Rushlight Events


Scaling-Up a Cleantech Business

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

5.30pm to 9pm

 Hosted by

       S&W logo 2015_marsala grey_RGB

25 Moorgate, London EC2R 6AY


The 2014 Scale-Up Report identified and focused on 6 key areas for scale-ups: market knowledge and data; talent and skills; accessing infrastructure; finance; leadership and increasing sales at home and abroad.  While these areas are key for all early stage businesses, they are arguably especially relevant for cleantech businesses. The market strength and presence of the incumbents and the legacy behaviours of consumers and corporate procurement specialists mean that the hurdles of behaviour change and achieving a market presence are even higher for new cleantech companies.

Finding the right talent to complete senior management teams at an affordable cost is also a real challenge in cleantech, which can be seen as being perversely more risky by some and less exciting by others than technology.

The number of active cleantech investors, especially in the scale-up phase, is seen as being low and certainly some notable early investee failures have encouraged investors to take a less risky approach to investment in the sector.  This situation is then exaggerated further by the alternative investment opportunities provided by lower risk deployment projects, such as those in renewable energy, coupled with the current low interest rates.

As noted above, creating a recognisable presence in the market is also a real issue for cleantech companies.  Market knowledge is often hard to gain and access to the decision-makers in corporates’ procurement and sustainability departments can be challenging.

This event will be ideal for any cleantech-related business that has completed its early start-up phase and is now looking to break into its chosen markets and really grow.  As a particular benefit for 6 companies that attend, we are inviting you to present yourselves and ask a question in 90 seconds on this topic to a panel of experts in open forum as a precursor to a panel discussion and Q&A.  In order to be one of the companies that makes this 90 second presentation and question, simply register and let me know you would like to participate.  The participants will be chosen on a first-come-first-served basis on the completion of registration and your request by email to me.

During the evening, we will be looking to set out all the key issues that have been recognised as the main hurdles for scaling-up for cleantech businesses, and then through 2 exciting case studies, our direct questions session and our panel of experts, we shall be setting out the solutions and the support that is available to address these hurdles one-by-one.  This event provides a singular opportunity to ask specific questions about your particular situation either in open forum or during the networking afterwards and this will be invaluable for cleantech companies at this stage of development.


5.30pm Registration

6.00pm Welcome – Andrew Bond, Smith & Williamson

6.10pm Introduction – Clive Hall, Rushlight Events

6.15pm Keynote: Findings and lessons learned from the Scale-Up Report – Irene Graham, CEO, ScaleUp Institute.  Her presentation slides are HERE

6.35pm Success Story 1: Worldsensing – Ignasi Vilajosana, CEO & Founder.  His presentation slides are HERE

Success Story 2: Breathing Buildings – Shaun Fitzgerald, CEO.  His presentation is not being made available here.

Success Story 3: Vital Energi – Nick Gosling, Sales & Strategy Director.  His presentation slides are HERE

Success Story 4: Sentec – Andrew Dames, Co-Founder and CTO.  His presentation slides are HERE

7.20pm Case Study Q&A

7.30pm pre-registered open questions from companies asking about their specific scale-up issues including:

Paul Arwas, Vice Chair, Inflowmatix

Robin Hardy, Projects Director, BasePower

Steve Munn, Managing Director, Hevasure

to a panel of experts consisting of:

John Morris, Partner, Smith & Williamson

John Rowland, Managing Partner, White Lake Group

Patrick Sheehan, Partner, ETF Partners

Paul Gillespie, Partner, Gillamor Stephens

7.30pm Panel discussion and Q&A

8.15pm Networking

9.30pm Close


Who should attend?

This event is ideal for cleantech companies that have achieved an initial level of sales or are close to bringing that about, advisers and consultants supporting cleantech companies, investors looking to develop companies in their portfolios, media and other sector participants.


To register for this event click HERE.



Irene Graham – Scaleup Institute

Irene is the CEO and a board director of the ScaleUp Institute. A former senior banker at Standard Chartered Bank where she held both European and global managing director roles, she set up, ran and scaled several of the bank’s key client and product businesses and led several global M&A activities. Before joining the ScaleUp Institute she was Managing Director at the British Bankers Association (BBA) responsible for Commercial Banking. She led the Business Finance Taskforce set up by the CEOs of the UK banks which resulted in the creation of the BGF, the Enterprise Research Centre, the SME Finance Monitor, and Mentorsme as well as many other key export and business policy initiatives on which Irene advised Government and industry. She is a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde University and sits on the advisory boards of the UK Business Angels Association, Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative and Stratford Circus Arts Centre.


