Life Sciences is currently a key growth industry in Scotland. Over 640 life sciences organisations employ more than 32,000 people, and turnover within the sector is expected to double from £3.1 billion to £6.2 billion by 2020.

BioCity Scotland, which houses and supports growing life sciences organisations, is launching a unique coaching and support programme which aims to fast-track the success of selected companies. Five life science companies (Link Technologies, Bio Ascent, Glimpse, TeraHertz Power and Chitopolymers) have been chosen to take part in Bio City’s nine-week ‘Develop’ programme, which could provide them with the opportunity to receive £100,000 of investment.

The programme – sponsored by North Lanarkshire Council – provides business start-ups, early-stage or developing companies in the life sciences sector with intensive support and one-to-one coaching from a network of coaches. These coaches will help participants challenge and test the ideas for new products, services and business areas, helping them to identify and understand any key challenges they will face and help them design a business model which has the best chance of success.

Those who successfully complete the “Develop” programme will then have the opportunity to move onto the “Launch” programme which will offer businesses one-to-one coaching followed by the chance to pitch to BioCity Scotland and Gabriel Angel Syndicate for up to £100,000 of investment.

Dr Diane Harbison, Managing Director of BioCity Scotland said: “Too many business start-ups fail at the first hurdle because they rush into launching without fully understanding the challenges and the opportunities available. It’s easy to get carried away in the emotion of starting a new venture – particularly in an industry such as life sciences, where there is the potential to make a significant difference to people’s lives.

“The concepts of ‘lean start-up’ and ‘evidence based entrepreneurship’ are becoming well established in the digital technology arena, but BioCity, through the Develop programme are adapting and applying these techniques for start-ups in the complicated world of healthcare. “That’s why I’m delighted to launch the programme, which has a proven track record of success at our sister company BioCity Nottingham, where it has already helped 70 business start-ups in just 18 months. I am confident that “Develop” will be just as productive here in Scotland, where there is a wealth of talent just waiting to be nurtured using this winning formula. “This programme is all about giving businesses the tools and information for success, making sure they are aware of any potential challenges and have plans in place to address them. Everyone who completes this programme will be well-equipped to make their mark in the biotech, pharmaceutical or healthcare industries.”