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Scott Johnstone 

Scott Johnstone who co-founded YAbA a spin-out company from Moredun Research Institute in 1998. The company raised £2.5Million in a series of funding rounds, variously from Venture capitalists including 3i, 3 corporate investors including a South Korean Conglomerate and well known Business Angel syndicates to develop diagnostic products and vaccines for the human healthcare. A number of license deals were signed with a number of partners including the world's largest veterinary diagnostic company. The company launched its first veterinary product PanclabortTM which was sold and manufactured by the company.

VC Experience

Started with Scottish Enterprise and moved on to 3i.

Took in angel money at the subsequent rounds and 3i eventually ended their relationship when they no longer wanted to invest early stage technology ventures.

Secured corporate investment which almost led to a significant trade sale in 2001 had it not been for 9/11.

Subsequent rounds were rescue rounds to secure investment to obtain some form of an exit but when all available technology avenues had been explored and there were no significant options left then the company was wound up to everyone's genuine disappointment.

Currently involved in fundraising as co-founder and CEO of Antoxis (http://www.antoxis.com/) an Aberdeen based drug Development Company. Funding so far has been through the Genomia Fund and the current investment round is expected to be business Angel led. Income from a partner deal expected later in 2007.

Ann Rushforth

Ann Rushforth, Chief Executive, ScotNursing (http://www.scotnursing.co.uk/).  Ann is a qualified Nurse and Midwife, who in 1987 started her own Nursing and Care Business, with the support of a Government scheme and a £1,000 overdraft with the bank.

Last year ScotNursing Ltd had a turnover of £11 million and in the same year she bought back control from the Venture Capitalists who assisted the recent expansion.  She has acquired two businesses and bought controlling share of another.

She now works out of a purpose built modern headquarters in Old Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, and employs 100 core staff as well as having some 5000 nurses and carers on the agency's books.

For Ann it has been a seminal year. As well as receiving an MBE, she was recently inducted into the Leading Women Entrepreneurs Of The World. The latter is an honour granted only to another three Scots businesswomen.

As well as being awarded the MBE for support to nursing and business in Dunbartonshire, Ann has been Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year and Scottish Businesswoman of the Year.  She also is a board member of the company and board member for the Princess Royal Trust for Carers.  Ann assists with the accelerator panel for Princes Scotland Youth Business Trust, for their loan fund.  She is also a school governor and a guider for the Girl Guide Association.

She is married with three adult children and three golden retrievers.  Until last year Ann was a board member of the Entrepreneurial Exchange.  She is passionate about business, her family and Scotland and believes her success is about quality of care, "The underlying factor is to give people the quality of care you would want for your own family."

Nelson Gray

Nelson Gray, BA, CA MB, Firth Ventures. A Chartered Accountant with an entrepreneurial background, who, following the sale of his own business, became a "hands on", business angel investor, mentor, non executive director and fund manager.

He has been involved as a non executive and board adviser to a wide range of companies, as diverse as a PCB and Biotech manufacturing, diagnostic platforms, software, medical devices, call centers printing and construction.

In addition to general management and strategic development, Nelson provides assistance to companies looking to secure outside funding from both banks and equity providers.

He acted as the fund manager for Scotland's leading angel investment syndicate and later, managed two early stage investment funds, investing in over 50 Scottish companies. He has provided advice on funding to Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Executive and the Enterprise Committee of the Scottish Parliament.

Between 1999 and 2004 he managed Gap Fund Managers on behalf of Noble, the independent investment bank (http://www.noblegp.com/), and remained a consultant with Noble Fund Managers (NFM) until March 2006. NFM manage six investment funds ranging in size between £10m and £100m.

Since 1996 Nelson has made 18 personal "angel" investments in new and developing companies. These include:

  • Tissue Science Laboratories plc, (medical devices, floated on AIM in 2002).
  • Optos plc (medical devices, main market flotation February 2006).
  • Excel Biotech Ltd (manufacture of monoclonal antibodies and other material for clinical trials, sold to QBiogene of Canada in 2002).
  • Eleksen Group plc (smart fabric for control of electrical devises - AIM float May 2006).
  • Vibtech Ltd, (wireless seismic testing sold to Sercel of France for $60m in October 2006).

Board member of The Entrepreneurial Exchange (http://www.entrepreneurial-exchange.co.uk/), a former board member of Connect (http://www.connectonthenet.com/) and was a founding board member of the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (http://www.sie.ac.uk/).

In 2001 received the Entrepreneurial Exchange's Entrepreneurial Supporter of the Year Award.

Nelson runs the Angel Investment Master Class on their behalf of LINC Scotland, the National Scottish Business Angel Network, and has acted as a consultant to investors, entrepreneurs and government departments in a number of countries, including Chile, USA, Sweden, Holland, Estonia, Bulgaria and Latvia.

Nelson holds a Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors, and is a Financial Services Authority registered Investment Manager and Adviser.

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Venue information

Park Lodge Hotel 32 Park Terrace

01786 474862


Nelson Gray, Firth Ventures


  • Scott Johnstone
  • Antoxis
  • Ann Rushforth
  • ScotNursing

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Registered in Scotland. Company registration number SC160976.
Registered office: Barncluith Business Centre, Townhead Street, Hamilton, ML3 7DP. Developed by Mercurytide