Do you have an early-stage business idea?

Applications to KickStart 2019 are now closed. Best of luck to all our 2019 applicants!

The Converge Challenge KickStart programme is aimed at early-stage projects. By participating, you will receive individually tailored advice to support the first steps of your entrepreneurial journey. Our KickStart programme will equip you with necessary skills and knowledge to develop your idea and get it “market ready”.

There are two KickStart awards:

  • KickStart Winner (£10,000 cash) 
  • KickStart Runner-up (£5,000 cash)

Why enter? What are the benefits?

  • £15,000 prize package
  • 2 days business skills and pitch training to help you develop your proposal
  • Free 1-2-1 expert business advice from our Partners
  • Better understanding of customers and route to market
  • Peer to peer learning
  • Personalised feedback at each stage of the programme

Previous project finalists/winners ideas include: Big Data analysis; an equestrian body protector; health tech for self-managing chronic diseases; easily adjustable submersible illuminated (EASI) birth mirror; wearable technology; synthetic plaster casts; dementia aids; robotics; interactive apps

"The Converge journey helped me in the (on-going) transition from University researcher with absolute zero experience in business, to business leader. I particularly enjoyed the training days and the level of insights from the Entrepreneur Business School. By the end of the process, I had my first business plan. I am already recommending KickStart to anyone I can. Don't be shy and apply!" - KickStart 2018 (Start-up) winner Lorenzo Conti, Crover (University of Edinburgh) 

The Converge Challenge journey:

  1. Application submitted via our website
  2. Internal judging panel selects up to 30 projects to progess to training
  3. Short-listed early-stage entrepreneurs join the two-day training and business surgeries with Converge Challenge partners
  4. Short-listed applicants are required to submit a five-page business case and video pitch
  5. Up to 10 projects are selected by an internal judging panel to progress to the final
  6. KickStart winners are selected by an external judging panel and will be announced at an Awards Dinner

Who can apply?

A full list of terms and conditions for the Converge Challenge KickStart can be found HERE.
  1. 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;
  2. Recent graduates from any Scottish University or Scottish Research Institution up to 24 months after graduation
  3. Anyone who meets criteria 1 and 2 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, are now eligible to apply;
  4. Applicants must intend to establish the businesses in Scotland.

A full list of terms and conditions for the Converge Challenge KickStart can be found HERE.

Meet our previous 2018 KickStart Top 10 finalists below: