have invested time and money in these companies.

All this comes located in an inspirational location.

The Knowledge Hub in collaboration with 

Using our deep insight and practical experience in crowdsourcing and digital collaboration, we gain insight from targeted customers in a highly cost efficient, innovative and effective way, which will help you de-risk your product development and launch. We have a network of partners and associates with deep domain expertise who proactively contribute to our Knowledge Hub to build not just insight but foresight that is always ahead of the curve.

We proactively monitor the market for opportunities and solutions. Our Knowledge hub platform is used to categorise and rate the strength of the startup ecosystem in 8 key international locations. This, combined with the intelligence we receive about corporate innovation in our key verticals allows us to quickly locate and source great teams, big opportunities and competitive solutions that can result in accelerated stop/go decisions.

Established companies use our Knowledge Hub to assess the market viability of new products and services, to explore market reaction to different price points and/or to prioritise new features in existing products.

Business Timeshare

UP offers time, space, expertise and access to a range of funding partners to help you accelerate into the market and achieve scale quicker than you would otherwise achieve. There’s a comprehensive package of business support allied to a wide range of investment funds. We ensure that these businesses get hands-on support in legal, accounting, strategy, operations, sales, marketing and people management. UP’s interests are aligned with the entrepreneurs because we have invested time and money in these companies.

We have a database of the best people across business, technical and creative disciplines. Our extensive networks mean that we often have personal connections through these people, many of whom have achieved commercial success through the experience of building companies to exit.

 Some Corporate Case Studies

Finance and E-Commerce

  • An International High Street Bank

The strategic issue

The financial crash of 2008/09 caused this leading financial institution, which had many tens of thousands of staff located across the globe to decide that there was a need to differentiate after the crisis when sheer size was no longer necessarily the preferred option. Yet there was still a clear need to improve the return on investment from increasingly constrained capital and against the arrival of digital disruptors.

 The operational challenge was how to design and implement a new business model without damaging the existing model, despite having little internal capability to identify, specify or deliver disruptive products or services.

Clearly the challenge was how to transition the corporate culture to one that successfully delivers innovation from one that was risk averse.

The Solution was the development of a series of entrepreneurial networks based on “integrators” such as UP. The bank developed an Accelerator model and issued “calls” for ideas based on “strategic pillars.”

Outcome – now looking for external commercial partners for delivery.

  • New Entrant Global Ecommerce Platform

The Strategic Challenge

How to maintain and increase market share whilst building a trusted brand through increased customer satisfaction and retention.

The operational challenge

They didn’t know what they didn’t know and they had a vested interest in an incumbent solution.

What did they do?

They kept the incumbent provider on board and piloted a new data visualization platform, introduced by UP.

Outcome – they “had learned more in 24 hours from the start up than they had previously with the legacy solution”

  • Challenger High Street Bank

The strategic issue

The bank was a new entrant with a desire to differentiate in order to attract an entrepreneurial customer base. This coincided with the need to improve the return on investment from increasingly regulated capital at a time when the financial services sector is becoming increasingly disrupted by digital innovators.

The operational challenge was how to design and implement a new business model without damaging the existing one and how to transition the corporate culture to one that delivers innovation across the business from one that was based on silos.

What did they do?

Recruited an innovation team from a diverse range of industries and formed a JV with a digital disruptor to try to import innovative thinking.

Outcome –now looking for external commercial partners to upscale delivery

Media & Telecoms

  • A Major International Broadcaster

 The strategic issue

A major corporation, staffed by long serving personnel that needed to modernise the advertising sales operation without disrupting the existing business model which was a major source of profit. This involved making the business case for whether a technology solution was appropriate and then identify, specify and help implement the chosen solution.

 The operational challenge involved how to overcome “positive inertia” from key personnel (including those whose income was driven by the old commission-based system) and take the staff with the new direction

What did UP do?

We conducted a market insight exercise involving a mix of desk and field research to identify market pull and technology options. We the produced the detailed Business Case for presentation to, and approval from the Board for the preferred model.

Danny Meaney retained in an in-house role as the champion of change due to his mix of knowledge, credibility and gravitas

Ongoing support from the consultancy team was provided for specific technical issues

 A Global Mobile Device Manufacturer

 The strategic issue

The client was a global player in the sale of mobile phone handsets under attack from new entrants. The company faced a dilemma of whether to focus on the “pure play” of the core engineering skills of the company by developing and launching more sophisticated handsets into the smartphone market or whether to adopt the “apple model” of becoming both a content and technology provider.

The operational challenge involved how to transition the in-house skills from engineering to a mix of technology and content. This would involve identifying and recruiting expertise in content development, rights management and e-commerce.

What did they do?

They placed a big bet against UP’s professional advice and committed “to becoming a media company within five years”

  •  International Print Publisher

 The strategic issue

The company wanted to maintain and increase readership and therefore classified ad rates. The company wanted to introduce and extend a new business model, including affiliate deals whilst not negatively impacting on the current cash positive model. They were willing to consider acquisition of innovative digital start-ups.

 The operational challenge

The digital publishing model was still unproven at the time and it was difficult to overcome the “positive inertia” in a traditional print publishing hierarchy.

What did they do?

The client had made a significant investment and recruited an in-house digital team, which failed to change the culture or make the ROI on the investment. UP developed an outsourced partnership model and got buy-in from the key senior staff to an outsourced partnership model which achieved the desired metrics and proved the new model.

Outcome – the client subsequently brought the digital function successfully back in-house

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