Accelerating Life-Science Tech startups in Scotland

UP Ventures with HIE
Managing Partner
Design and deliver a dynamic learning experience for founders
A fantastic collaboration between UP Ventures and The Leadership Factory


UP Ventures, together with our delivery partners The Leadership Factory, has a long-standing partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Northern Innovation Hub. As Managing Partner of UP, I designed and directed a range of bespoke accelerators and innovation sprints across the region.

Over three years I helped 50+ businesses ranging from online learning, sustainable fashion and ergonomic bike handles to aquaculture, hydro energy and smart censor technology.


A creative and engaging cohort-based programme delivered both in-person and online allowing HIE to serve the entire region.

Each 12-week course was designed to enable participants to develop their sustainable business model or launch a new product saving both time and money. The programme allows participants to test business ideas in a focused environment, identify new routes to market and develop their sales pitch. 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 benefit from dedicated experienced business coaches, tailored workshops and seminars, the opportunity to engage with life sciences and technology experts.  

The Pathfinder Accelerator programme was made possible by HIE’s Northern Innovation Hub (NIH), 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 NIH project received £11m from the UK Government and £1.7m ERDF support as part of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal. The Deal is a joint £315 million initiative supported by both the UK and Scottish governments.

Steve is a great mentor and gets to know your strengths and weaknesses quickly. He knows how to get you to focus on the parts of your business that are important and often the areas you'd rather avoid. I know if I have a chat with Steve there are going to be some tricky questions but I always come out feeling motivated with goals and targets to work towards. 

- Karen Simpson, Founder of my Primary Tutor

Case Study: Proterra Energy

To discuss how I can help you deliver impactful innovation programmes in the public and private sector, please get in touch.