The Leap 100 is a list of 100 of the most exciting, fast-growing companies in the¬†UK. But it‚Äôs more than a list: it is a cohort of founders whose fortunes we will follow¬†and whose ambitions we will support over the next 12 months; founders with the¬†talent to help secure Britain‚Äôs place as the best place in the world to start and grow a¬†business.
Picking 100 companies to include in the Leap 100 is no easy task. It helps to have the¬†expertise of last year‚Äôs group of entrepreneurs ‚Äì as well as experts at City A.M.,¬†Seven Hills, The Entrepreneurs Network and The Supper Club ‚Äì but the UK is¬†fortunate enough to have so many good companies that it is impossible to create a¬†definitive list. That said, if this year‚Äôs companies perform anything like last year‚Äôs, it¬†will be worth taking note.
Britain is blessed with an increasing number of innovative start-ups. We are not¬†suffering the fate of many developed economies, which are seeing fewer new¬†companies each year. Since 2008, the US has had a higher percentage of businesses¬†dying than being born. In the UK the number of businesses has increased by an¬†average of 3 per cent each year since 2000.
We need new businesses, but we also need them to scale. That‚Äôs where we get the¬†economic growth and resulting employment that the government ‚Äì and everyone ‚Äì¬†cares so much about. And that‚Äôs why the Leap 100 matters. We have identified¬†companies which we think are on the cusp of greatness, and the Leap 100 is about¬†celebrating, supporting and learning from their experiences over a crucial year in their¬†lives.
There is no magic formula for picking winners ‚Äì otherwise we would be professional¬†investors, not lawyers ‚Äì but we have identified four areas where these entrepreneurs¬†and companies excel. In the entrepreneurs, we have looked for leadership and¬†ambition, and in their companies we have looked into their team and money.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, talk of disruption has been all the rage for a¬†while. It may feel a little overused, but, since 1950, the life expectancy of companies¬†has almost halved. It is hard to imagine this trend reversing, as the technological¬†revolutions in robotics, 3D printing, virtual reality, nanotechnology and a 101 things¬†yet to be dreamt up have hit the mainstream.
Given this, successful law firms need to be at the vanguard of spotting trends in¬†entrepreneurship. At Mishcon de Reya, we are growing quickly and aspire to run our¬†firm with the entrepreneurial traits that we see in our clients and Leap 100 companies.
We value the privilege of sitting alongside our clients as trusted advisers, helping¬†support their aspirations. It‚Äôs business. But it‚Äôs personal.¬†Over the next 12 months we will run regular polls of the Leap 100 founders to find¬†out what concerns them, so they can benchmark their experiences against their peer¬†group. We are building a cohesive network of entrepreneurs who will be able to learn¬†from their compatriots at regular events. Keep an eye on the pages of City A.M. for¬†updates on their journey.
Not every company in the Leap 100 will replicate the success of some of last year‚Äôs¬†companies ‚Äì businesses like Funding Circle, Unruly, TransferWise and Zopa ‚Äì but¬†some will. We think that every one of these 100 companies is worth keeping an eye¬†on in 2016: join us in watching them take the Leap!