The importance of Planning to achieve Scale

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The importance of Planning to achieve Scale:

The challenges that companies face to scale internationally are well understood, but difficult to overcome. All too often companies get caught in the day-to-day and fail to achieve their true scaling potential.

The second part of the Building for Scale series focuses on the importance of having a clearly articulated plan to scale, particularly if you are pursuing external finance.

A robust growth planning process that involves the senior leadership team is a good catalyst to accelerate companies on a path to scale. Key ingredients are an objective diagnosis of both the external market and internal capability, debate and commitment to future ambitions and an in-depth review of the existing business model.

Key outcomes include a scaling strategy, which has the commitment of the senior team and is documented in an execution roadmap, with clear key performance indicators that are linked to a future 3-year financial model.


Tom Early, Head of Funding and Scaling Solutions, Enterprise Ireland

Paul O’Dea, Managing Director Select Strategies Ltd.

An engineer by profession, Paul has co-founded and scaled several technology-based businesses, and is passionate about figuring out how to scale businesses cost-effectively. He is founder and managing director of Select Strategies Limited, which for over two decades have been trusted advisers to CEOs striving to scale their businesses.

Paul currently serves on the Boards of several investor-backed businesses and has also had a number of successful exits. He has been a guest speaker at Stanford University and the University of Cambridge.

Mark Barrett, Co-founder and CEO, APC

Mark holds a BE & PhD Chemical Engineer and post doctoral studies in pharma R&D and manufacturing.

Mark co-founded APC in 2011, and later VLE therapeutics in 2021, to Accelerate the development of medicines through a combination of best-in-class science, first-in-class digital and a reimagined means to manufacture medicines.

In his role Mark has led APC & VLE’s journey from inception to commercialisation and has led the organisation through high double digit annualised growth independent of any VC or PE funding.

Mark is an EoY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist 2017, Leadership for Growth EI 2019 graduate and a Adjunct Prof of Chemical Engineering within the UCD Chemical Engineering School.

The group now employs close to 300 people, it is the largest employer of scientist in Pharma R&D in the country and Mark, Brian Glennon his co-founder and broader leadership team plan to grow the organisation to over 600 people in the years ahead, this enabling time to market for new medicines to be reduced from 5 to 3 years.


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  • John Dunne – Managing Director of Foremost Freight Ltd
  • Ray Ryan – Assistant Principal at Revenue, Irish Tax and Customs
  • Niall McCormack – Founder & Director at Corr Optical
  • Anita Clinton Fitzgerald – Procurement, QMS and Compliance Manager, Mace Promotions

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