On 16 June 2015, the Royal Society hosted the first annual Scale-up Lecture, given by Reid Hoffman, accomplished entrepreneur, executive, investor and co-founder of LinkedIn. In conversation with Sherry Coutu, business angel and founder of the Scale-up Institute, Reid spoke about his experience in business and gave his thoughts and insights about how to successfully scale-up companies. The Scale-up Lecture addressed the challenges faced by growing companies and built upon the findings of Sherry Coutu’s Scale-Up Report (www.scaleupreport.org/). This report reviewed the barriers reported by entrepreneurs and identified the actions that need to be taken to ensure the UK’s high growth firms are “scaling up” to their fullest potential. The lecture was supported through the Royal Society’s five-year Science, Industry and Translation initiative (royalsociety.org/about-us/industry-innovation) which demonstrates our commitment to reintegrate science and industry at the Society and to promote science and its value by connecting academia, industry and government.