Skip to content

LeadiNNg the charge: a deep dive into Innovaud and IMD’s scale-up program

Business environment

22 August 2023

Designed after comprehensive research and feedback from successful scale-ups, this program provides budding tech businesses with tailored guidance for expansion. Designed after comprehensive research and feedback from successful scale-ups, this program provides budding tech businesses with tailored guidance for expansion.

Innovaud and IMD are once again joining forces to launch the third edition of the “LeadiNNg to Scale-Up” program, aimed at transitioning tech start-ups into dynamic scale-ups.

In the ever-evolving world of technology start-ups, transitioning from a promising enterprise to a flourishing scale-up is no small feat. Recognizing this challenging trajectory, Innovaud and IMD have collaboratively launched the “LeadiNNg to Scale-Up” program, now in its third edition, offering tech start-ups an unrivaled opportunity to transform into fast-growing scale-ups.

Designed after rigorous research and incorporating feedback from those who have successfully scaled their start-ups, the program is deeply rooted in real-world experiences. By encapsulating lessons from the start-up trenches, Innovaud and IMD aim to proactively address common challenges faced by burgeoning tech companies. An impressive testament to its success, the program has seen 26 entrepreneurs graduate from its earlier editions.

The structure of “LeadiNNg to Scale-Up” is comprehensive and well thought out. Beginning with an eligibility assessment, prospective participants undergo a two-tiered interview process. The first is a 30-minute discussion with Innovaud, followed by a more detailed 60-minute conversation with an IMD professor. These interactions don’t just serve as a selection mechanism, but also as a means to tailor the program to meet the distinct needs of each participant. This level of customization ensures that entrepreneurs receive guidance most pertinent to their specific stage of growth.

Blending academic rigor and entrepreneurial insights

Over six months, the enrolled start-ups partake in ten immersive sessions at the famed IMD campus in Lausanne. Delving into a wide spectrum of topics crucial for scale-ups, these sessions are led by distinguished IMD professors, supplemented by insights from seasoned entrepreneurs. The subjects span across leadership dynamics, organizational design, strategic scaling, and understanding customer needs. The topics underscore the importance of sustainability in growth, the challenges of maintaining momentum, and the intricate balance between scalability and sustainability. The unique blend of academic rigor and entrepreneurial wisdom provides participants with a holistic view of the startup landscape.

Global inclusivity is a hallmark of this program. While the “LeadiNNg to Scale-Up” initiative has a strong emphasis on in-person engagement to foster deeper interactions, it acknowledges the global nature of today’s tech start-ups. Hence, it offers provisions for international participants to attend some sessions remotely. Moreover, for those overseas participants willing to immerse themselves in the Swiss ecosystem, Innovaud extends its support. From assisting with stays in Switzerland to logistical help like finding office spaces in Lausanne, every effort is made to ensure global participants feel at home.

The comprehensive journey of “LeadiNNg to Scale-Up”

An integral part of this program’s experience extends beyond the classroom. Networking plays a pivotal role in a start-up’s success. Recognizing this, participants are regularly invited to the Scale Up Vaud networking events, allowing them to forge valuable connections within the Swiss tech start-up community.

Eligibility for this program is distinctive. It seeks out start-ups that are not just innovative but also have a global vision for scaling. Prerequisites include having a team of at least eight, securing substantial seed funding, and being on the brink of, or having recently closed, a Series A round of investment. Such criteria ensure that the program remains dedicated to those truly poised for exponential growth.

Overall, the “LeadiNNg to Scale-Up” program acts a springboard for tech start-ups globally. It’s more than just a program; it’s a transformative journey curated by experts, ensuring that start-ups don’t just grow, but scale up successfully. With the backing of two regional powerhouses, Innovaud and IMD, and set against the backdrop of Switzerland’s thriving tech hub, the canton of Vaud, this initiative promises to be an essential catalyst in the world of tech entrepreneurship.