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15 February, 2016 - 12:27 By Tony Quested

Rolls-Royce chief and Scale-up doyen help Cambridge go global

Warren East

How to scale a global peak in business and how to stay there – it is the challenge for every startup with pretensions of global greatness.

East of England entrepreneurs attending the Business Weekly Awards presentation dinner in March will be handed a masterclass on scale-up and sustainability by two UK executives steering international enterprises.

Warren East, CEO of engineering giant Rolls-Royce, and Sherry Coutu – founder and chair of the Scaleup Institute – will offer executive guests the inside track on ascending to the summit and staying there long after planting the flag.

East helped steer Cambridge superchip architect ARM Holdings to world-leadership despite having to battle a heavyweight Intel – and kept it in pole position. He inherited a tough challenge at Rolls-Royce to effectively re-engineer the engineering powerhouse as it battled arguably the toughest world trading backdrop in its long and distinguished history. 

The most recent results, allied to some key contract wins, evidence that East is relishing – and hopefully winning – the turnaround battle.

Serial entrepreneur and investor, Sherry Coutu is steering both Founders4Schools and The Scaleup Institute. Founders4Schools takes business leaders into schools to share their experiences of getting to the top – with the aim of inspiring young people to start their own companies, but with their eyes wide open.

She started the not-for-profit Scaleup Institute with transatlantic entrepreneur Reid Hoffman  to help fast-growth British startups become “global giants.”

Backed by Google, the Business Growth Fund, the London Stock Exchange and several advisory firms, the organisation provides promising small businesses with advice on leadership, exports markets and raising finance alongside access to a network of advisers. It also lobbies government on key issues such as red tape and infrastructure.

The Institute launched with a powerful Scale Up report, which argued that the UK government should focus its efforts on supporting ambitious businesses to scale to their full potential with six key recommendations including closing the skills gap, better access to finance and developing scale-up leadership.

 • The Business Weekly Awards dinner is at Queens’ College, Cambridge, on Wednesday March 16 and is by invitation only.

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