Interview with Piers Linney, the Visionary Behind #StartUp #ScaleUp

One of the biggest names in British business, Piers Linney is an award-winning entrepreneur who’s illustrious career was recognised in the 100 Most Influential BAME Leaders in Tech. Highly acclaimed for his role on Dragons’ Den, where he invested in promising entrepreneurs, Piers continues to offer his invaluable advice as a corporate keynote speaker, and founder of #StartUp #ScaleUp, his online course.

With over 76 lessons and 10+ hours of content, the course provides step-by-step practical guidance to help individuals build a successful business from the ground up. In this exclusive interview with Champions Speakers, Piers shares his motivation behind #StartUp #ScaleUp.


How did you come up with the idea for #StartUp and #ScaleUp?

“I get asked for business advice all the time, and what surprised me was that people were always asking for the same advice. So, I decided to create videos for social media and YouTube to respond to people’s requests, but I couldn’t keep up! To answer a lot of the commonly asked questions, I decided to put it into a course. The #StartUp #ScaleUp courses are designed for anyone who is starting a business or wants to grow a new business.

“It’s not purely for start-ups however, it’s really for anybody who wants to grow a reasonably new business – it covers everything from the question ‘should I start a business?’, to the research, all the way through to accounts and taxation. The course has grown from an idea into ten plus hours and seventy-six lessons.”


How are you different?

“Granted there is a lot of content on the internet, so a lot of people say it’s already all out there, which is kind of true, but what I have done however, is collate all my own insight and experience.

“I’m an entrepreneur, a qualified venture capital lawyer, an investment banker and I’ve got an accounting degree. I have been a director, founder, chairman, lender, equity investor, fund manager, venture capital fund manager, and a hedge fund manager. I have sat at every side of the table and that means I have an all-round perspective of what it’s like to start a business that most people don’t have. What I decided to do was condense all that know-how into a course.

“People often say to me; ‘Piers, can I go for coffee with you?’ Or someone will say, ‘I know, Piers, he’ll give you a bit of advice.’ So it’s like having those chats with me, but having about 200 of them at one time. The course doesn’t answer all the questions, but what it does do is give you enough information, insight and confidence to know what you need to know, where you need to go and any advice you might need on top of that.

“Also, you can come back to the course at any point, it’s not linear. If you see something you don’t fully understand, you can dip in and out. There are few people with my all-around expertise – without blowing my own trumpet!”


What have you learnt?

“When you make courses like this, you never quite know what the response is going to be. So I looked at other courses online and narrowed it down to what I thought people wanted to know – and the feedback, and this is honest feedback, has been tremendous. It has been amazing, actually. People have said to me that the course has helped them start their business and helped them save money- which is great!

“What I have learnt is that people really want practical advice. If you go on the internet, a lot of the advice is aspirational, which is great but it’s not helpful. What I realised was, and what I really focused the course on, was practical, no nonsense advice to prevent people falling into obvious potholes on their entrepreneurial journey. What the course delivers is exactly that – practical advice, that actually helps them make more money and save money.”


What can we hope to see from you in the future?

“I am launching my course again in partnership with the Festival of Startups next week.

“Here is a discount link for 20% off the course:

Piers Linney is available to book as a keynote speaker for virtual events, live events and brand work via Champions Speakers.