Shortlist announced for Converge Challenge

Shortlist announced for Converge Challenge

The 2017 shortlist of academic entrepreneurs for Scotland’s company creation competition has been announced.

Nominees for Converge Challenge have been shortlisted across the competition’s three award categories:

  • Converge Challenge: for those with an established idea – 10 shortlisted
  • KickStart: for early stage ideas  – 10 shortlisted
  • Social Enterprise: for ideas that will have a positive impact on social and environmental issues  – 5 shortlisted

The 25 shortlisted nominees represent 12 Scottish universities, with university spinouts dominating the main Converge Challenge award category. This shortlist demonstrates thriving entrepreneurial activity within Scotland’s universities.

Further highlights within the Converge Challenge award category include: a range of sectors from Life Sciences and Oil & Gas to Fintech and ICT; candidates are a combination of university graduates and staff; and finalists are engaging with other entrepreneurial opportunities such as the Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowship and the Scottish Enterprise High-Growth Spinout Programme.

The KickStart and Social Enterprise early stage finalists cover a broad range of innovations and ideas that include: a birthing mirror to assist midwifes; a control system for wind turbines; an online platform that delivers and monitors personalised physiotherapy programmes; and a portable toolkit designed to raise awareness of issues for hard of hearing individuals.

Dr Olga Kozlova, director of Converge Challenge, said: “This year’s finalists are game changers showcasing innovations with amazing market potential. The candidate’s business plans displayed solid market engagement and commitment to developing a strong team and clear details on how they plan to grow the business – all key elements that contribute to the future success of a new business and ultimately Scotland’s economy.

“The strong pipeline of university spinouts is encouraging and at Converge Challenge we are delighted to offer the follow on training and support to develop these ‘ideas’ into profitable and scalable businesses.

“We congratulate all the candidates for getting through to this stage, the judges found it difficult as every project had the potential to become an exciting business and we have no doubt they will go on to become Scotland’s next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.”

Finalists will now go through to the final stage of the company creation competition and entrepreneurship development programme with the opportunity to win cash prizes and in kind business support packages from the total prize fund valued at over £170,000.

The winners of each of the three categories will be announced at a Converge Challenge awards ceremony on Thursday, 28th September 2017 at the Glasgow Science Centre.