About Us

The Story Behind
Our Success

The Side by Side Partnership has developed a distinct, and we believe unique, profile of providing capital to companies in the specific process of preparing and transitioning from scale-up to large scale commercialisation.

Over 90% of UK start up companies fail. Perhaps this is due to the product, perhaps the leadership, or perhaps there is no market for their idea. Of the remainder, a further 80% fail to mature from scale up to commercial success. In the US, twice that number succeed in this transition. Why?

The UK Government Industrial Strategy White Paper 2018

We could do better…
building up successful businesses to reach large-scale…
more can be done to ensure businesses reach their full potential.

This critical transition demands changes in the skills and focus of companies and it creates an entirely different organisation with skills that are different to what brought companies through the start-up/scale-up phase. As the data suggests, entrepreneurs are rarely prepared for these fundamental challenges.

At the Side by Side Partnership, we have seen this scenario multiple times, and taken companies through these challenges and changes. Our aim is to apply our specific experience to support companies who wish to make this successful change to a commercial engagement.

Our Later Stage EIS fund, is a ‘high touch’, reward-driven environment for up to eight companies at any one time. We provide access to experienced executives who have successfully led other businesses through this change and will be actively involved in each of these companies in this transition.

The Side by Side Partnership also raises Private Growth Capital through our network of Family Offices. This is for companies who have growth funding demands and have successfully established their commercial credentials. In these private capital larger investments, we look for opportunities where their experience and expertise as business operators can help deploy strategic and other changes to further enhance company growth.

We do not invest where we do not believe we can add material value to a company with our experience.

What our approach means for investors is that we believe the companies we invest in have a significantly greater opportunity of growing into large and successful companies.

The Core Team

  • John Bailye


    An Australian, who moved to the US in 1987, John grew a start-up to a billion-dollar public company with 3500+ employees. He sponsored and co-founded the New Jersey Technology Council, now with 1500 entrepreneurs as members, which is aimed at creating an exchange for entrepreneurs’ experiences and ideas. John has personally invested in 14 early stage US companies and 5 in the UK and has been involved and co-invested in several turnarounds for US Private Equity Funds.

  • Ben Ashworth

    Portfolio Manager

    Ben joined the Side by Side Partnership just as it was developing these two specific areas of expertise. His roles have taken him from the critical assessment of possible investee companies to the breadth and depth of the private capital due diligence process and the management of portfolio companies.
    Ben is usually the main contact for all investee companies and is commonly at business functions introducing the Side by Side Partnership to investors and potential investee companies.

  • Tom Govan


    Tom is the newest member of the London team and is deeply involved in the early analysis and review of prospective companies. Tom is the initial point of contact for all investee companies and helps them through the review process at the Side by Side Partnership, which is a bit more challenging than at other investment houses.


Bruce Elliot Smith

Business development advisor

Bruce has had a long successful career in financial services for over 20 years, primarily in business development. Firstly, as a top performing broker consultant for Scottish Amicable in the 90’s before setting up an IFA business, which resulted in a trade sale to the IFG Group within 3 years.

Bruce then worked for 5 years at Origen Financial Services as their UK business development manager before going on to found a highly successful award-winning music and events company which culminated in winning a Grammy and UK festival award.

He has gained a wealth of experience in tax-efficient investments, not only having invested in several SEIS and EIS companies in the past but having had numerous business development consultancy roles in the alternative investment market.

Martin Fox

Marketing advisor

Martin has had a career in financial services marketing.
This has included a range of roles at Legal & General, Marketing Director at Prolific, and General Manager Marketing at Pearl Assurance.

He then became Managing Director of the strategic marketing arm of a London agency.
Today he is Managing Director of Bulletin Marketing, a specialist financial services marketing
consultancy. Clients include banks, investment companies, EIS managers, industry analysts, investment platforms and wealth managers

He is heavily involved in the tax efficient market, working for the EIS Association which includes
chairing their Research, Education and Marketing committee.

The core team in the UK is also supplemented by a network of specialists
that are brought in to support the companies we invest in, as they are needed.