Converge Alumni, L-R: Dave Hughes of novosound, Debbie Wake of My Way Digital Health and Rotimi Alabi of RAB Microfluidics.
A group of ambitious entrepreneurs have gathered at Jupiter Artland to launch the 2018 company creation programme, Converge Challenge, now in its eighth year.
The programme is aimed at staff, students and recent graduates from Scottish universities, inspiring them to develop their ideas into viable and successful ventures.
The competition attracted over 200 entries in 2017, and between 2011 and 2016, it provided training to 180 Converge businesses.
Olga Kozlova, director of Converge Challenge, said: “In 2018 we are encouraging as many staff, students and recent graduates from all our excellent Scottish Universities to apply and take advantage of our offering that turns innovative concepts and projects into growing businesses and helps create a new generation of entrepreneurs.
“I am particularly delighted that the participating and winning alumni joined us to support the launch of this year’s competition at Jupiter Artland, a place that represents the creativity, ambition and commitment towards inspiring people that absolutely typifies the ethos and approach of Converge Challenge.”
Success stories from Converge Alumni include a wearable device providing protection for lone workers, an app that supports people with cognitive decline, and a battery powered airflow back-rest cushion designed for wheelchairs.
The 2018 programme has a total prize of cash and business support worth over £160,000, and finalists receive an intensive series of support workshops across the duration of the programme leading up to the awards in September 2018.
Winner of Converge Challenge 2017, Dave Hughes of novosound, said: “Personally, the Converge Challenge experience, expertise and support has already been invaluable to make the transition from an academic to an entrepreneur. As a company, the support provided from the prize package will allow us to take novosound to the next level.”
The Converge Challenge 2018 categories are:
· Converge: established idea
· KickStart: for early stage ideas
· Social Enterprise : positive impact on social and environmental issues
· Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
Converge Challenge is now open from Wednesday 24 January 2018 for applications until the deadline closing date of Thursday 29 March 2018 at 5.00pm.