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Business start-ups to fast-track with Pathfinder Accelerator

Published: 10/05/2018

Eight businesses and entrepreneurs in the Highlands will start their journey on Pathfinder Accelerator tomorrow (Thursday 10 May) at An Lòchran, Inverness Campus.

The tried and tested business programme which was designed and developed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is aimed at nurturing growth in life sciences and technology.

The programme will be delivered by The Leadership Factory with coaching provided by UP Accelerator. It is specifically designed to enable participants to build a company or launch a new product saving both time and money.

Pathfinder Accelerator provides 12 weeks support to test business ideas in a focused environment. A further 12 weeks of coaching and mentoring is offered to help the start-ups and budding entrepreneurs 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 at  Inverness Campus.

The programme will take place in Inverness and in Highland region locations such as Caithness, Skye and Lochaber. It will culminate with a demo day when participants will make their final pitch to prospective investors and partners.

The Pathfinder Programme was made possible by HIE’s 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.  The programme also includes 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.

The eight participants are:

  • Aurora Sustainability Ltd: bio-refining applications for mushrooms and mushroom mycelium
  • Creativity in Care CIC: creative communications solutions for people whose communication, memory or cognition has significantly changed (e.g. dementia)
  • External Reality Limited: mobile satellite broadband solution for use in the construction, civil engineering and utilities sector
  • Forbovi Limited: Innovative solutions for health improvement in dairy cattle.
  • Macfie Research and Communications: scientific consulting and technical writing
  • Orrin Equestrian Products Ltd: horse saddle design
  • Pinnacle Business Solutions Ltd: software to support and streamline engineering and construction projects
  • Visual Performance Management: software for manufacturers to get clear, real-time information on their production process

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.”

The programme will be delivered by The Leadership factory and coaching will be provided by UP Accelerator.

For those interested in future Pathfinder sessions, please visit to register your interest. The next cohort will take place in Inverness in the autumn.

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