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Pathfinder programme opens for applications

Published: 26/05/2021

A free programme that supports life science and technology businesses accelerate their growth has opened for new applications.

Sodi Kakouris (e-learning development officer) and Joanne McCoy (LGOWIT manager)

Virtual taster sessions are arranged for 24 June and 28 July for Pathfinder Accelerator, which is a six-month programme designed to help participants build a company or launch a new product saving time and money.

Developed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the programme provides fast-track training and mentoring and will be delivered completely online.

The taster sessions offer an introduction to the programme and provides an opportunity to meet the coaches and ask questions.

The programme forms part of the Northern Innovation Hub, a project led by HIE, with £11m from UK Government as part of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal and £1.7m through the European Regional Development Fund Scotland programme 2014-2020.

Pathfinder Accelerator will start on 9 September and is now open for applications from existing and start-up companies from across the Highland Council region. It will be delivered by training specialists Skillfluence who have developed and designed a new course structure including an e-learning platform to make the course more accessible.

Skillfluence will partner with Investing Women Angels to provide business advice and support to this year’s participants. They will provide coaching and mentoring as well as help develop networking, sourcing, funding and planning for future growth.

Sodi Kakouris of Let’s Get On With it Together (LGOWIT) took part in a previous Pathfinder Accelerator cohort LGOWIT supports those living with a long-term health condition to self-manage.

LGOWIT developed e-learning modules based on their face to face support programmes and toolkits, for use by public sector and corporate organisations. They were a great resource for helping people through the pandemic.   

Sodi said: “The Pathfinder programme provided the right advice at the right time for our project and it was a great experience. The programme really helped us hone our pitch, do our research and find the right price point. It helped us build up our confidence in promoting our business commercially. It’s great to know that we have made a difference to people’s lives during difficult times.”

Andrea McColl, senior development manager life sciences at HIE said: “We are looking forward to welcoming another group of businesses to our Pathfinder Accelerator soon. Together with our new partners Skillfluence and Investing Women Angels, we are excited to continue the successful programme and support more businesses to move forward with their ideas and succeed.”

Alison Gray, Director of Skillfluence said: “We’re delighted to be leading the Pathfinder Accelerator programme alongside Investing Women Angels. The programme helps existing life science or technology businesses fast track their growth aspirations and also supports early stage businesses to develop and commercialise innovative ideas.

“Commercial success of any new product or service depends on developing a strong business model and reaching the right market. With the support of our partners Investing Women, we are confident we can successfully guide Pathfinder Accelerator participants through this process by providing expert insight.”

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