Taking the next step in growing your healthcare innovation business

Supporting innovators to grow their business with the Scale-Up Academy.

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To become a supplier to the NHS all innovations need to go through the commercialisation journey. This involves securing funding to develop the product, the team and ultimately evidence that the business is viable. Success in business depends on the ability to integrate a wide range of economic, technological, commercial, social and cultural factors in the commercialisation process.

However, even start-ups experiencing rapid early growth can struggle to continue to grow beyond a certain point due to a business model that limits scalability. Research shows that the early stages of business growth take longer than often reported in business literature.

The Triple Chasm Company looked at ~3000 products, across various business sectors, being taken to market and found that half-way through the product journey, cumulative market penetration will only have reached about 10% of the potential number of customers, which is widely divergent to the 50% market penetration figure traditionally claimed. This research led to the development of the Triple Chasm Model, which identifies three crucial stages where start-ups are most likely to fail. These are:

  • the transition from concept to demonstrator
  • demonstrator to early product, and
  • early products to volume products

“In our experience, most market failures do not occur because of problems with technology, management or funding, but arise from the failure of companies to recognise where they are in this development cycle and understanding the different skills and resources required to cross each chasm.” – Uday Phadke, CEO and Co-founder of the Triple Chasm Company

This lack of understanding can present a challenge to companies attracting investment and often leads to an unnecessarily prolonged journey of scale-up and ultimately return on investment.


The Scale-Up Academy is an annual programme developed by Health Innovation East in partnership with the Triple Chasm Company to tackle the healthcare scale-up challenge. The programme brings together start-up leadership teams with specialist advisors and experts who coach them to develop high-impact commercialisation plans.

Over the course of the six-week programme, successful applicants met twice a week for half-day workshops to develop their plans. They were given practical support and access to tools to find solutions to common problems faced when scaling a business. Areas covered include fundraising, marketing and proposition framing, intellectual property management, product development, manufacturing and team development.

The key components of the Scale-Up Academy are:

  • The Triple Chasm Model platform: A unique online collaboration platform which brings to life all the tools and insights set out in the Scale-Up manual
  • World class coaches and mentors with deep domain expertise in markets including the NHS, technologies and products coupled with knowledge of the tools and mentoring skills
  • Ongoing support enabling continued dialogue to develop, test and implement robust growth strategies, as well as networking opportunities between innovators


As of summer 2022, there have been three cohorts of innovators who have completed the programme with positive feedback from all attendees. 100% of respondents agreed:

  • That the programme material was relevant and important.
  • That the programme was well structured and easy to understand.
  • Felt comfortable participating and sharing their thoughts.

Innovator stories

Little Journey is a digital eSupport platform that psychologically prepares, informs and supports children and families before, during and after healthcare procedures, all from the comfort and safety of their own home. Founder Chris Evans was accepted onto the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) in March 2021 with support from Health Innovation East. The current version of the application is free to download and tailored to over 50 NHS hospitals, with plans to expand internationally into 11 countries by the end of 2022.

“The Scale Up Academy really helped us realise the potential for our innovation and how we could refine our value proposition to help us expand into primary care services and life sciences. As a result, we’ve been able to engage a contract research organisation and pharmaceutical partners to use Little Journey to support children who are taking part in a clinical trial across 11 countries and in different care settings. This funding has allowed us to redevelop the app to be much more flexible so providers can tailor it to the needs of their patients. We are learning from each organisation we work with and applying that learning constantly to benefit everyone.” – Chris Evans, Co-Founder, Little Journey

MultiplAI uses AI for universal genomic screening for cardiovascular diseases. The programme helped the team to focus their attention on the building blocks of their market strategy, providing a framework to their investor activity.

“It’s the real-world examples coming out of analysing hundreds of cases to help entrepreneurs think about the right path for their business. This is what learning by doing, while also learning from others, is all about”. – Mark Ramondt, Co-Founder, MultiplAI

Icometrix apply their AI solution to quantify disease-specific brain structures for acute and chronic neurological conditions on MR and CT.

“A very intensive and enlightening course, full of useful insights delivered by a very knowledgeable and friendly team, thank you.” – Business Director, Icometrix

VirtTuri is a clinical informatics avatar technology that uses artificial intelligence for information provision in response to the user’s questions in an accurate, succinct, and visual way.

“The Triple Chasm programme has really helped shape my understanding of the factors we need to consider to successfully bring our product to market and how we should frame our offering to the market to help potential customers understand the potential benefits, both direct and indirect to their business.” – Adam Speers, Software Development manager, VirtTuri

Get involved

Find out more about the Scale-Up Academy and how to register your interest on our website.

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