Converge Challenge


Do you have a BIG idea? Are you looking to spin out from the university or start-up a new company and incorporate within 12 months?

If you answered yes to both these questions then this category is for you!

Converge Challenge 2018 has now closed. The new programme will launch in March 2019. The KickStart category is now OPEN for applications! Deadline for applications is Thursday 22 November 2018 (12 noon).

Converge Challenge brings together ambitious and creative thinkers with innovative ideas to work with industry experts to transform their ideas into sustainable companies operating in the commercial world. Benefits include hands-on mentoring, rigorous training, invaluable business support and networking opportunities to shortlisted applicants.

If you have a big idea and are looking to spin our from a University or Research Institute, or start up a company, then Converge is for you! This category provides hands-on mentoring, business support and offers a first prize of £70,500 of cash and in kind business support.
This category also dedicates a £10,000 cash prize to the Design and Creativity Award - aimed at innovative ideas that demonstrate creativity, skill and talent. This Award is applicable to a broad range of sectors and must demonstrate that business growth is dependent upon commercial viability of the innovative
aspects of the product or service.

The shortlisted Converge projects receive: 3 days of business/pitch training, business proposition development and constructive feedback every step of the way. In addition, finalists will receive 12-months of bespoke training and coaching.

Previous project finalists/winners ideas include: high-tech scientific sensors; methods of preventing infections; next generation treatment of disease; an eye examination to help clinicians with diagnose psychiatric disorders; pharmaceutical aids; golf performance tracking technology; a personal safety alarm; a blood test that can detect brain tumours; innovative ultrasound technology; a battery powered airflow cushion for wheelchair users

Meet previous alumni and winners in the ALUMNI section.

"The award from Converge came in a perfect time for Carbogenics. We were in a need of funding that will help us to accelerate commercialisation of our innovation. It offered us a breathing space allowing us to focus on working on our business, testing our innovation with more clients and building our team. The training sessions help us to focus our business plan and develop our value proposition, provided excellent opportunity for networking and support needed for every start up business. It offered practical advice from experienced entrepreneurs.

The media coverage following from Converge attracted investors and clients bringing. Receiving recognition for our innovative idea and hard work of the team, brought a new energy and motivation to the business." Converge Challenge 2018 winner, Lidia Krzynowek, Carbogenics (University of Edinburgh)

Who can apply?

A full list of terms and conditions for the Converge Challenge can be found HERE
  • All staff and students at any Scottish University or Scottish Research Institution. Students and Staff members should gain permission from their Supervisors, Principal Investigators or Technology Transfer Officer, as appropriate, to enter the Competition;
  • Recent graduates from any Scottish University or Scottish Research Institution up to 24 months after graduation
  • Anyone who meets the above criteria and who has set up a company that has been dormant, non-trading or trading for no longer than 12 months with a secured income (incl. but not limited to grants, investment, loans, revenue, prizes) not higher than £100,000;
  • Applicants must intend to establish their businesses in Scotland.

Meet our 2018 Converge Challenge Top 7 finalists below: