Ambitious Entrepreneurship and skills development 

What is it?

Entrepreneurship is about the skills and ambitious mindset necessary to develop, drive and grow a successful business.

Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of any economy. Scotland has a history of producing great entrepreneurs and HIE want to support entrepreneurs in the Highlands and Islands in leading and growing world class businesses by helping them sharpen their entrepreneurial skills and significantly raise their ambition of what they can achieve.

How can HIE help?

HIE can provide access to innovative and world class entrepreneurship support including executive education, masterclasses delivered by globally renowned experts, skills workshops, help to accelerate new product development and open doors to world leading research and networking events in the UK and overseas.

Support is available for:

  • Access to specialist advice
  • An Entrepreneurial Academy delivering skills workshops
  • Entrepreneurial masterclasses and executive education at world-leading universities
  • SCALE Summer School
  • Innovation support
  • Support to accelerate new product or process development
  • Access to MIT's Industrial Liaison Programme
  • International conferences and events
  • Leadership skills
  • Internationalisation
  • Access to investment
  • Forging connections and networking

Help for scaling businesses

There is a lot of help for businesses that are scaling from HIE and other partner organisations across Scotland. Find out how Carbon Dynamic and MIME Technologies secured support to accelerate their growth.  Left to right: Matt Stevenson, Managing Director of Carbon Dynamic and Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy at Carbon Dynamic Invergordon

CLDB, which trades as Carbon Dynamic, designs and manufactures low energy, modular timber buildings using locally sourced and sustainable materials.   Its innovative ‘fit house’ concept incorporates flexible internal walls and the ability to install remote health sensors, enabling people with long-term health issues to continue living in their own homes.  Matt Stevenson, Managing Director of Carbon Dynamic, won £20,000 grant funding and £50,000 loan funding from Scottish Edge and tapped into the Saltire Fellowship operated by Entrepreneurial Scotland to drive forward research and related activities on new market opportunities.  As an account managed company, Carbon Dynamic accessed a range of support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise from early investment and advice on intellectual property to masterclasses to develop entrepreneurial skills.  As the company continued along its growth trajectory, Matt was selected to participate on MIT’s Entrepreneurship Development Programme in Boston along with Albyn Housing, a social enterprise from the HIE region, and the scope for a joint initiative emerged.   Both companies subsequently participated on a learning journey organised by HIE through its membership of MIT’s Industrial Liaison Programme on innovation and future trends in healthcare.  This cemented the collaboration with Albyn Housing and led to a £1 million contract for affordable housing.  Carbon Dynamic moved into a period of rapid growth, having to balance a growing order book with manufacturing capacity.   A review by the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) helped the company develop a sustainable business with the strength for further expansion.   Carbon Dynamic has since entered into a partnership with two other companies and secured a £1.2 Innovate UK grant to develop an integrated CAD software system.    Carbon Dynamic is also actively engaged with Scottish Development International to pursue its ambitions for further international growth. 

“Carbon Dynamic has received fantastic support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise that has enabled us to accelerate our growth and quadruple our turnover and staff.    HIE has introduced us to many partner organisations whose support and assistance has been invaluable as we navigate the opportunities and challenges that all innovation-driven enterprises encounter as they scale.  We look forward to working in partnership with HIE on our next phase of growth.”
Matt Stevenson, Managing Director, Carbon Dynamic


MIME Technologies

  1. From left to right: Dr Alasdair Mort: Chief Executive Officer, Anne Roberts: Co-founder and Director of Customer Development, Ian Stevens: Chairman (all of MIME Technologies).


MIME Technologies are a medical technology company based in Inverness, developing innovative mobile software to support anyone remote – in distance or time – from professional medical care. MIME stands for Managing Information in Medical Emergencies, and was established at the end of co-founder Dr Alasdair Mort’s Highlands and Islands Enterprise-supported PhD studies at the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Rural Health in Inverness. In 2010, MIME was the first project of the University of Aberdeen’s £12m dot.rural Digital Economy Hub, funded by UK Research Councils. Alasdair was awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowship in 2015, which provides a full year of financial support, training and networking opportunities to university-supported entrepreneurs (and staff) with a viable business idea. Now incorporated, this led to MIME Technologies entering the Converge Challenge  in 2015 and 2016, becoming a top ten finalist both years out of nearly 200 applicants. MIME engaged with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, benefitting from support through their account management service and won a Scottish EDGE Wildcard award in June 2016. MIME pitched at EIE 17, Scotland’s premier tech investment showcase then went on to win £80,000 as part of Scottish EDGE Round 10 in June 2017, plus a trip to Silicon Valley. In the same year, MIME Technologies was awarded a Sottish Enterprise SMART: Scotland Feasibility award for vital R&D, and won the SCDI award for excellence in research and innovation. The company has recently appointed its first Chairman, Ian Stevens, who was CEO at Touch Bionics and CFO at Optos. MIME Technologies’ core focus is to achieve a first round of equity investment in summer 2018, with which to execute on a plan to target the aviation market.

“Highlands and Islands Enterprise has supported and guided us at every stage of our journey.   We’ve received assistance from experts to develop our strategy, support to train and develop our staff and access to fantastic facilities at the Centre for Health Science in Inverness.   As we move to our next stage of growth, I am confident that the team from HIE will help us realise our ambitious plans for the future.”  Dr Alasdair Mort, Chief Executive Officer, MIME Technologies


Events for entrepreneurs in the Highlands and Islands:


Strategic Negotiations Masterclass

Date: Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th August 2018
Location: Jurys Inn, Millburn Road, Inverness, IV2 3TR                                                        
Guest Speaker: John Vine, CBE

Structured Steps in the Entrepreneur’s Journey Masterclass

Date: Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 October 2018
Location: Macdonald Drumossie Hotel, Inverness, IV2 5BE                                                         Guest speaker: Richard Dixon, Founder, Vets Now

Strategic Marketing Masterclass

Date: Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th November 2018
Location: Kingsmills Hotel, Culcabock Road, Inverness, IV2 3LP                                              
Guest speaker: TBC

Creating and Maintaining a Competitive Advantage Masterclass

Date: Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st February 2019
Location: Kingsmills Hotel, Culcabock Road, Inverness, IV2 3LP                                              
Guest speaker: TBC

Register your interest for Masterclasses

To register your interest, please email entrepreneurship@hient.co.uk and specify which Masterclass – or Masterclasses – you are interested in attending.

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