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Fast track for business start-ups

Published: 21/03/2018

HIE is now recruiting for the 2018 intake to its Pathfinder Accelerator, a tried and tested business programme nurturing growth in life sciences and technology.

The Pathfinder Accelerator is specifically designed to help companies and start-ups develop novel business ideas relating to life sciences or technology and reduce time to market by testing it in the most time-efficient, cost-effective way to determine its commercial viability.  Pathfinder will take place in Inverness and in Highland region locations such as Caithness, Skye and Lochaber.

The programme is aimed at existing life sciences or technology businesses, start-ups with aspirations for growth or those with exciting science or technology ideas to progress.  It is designed to enable participants to build a company or launch a new product for less cost and in a shorter period of time.

For those interested in Pathfinder a taster session will take place in Inverness on Tuesday 27 March. The two-hour event will offer an introduction to the programme, materials and time frames, plus opportunities to meet the coaches, ask questions, meet other potential participants and sign up to the programme.

The programme offers a 12-week period that tests business ideas in a focused environment, followed by a further 12 weeks of coaching and mentoring, with opportunities to develop contacts, source funding and plan for future growth.

Participants will benefit from dedicated experienced business coaches, tailored workshops and seminars, the opportunity to engage with life sciences and technology experts and the use of collaborative office accommodation on the Inverness campus.

The Pathfinder Programme was made possible by Highlands and Islands Enterprise’ Northern Innovation Hub, as part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal to help SMEs in the Highland Council area to improve their businesses through innovation, and utilising funding from the European Regional Development Fund. The Inverness and Highland City-Region deal is a joint initiative supported by £315M investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, HIE and University of the Highland and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.

Dr Alasdair Mort, CEO and Founder of MIME Technologies Ltd and former Pathfinder participant, commented: “Pathfinder helped us to change our mind-set and break away from traditional academic research to address the practical applications of the idea from an end-user perspective.

“The programme provided the invaluable opportunity to be coached through the process of bringing our idea to market, so that we could better understand our customers. We've transformed our thinking from the academic space to the entrepreneurial space.”

James Cameron, Head of Life Sciences at HIE, commented: “The Highlands and Islands benefits from a strong profile of life sciences and technology expertise - sectors which typically deliver high levels of innovation.

“However, creating the best business model and hitting the right market segment can make the difference between success and failure of any business idea. The Pathfinder programme not only guides companies and start-ups through this process but assists with funding, office space, networking and expert insight.”

All those interested in participating in the 2018 programme are invited to attend the taster which takes place on 27th March at #hellodigital on the ground floor of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise offices, Inverness Campus.

Click here to register for the Taster Session. 

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