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Business growth stages

May 12, 2021

Andrew Kent
Innovate UK EDGE Partner Manager

Inventya work with businesses at all stages of their journey; from start-up to scaleup! Alongside our broad range of services including R&D tax credits, bid writing and funding – we also partner with Innovate UK EDGE to deliver their Innovation & Global Growth Support and Scaleup Programme.

In this blog, we’re going to look at the various stages of businesses and their growth, to help you identify where you are at the moment and where you want to be in the future.

There are 5 key stages to business growth, and these are identified as:

  • Pre-seed stage
  • Seed stage
  • Early stage
  • Growth stage
  • Scaleup stage

Pre-seed stage

Typically, a pre-seed stage business will be any ‘start-up’ business, whether this is a concept for a business without being fully set up or registered, or it could be a new company that has been trading for a year or less and have less than 5 employees.

Key activities for pre-seed stage businesses include:

  • Refining the business idea, concept and product/service
  • Defining the audience and the market


Potential problems in this stage:

  • Not knowing what solution the business is going to solve for customers
  • Lack of research into the client base
  • Vague business pitch with not enough funding to proceed


How can Inventya help?

Inventya can help start-up businesses apply for funding grants, reach out to potential investors if it’s applicable or help you grow your business to the next stage.

Seed stage

A company that is registered and ready to go about the next step in their journey – looking into market research, product testing, developing more brand identity and looking to grow. Usually, these businesses will have a low turnover (less than £100,000), less than 10 employees and have been trading for less than three years.

Key activities for seed stage businesses include:

  • Testing the product or service either with potential audiences, market research, feasibility studies or prototype testing and development

Potential problems in this stage:

  • Being unaware of what sector your business falls in to
  • Little knowledge of the business support available to help your business on it’s journey

How can Inventya help?

Inventya can offer a variety of solutions when you’re business is in the seed stage, we can look at claiming for R&D tax credits, assist you with funding applications, refer you to our partner Innovate UK EDGE for some funding opportunities, assist with investment or consult with you on business advice.

Seed stage case study: https://www.inventya.com/casestudies/marlan-martime-technologies-i2s


Early stage

These types of companies will be starting to generate some revenue and profit, have a business model in progress and potentially up to 20 employees. Often these businesses are 1-5 years old and have a turnover between £20,000 - £200,000.

Key activities for early stage businesses include:

  • Working on developing the business model, value proposition, target audience
  • Getting market-ready with pilot testing and more insight into manufacturing

Potential problems in this stage:

  • Strategy is key, at this point you need to know the ins and outs of your business, what solution it’s bringing to the customers and why it’s going to succeed
  • Not knowing what funding or business support you can use to further grow your business

How can Inventya help?

Our funded programmes can get your business off the ground with so many services in partnership with Innovate UK EDGE and we can also help you with R&D tax credits, consultancy, bid writing, patent box and IP.

Early stage case study: https://www.inventya.com/casestudies/sigma-technology


Growth stage

With up to 100 employees and around 2-5 years under their belt, growth businesses often have a turnover of anywhere up to £5million and are ready to further expand and potentially internationalise.

Key activities for growth stage businesses include:

  • Exploring new partnering opportunities and even internationalisation opportunities
  • Expanding into new markets‍

Potential problems in this stage:

  • Ensure that you have the funding behind you to not only launch, but to see some revenue before you’re able to expand, partner and internationalise

How can Inventya help?

Inventya can work with you to either explore the Innovate UK EDGE innovation and global growth services which will help you find partners, collaborators, internationalise or expand your offering. Alternatively, or in addition – Inventya can help you with consultancy, investment, finance for growth, bid writing and grant funding or making the most of your R&D tax claim.

Growth stage case study: https://www.inventya.com/casestudies/valuechain


Scaleup stage

Your business will be 3-15 years old, with anywhere between 20-250 employees and a turnover of up to £50million. You’ll be in an expansion stage where you’ll be focusing on literally ‘scaling up’ with more drive towards leadership, business strategy and talent acquisition.

Key activities for scaleup stage businesses include:

  • Strategy, leadership, finance, infrastructure, and talent acquisition

Potential problems in this stage:

  • Access to the necessary connections to continue scaling up – this is where Inventya can help you with the Innovate UK EDGE Scaleup Programme

How can Inventya help?

Inventya are the lead delivery partner of the Innovate UK EDGE Scaleup Programme, which helps the highest potential businesses realise their ambitions.

Inventya are a truly passionate management agency with a difference, we want to become an extension of you business and help you to drive your business forward through the various stages. We offer a range of services that can help support you on your business growth journey, including our partnership with Innovate UK EDGE – if you’re looking for more advice on how Inventya can help you – get in touch.

Scaleup stage case study: https://www.inventya.com/casestudies/trakrap-scaleup-programme

May 12, 2021
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