London – 18 May 2016: Business mentors today highlighted the need for training to encourage entrepreneurs to run growth or scale-up businesses. The call came as the Cass Entrepreneurship Fund announced it had led a £680,000 investment in health technology company Raremark.

Raremark has ambitious plans to launch hundreds of communities in rare disease to help families affected by rarely-seen conditions and will expand into the US later this year.

“We often hear entrepreneurship is about resilience, drive and passion – it’s also about skill,”said Peter Cullum CBE, who founded the Peter Cullum Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cass Business School, home to the £10m Cass Entrepreneurship Fund. “Helping entrepreneurs develop the right skills, and providing practical support to deliver scalable business plans are essential components for commercial success.”

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Entrepreneurial Skills to Scale: an infographic depicting an entrepreneur’s journey to success. Click to view

Peter Cullum established the £10m fund and the Centre for Entrepreneurship having received his early business education at Cass. He credits his skills gained in their training with enabling him to establish Europe’s biggest independent insurance intermediary, Towergate Insurance.

A recent academic report showed that the UK hosts the most technology start-ups outside the US but that many are failing to grow. The joint-report by the Oxford Säid and Cambridge Judge business schools found that less than one per cent of the 600,000 companies registered in the UK since 2012 have scaled or grown by more than 20 per cent in revenue or headcount over three years.

Raremark’s founder Julie Walters is a graduate of the Entrepreneur Academe in 2015, a mentoring programme for female tech entrepreneurs, supported by the City of London and led by Sarah Turner.

Sarah said: “We’re mobilising angel investors and mentors from the Angel Academe network as well as the wider investment community to help women-led businesses acquire the skills for growth. On average, the 2015 Entrepreneur Academe cohort increased turnover by over 100% and headcount by over 50%. Half of last year’s participants also successfully raised funding.“

Julie is also a member of the Entrepreneurs Organization, which helps leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow.

She added: “I am a firm believer that entrepreneurs are made, not born. There is no replacement for actually running a business, ideally a small one to start with, but as quickly as possible you need to learn how to grow a business – and that takes skill.”

About Raremark

Raremark’s mission is to transform one million lives in rare disease. Its proprietary platform removes feelings of isolation by opening up a world of trusted and verified information through the indexing of over 2,000 scientific articles and medical guidelines for each disease. Users can comment and share knowledge, connect with specialist centres of research and find out about potential drugs in development.

The funding round led by Cass included funds from private angel investors, Angel Academe and the specialist life sciences crowd-funding platform Syndicate Room.

About the Cass Entrepreneurship Fund

The fund was established in 2010 and provides growth equity investment to early-stage, revenue-generating companies. It seeks skilled management teams with a clear vision and the drive to meet the challenges of early-stage business development, and to help them realise their wider commercial ambitions.

Initial investments usually range from £100,000 to £500,000 and may be invested alone or as part of a syndicate.

About Entrepreneur Academe

Entrepreneur Academe is a mentoring programme for women tech founders, supported by the City of London and powered by the Angel Academe community of mentors, advisors, angel investors and partners, including Thomson Reuters. The programme launches its third annual cohort of woman entrepreneurs today.

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