Highland Venture Capital

Investing throughout Scotland in emerging business


Syntropharma is an emerging pharmaceutical company which takes commercially successful generic compounds and improves their clinical profile by reformulating them as patch applications which are applied to the skin.  Its vision is to develop a stream of first and second to market transdermal products with strong IP that will be out licensed to pharmaceutical partners with commercial reach.

Syntropharma represents a new generation of forward thinking pharmaceutical companies creating innovative and well differentiated products utilising transdermal technology.


Libero Pharma is an early stage biotechnoogy company – a spin out from Syntropharma – with a unique USIP protected transdermal patch containing naltrexone which could mitigate many of the issues associated with existing formulations.

Naltrexone is a widely prescribed medicine licensed for use in the management of Opiate Addiction and Alcohol Use Disorder.  It is also used in an unlicensed capacity in indications such as Fibromyalgia and even some cancer treatments.


amt-logo The company is a global leader in the use of microwaves to heat and condition liquids, suspensions and semi solids.  Microwaves offer a unique method of delivering energy into certain materials and despite being used extensively in many areas, their use in liquid systems has largely remained limited to small devices and laboratory scale equipment.

AMT has overcome the technical barriers which have restricted this development and has developed a unique and patented system of delivering microwave energy deep into liquids on a continuous basis and on an industrial scale.When HVC initially invested in the company, the aim was to develop a machine that would sterilise the blood waste from abattoirs. The product worked as designed and is capable of treating any potentially bio hazardous material which needs to be sterilised prior to final treatment or disposal. However the market has not yet proven itself ready to accept this new and disruptive technology.

Since then HVC has supported the company with additional funding rounds to develop the technology for use in the food and drinks industry. The company has worked with several academic institutions, including Queen Margaret University, to obtain accreditation for the technology. It has been particularly successful in the fruit juice market, where it has proved that it can pasteurise juice and significantly extend its shelf-life whilst reducing the vitamin damage and maintaining taste and colour.

The most recent funding round was completed in November 2013 and part of its purpose was to strengthen the senior management team.  Earlier in 2013 the company was pleased to welcome the appointment of Dr. Derek Shepherd as Chairman and in January 2014 the appointment of Stephen Roe as Chief Executive Officer.


Actual Analytics addresses a $29 billion global market in the pre-clinical stage of the drug discovery sector. Its validated, world leading analytical software product is deployed globally in Research, CRO and Big Pharma using cutting edge machine learning and computervision ensuring:

  1. Ethical concerns are addressed: the solution reduces stress and suffering for animals and enables operators to meet the 3Rs principles;
  2. Cost reduction: a shortened development timeframe which creates efficiencies and therefore reduces cost;
  3. Better data: the researcher is able to monitor subjects 24/7 with the all the key data interactions automatically catalogued to allow for seamless review and far more efficient than human observation techniques.
  4. New insights: The company has ground breaking science being produced by its systems, which are increasingly being validated in scientific journals and papers.


Design LED Products Ltd is a technology company focused on energy efficient, flexible and extremely thin, area LED light-guiding solutions. The patented technology is totally customisable resulting in a highly differentiated product offering for multiple market applications.

With a world-class, global operational delivery capability and a proven track record in adaptability, the Design LED team work closely with customers in automotive, retail and architectural to make their concepts become reality, from the initial design through to high volume manufacturing.


 carbonblack At the age of 14 Andrew Slorance fell from a tree and broke his back. Throughout a twenty–year career in television Andrew‘s aim to create the perfect chair grew. Andrew resigned his job and dedicated himself to making Carbon Black a reality.

It took six years for Andrew to fund and develop Carbon Black but today his vision is a reality. For Andrew the Carbon Black chair is just the beginning of a range of highly advanced products that will come from the Carbon Black brand.

In 2012 HVC invested in the company and have support Andrew in his aim to produce the perfect wheelchair. This support has come not only in the form of some additional funding, but in the constant help and advice from HVC members.

By the end of 2013 the Carbon Black wheelchair is a reality, with orders taken and deliveries starting in January 2014.

 insignia Insignia Technologies, the smart packaging company, today announced an £865,000 investment led by Equity Gap along with Highland Venture Capital, the Scottish Investment Bank, Strathclyde University and a number of private investors.

Insignia Technologies has developed a smart food label that changes colour over time to show how long a packet of food has been open. This simple concept using patented smart pigment technology has clear benefits for shoppers, retailers, and food producers. Removing the confusion around how long a pack has been opened it reduces unnecessary food waste while restoring consumer confidence in certain food categories which in turn drives repeat purchase and increased sales.

  CardioPrecision Ltd is an award-winning medical device company. The company has developed an innovative and patented technology that allows clinicians to perform minimally invasive intervention through a short transverse incision to the neck. Key benefits include much less pain and faster recovery than current approaches. Secondary benefits may include reduced blood loss, lower rates of transfusion/infection and much shorter hospital stay. The technology aims to provide both improved clinical outcome for patients and economic savings for healthcare providers.
The company’s CoreVista® device has been successfully used in both surgical and transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedures. Other cardiothoracic and cardiovascular applications are envisaged with similar benefits for patients and healthcare providers
  GlykoGen aims to develop a pipeline of anti-glycan antibodies to target specific, currently ‘hard to treat’ cancers, including pancreatic cancer, using an innovative and patentable process. GlykoGen’s vision is the delivery of more effective, less-invasive/destructive therapies for cancer, targeting cancer cells through their surface glycans. Glycans are of interest in the study of cancer because they play a role in almost every biological process and are involved in every major disease. However, their role in cancer is not yet well explored, due to the difficulties of producing antibodies to glycans.