Worldsensing is a widely recognized global IoT pioneer.  We provide customers with the tools to make the right operational decisions based on real-time intelligence. Our insights enable operators to understand the performance of distributed infrastructure, make predictions, improve efficiency and prevent disasters.  We use wireless sensor technology and real-time software solutions to provide operational intelligence to operators and decision makers.  This is what we call Connected Operational Intelligence.  We work with customers in more than 50 countries across 5 continents, reinventing the world we will live and work in tomorrow.

Shaun Fitzgerald – Breathing Buildings

Shaun undertook his PhD at Cambridge University and then joined the faculty at Stanford. After 4 years at Bain & Co in London and further research at Cambridge he founded Breathing Buildings in 2006. He is the Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in Sustainable Buildings at Cambridge University and a Teaching Fellow at Girton College.

Nick Gosling – Vital Energi

Nick Gosling has more than 25 years’ experience providing energy services to the public and private sectors. Previously he was UK regional director at Dalkia and energy services director at MITIE. Nick’s areas of expertise include project engineering, product and service development, energy procurement and asset management. His combination of operational and business expansion experience makes him ideally suited to the task of leading Vital Energi’s plans for transition into financed asset ownership and management.

Andrew Dames – Sentec

Sentec was formed in 1997 by Andrew Dames and Andrew Howe, engineers and inventors who used to work with Generics at Harston.  Sentec has generated income through consultancy, using the funds to spin out new companies,including SmartBead Technology, Polatis, and Visual Protection. By 2001, Sentec was placed third in the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 competition in the Cambridge region.   One of Sentec’s biggest clients is Invensys in the U.S.  Sentec has been able to realise some of the value it has created and new finance has come from 3i and Alta Berkeley.

Patrick Sheehan – ETF Partners

Patrick is a founder and Partner of the Environmental Technologies Fund. He has worked in venture capital since 1985. He was instrumental in founding 3i’s venture capital practice, and later became the founding Managing Director of its Silicon Valley operation. Before this, he was a research engineer for GEC and Marconi Space Systems.  He was a member of the Executive Committee and Board of EVCA from 2007 to 2010, during which time he also chaired the Venture Capital Committee.  He has a Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering from UCL, London.

John Morris – Smith & Williamson

John helps ambitious business founders, owner-managers and leaders achieve their personal aspirations, as well as the financial goals and objectives of the companies they run.   He leads Smith & Williamson’s Scale-Up programme: an integrated suite of solutions, expertise and support, designed to help businesses scale quickly.  He has spent 15 years providing strategy and consulting advice to a variety of businesses in a diverse range of sectors, including management consulting, business process outsourcing, IT services and manufacturing.

Paul Gillespie – Gillamor Stephens

Paul leads the Venture Capital Practice, delivering global searches to find the best talent for European, Nordic and Baltic early and mid-stage technology companies. Paul specialises in broad based physical technologies – recently including the electronics, IoT, PV, wireless and semiconductor sectors. Prior to founding Gillamor Stephens in 1998, Paul was Director of Search & Selection for a recruitment company finally sold to a publicly quoted executive search business.

John Rowland – White Lake Group

John has been investing in Private Equity for the last 8 years. Prior to founding White Lake, John was an Investment Manager at a large Family Office, whom he still advises. The Family Office invested over $500m in new Energy and Environmental Infrastructure private equity investments. John has spent several years working on Cleantech transactions for the $250m Abu Dhabi Masdar Cleantech Fund and Inspired Evolution Fund with Board responsibilities across the portfolio of investments. He currently advises a tech­transfer PE fund between South Korea and Israel. Prior to this John spent over 3 years managing high net worth equity portfolios for Custom House Capital where he also led research.  John has also worked in industry as an engineer designing leading edge telecommunication systems. John has degrees in Electronic Engineering and Business, holds the CFA designation and is a qualified accountant.