Hunter Foundation looks for next Scots unicorn

Tom Hunter

The Hunter Foundation (THF) said it has launched the next phase of its ScaleUpScotland programme, recruiting for its fifth cohort of 12 scaling businesses.

THF said that across the first four cohorts – cohort 4 is still underway – the businesses have grown £500 million of incremental revenue, added 3,000 new jobs and secured £300 million in funding.

“This is by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs; tailored to meet their needs and support them through accelerated growth,” said Tom Hunter, founder of THF and serial entrepreneur.

“With a little bit of help from us and our amazing ‘entrepreneurs in residence’ these businesses have taken on significant challenges and grown exponentially.

“Fundamentally the peer-to-peer support across the cohorts coupled with knowledge and insight from entrepreneurs who have ‘been there and done it’ we think makes a significant contribution to supporting businesses scale.”

Trojan Energy CEO Ian McKenzie, a member of cohort 3 who recently raised £26 million, said: “Scale Up has given us access to industry experts and contacts that we could not have afforded or had access to otherwise.

“This has resulted in us making positive strategic changes within our business and gaining access to contract opportunities.

“It is also hugely beneficial to speak regularly with a group of founders and CEOs who are facing the same challenges as you on a daily basis but can offer insight and experience from different industries on how to overcome these challenges.”

Fully endorsed by the Scale Up Institute in 2022, ScaleUpScotland’s core programme is an 18-month cohort based experience aimed at highly ambitious entrepreneurs with the potential and desire to grow sales beyond £20 million-£30 million.

Whilst the central theme across the 18 months is building leadership capability for scale, the programme also takes a deep dive into the key drivers of scaling a business successfully.

Participants need to demonstrate continual development both of themselves and their organisation throughout the programme.

The time commitment is 10 residential one and a half day events and is operated from THF’s headquarters at Blair Estate.

The programme is aimed at high potential firms headquartered in Scotland with a minimum turnover of £1 million+ who can demonstrate strong year on year growth and an ambition to build a global business.

The programme is heavily subsidised by the Hunter Foundation, with participants contributing a fee of £6,000 plus VAT.

Companies can apply by emailing with the closing date for applications on February 29 and the programme starting on April 25.