Prizes & Training

Converge Challenge 2016

The 2017 programme will launch February 7th and we have some new prizes and benefits to announce - watch this space!

The Converge Challenge is Scotland's leading company creation competition and development training programme for entrepreneurs, seeking creative business minds from within Scottish Universities and Research Institutes across all sectors: the challenge provides the perfect platform for driving forward your business plans.

A prize fund of £150,000 alongside great networking opportunities and a comprehensive support and training package are available for the winners, ensuring the best possible start for any new business.

The first prize in Converge enables the matching of a Scottish Enterprise SMART: Feasibility award. And NEW for 2016 - the Converge Challenge overall winner will be automatically placed in the next Scottish EDGE semi finals (Round 10) AND have the opportunity to pitch on stage at EIE17 (May 2017) - two brilliant opportunities to present to key investors and stakeholders - money can't buy additional prizes. We thank the Scottish EDGE and Informatics Ventures for these opportunities.

We are delighted to partner with the Royal Bank of Scotland. RBS will provide vital support across all areas of Converge Challenge as well as business mentoring.

This outlines the 2016 prize currently - this will be updated ahead of launch in 2017.

Converge Challenge 1st Prize
Converge Challenge 2nd Prize
Design & Creativity Award
£43,000 cash
£15,000 cash
£10,000 cash
£5,000 legal support
£3,000 legal support
£2,000 legal support                    
£2,500 mentoring        
£1,500 mentoring
£1,000 mentoring
£5,000 financial advice
£3,000 financial advice
£2,000 financial advice
£5,000 branding & marketing support
£3,000 branding & marketing support
£2,000 branding & marketing support
£5,000 recruitment advice£3,000 recruitment advice£2,000 recruitment advice
£5,000 IP
£3,000 IP
£2,000 IP        
£5,000 product development & support
£500 networking
£5,000 product development & support
£1,000 networking
 £500 networking
Total £76,000+ (cash £43,000 in-kind £33,000+)
Total £32,000 (cash £15,000 in-kind £17,000)
Total £26,500 (£10,000 cash in kind £16,000+)

Social Enterprise
Entrepreneurial Spirit
KickStart Digital Entrepreneur
First prize £3,000
First prize £5,000
Winner £1,000 cash    
Winner I-pad Air
Second prize £2,000
Second prize £3,000*
Entrepreneurial Scotland prize package

Total £5,000
Total £8,000

*Social Enterprise: Firstport are offering the runner up prize for of 2016 Converge Challenge Social Enterprise Competition. This involves a cash prize of £3k and access to the Firstport adviser network, as well as access to the broader Social Enterprise network. Firstport are members of the judging panel for the Social Enterprise Competition, bringing their expertise on the sector to bear on the quality of the applications. 

The Converge Challenge programme is funded by eight Scottish Universities and the Scottish Funding Council to give students and staff from all Scottish Universities and Research Institutes the chance to exploit the commercial potential of their inventions. In addition, Converge Challenge partners with a number of reputable companies who provide expert and invaluable support to our winners and alumni - Murgitroyd, Morton Fraser, Royal Bank of Scotland, Informatics Ventures, Morton Ward, Fearsome, Entrepreneurial Scotland, Mazars , Firstport, Badenoch and Clark and BQ.

The Converge Challenge Training Programme


In addition to the cash prizes and the in-kind business support that can be won, there is also a wealth of training opportunities provided to our Converge Challenge participants delivered by Neuehansa Ltd. Here is a quick overview of what our 2016 cohort had access to:

The Converge Challenge 2016 Training Programme consisted of 5 parts in 4 Stages

Stage 1: Residential Training for Converge Challenge

1. a 2.5 day residential course for the Converge Challenge Top 30 and

2. a 2 days residential training for Converge Challenge KickStart (held in parallel with #1 the Top 30 residential training course), followed by

Stage 2: “Practical Skills in Business Development for Start-Ups” workshop

3. a 1-day “Practical Skills in Business Development for Start-Ups” workshop for Converge Challenge Top 10, followed by

Stage 3: 1:1 Follow-up Meetings

4. a series of 1:1 individual follow-up meetings and

Stage 4: Coaching for Tradeshows or Customer Meetings

5. 1:1 coaching to attend a trade show / meetings with customers

The training was delivered by the Neuehansa Ltd who also provide trainers for the highly-regarded and competitive RSE Enterprise Fellowships. Converge Challenge Director, Olga Kozlova contributed to the development and delivery of the training, so applicants could take advantage of her experience and expertise.  The principal objective of the programme was the completion of an 'investor-ready' business plan, incorporation of a new start-up or spin-out company or even closure on a seed funding round. Every project will have a different starting point and different short-term goals. The Converge Training aims to support you to identify those goals and reach them.