Past Particpants

With our fourth Academy now complete, we have seen a wide range of entrepreneurs from all sectors benefiting from the practical advice and support they received from their peers.

Here are the thoughts of some of our previous participants.

Gill Burgess Gill Burgess, r//evolution

"The Scale-up Leader’s Academy has been fantastic for me. Here at r//evolution, we had been growing, but I wanted to accelerate this growth and was looking for a ‘blueprint’ that could help.

"The Gazelles approach used throughout the Scale-up Academy is clear and very focused - just what I was looking for. The combination of taught content and peer discussion has been very powerful and has meant that I’ve gained practical tips that we’ve implemented pretty quickly and relatively easily, as well as a strategic overview, covering the core areas of People, Strategy, Execution and Cash.

"There is still a lot we have to work on, but having this toolkit is certainly making a difference.

"The peer support has been invaluable, and some of us are already talking about setting up an informal group that we continue after the main programme has finished, so we can continue to help one another.

"Overall, I’d certainly recommend the Academy to any business owner who is committed to growth. For me, it has been time well invested."


Raman Sehgal Raman Sehgal, ramarketing

"The last year has been amazing for ramarketing. As a business, we’ve really found our niche and our team has worked super hard to drive year on year growth of 70%, which is phenomenal.

"The Scale-up Leader’s Academy came along at just the right time for me and has really opened my eyes.

"Not only has it introduced me to a lot of brilliant people I now regard as friends, but it also helped me to realise that lots of entrepreneurs are going through very similar challenges to me and I’m not on my own.

"The group sharing has been hugely valuable, both receiving advice and offering help to others.

"The coaching sessions have given me a lot to think about and, although I haven’t used everything I’ve learnt yet, even the little tweaks I’ve already made are proving to be invaluable."


Joanne Feeley Joanne Feeley, Trend Bible

"The Scale-up Leader’s Academy has had a transformative effect on our business over the course of a year.

"The process of learning from inspiring speakers, learning new growth strategies and embedding that knowledge with a business coach is a really unique format.

"The most impactful part for me has been being able to access one-to-one time with a dedicated mentor and crucially, getting to openly discuss growth issues with other business leaders.

"Every month, we’re all trying to implement the knowledge we’ve acquired, and so there’s a ready-made network there for discussing what worked and how best to apply it.

"Running a business can be a pretty isolated experience but the Academy has provided me with an approachable, encouraging environment to tackle the challenges we all face as high growth business leaders."


Dominic Lusardi Dominic Lusardi, Animmersion

"At Animmersion we’ve always had ambitions to scale-up so we jumped at the chance to join the Academy, and it’s definitely been worthwhile.

"As a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, we knew we’d be surrounded by similar minded people, but it’s been a breath of fresh air to work on our challenges with other entrepreneurs.

"Taking ideas from the programme and other business leaders, and applying them to Animmersion, has definitely influenced our growth.

"The coached sessions helped us to stay focused on the key issues, rather than getting dragged into the detail, and we now have a clear plan that isn’t overly technical but has true scale-ability.

"We think we’ve identified a cost-effective framework that will hopefully allow us to triple turnover in the next five years, without having to re-evaluate plans at every stage."

The full list of Scale-up Leader's Academy alumni:

  • Dominic Lusardi, Animmersion
  • Paul McGowan, Collingwood Legal
  • John Burns, Diamond Group
  • Richard Lane, durhamlane
  • Paul Wilson, EDM Zone
  • Ben McKenchnie, Epicurium
  • Neil Forrest, JM Glendinning Insurance
  • Mark Lisgo, Imperator Group
  • Alex Ingham, MI Supplies
  • Neil McGregor, N McGregor Property Services
  • Gill Burgess, r//evolution
  • Raman Sehgal, ramarketing
  • Steven Rawlingson, Samuel Knight International
  • Ralph Thompson, Silvermoor
  • Ryan Davies, Surge
  • Patrick Stephens, The Shred Centre
  • Joanna Feeley, Trend Bible
  • Lisa Eaton, Unwritten Creative
  • Chris McPhillips, WhiteWash Laboratories
  • David Park, Park Commercial
  • Tanya Garland, Cool Blue Brand Communications
  • Andrew Mackay, Coleman James
  • Paul Haverson, D3 Associates
  • Louis Freeman, Jump 360
  • Jon Beasley, Washington Direct Mail
  • Andy Greener, Komodo Digital
  • Stephen Rutherford, Monument Design & Build
  • Martin Ferguson, MJF Facilities Management
  • Sally Marshall, Marshall Roberston Group
  • Nick Salloway, Qrious
  • Samantha Read, APM Cleaning and Repair
  • Lee Quarzi, Lumo
  • Michael Beaton, DRS
  • Ben Tansey, re:heat
  • Kim Binks, Apricity
  • Richie Gledson, Sky High Sports
  • Martin Wakefield, Wakefields
  • Dan Parker, Aspect Facades
  • Alisdair Beveridge, The Build Directory
  • Keian Sanchez, A Greener Solution

For more information, or to discuss the Academy in more detail, call the any of the Forum team on 0191 500 7780 or