Challenge Categories

Eligibility

The Converge Challenge 2017 winners were announced at our Awards Dinner on 28th September 2017 at the Glasgow Science Centre. Full list of ALL of our 2017 winners can be read HERE. Converge Challenge 2018 will launch in late January.

For each category the competition is open to:

  • 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 12 months after graduation ie from June 2016)
  • We work with any industry sector, product or service-based ideas at any stage of the development.
  • Further category eligibility for Converge ChallengeKickStart and Social Enterprise can be found by clicking on the relevant challenge category above

Benefits of entering

  • £170,000+ prize package – mix of cash and in-kind support
  • Practical business skills & pitching training programme
  • Better developed ‘investor ready’ proposition
  • Obtain critical independent business plan analysis
  • Rigorous training and 1-2-1 mentorship
  • Access to key markets and networking opportunities
  • Share and learn from other entrepreneur experiences
  • PR potential developments
  • A safety net – you’re not on your own!

Prize

In addition to the cash prizes and in-kind business support for the winners which totals £170,000+, there is also a comprehensive support package and training opportunities provided to our Converge Challenge participants. The principal objective of the development programme is 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 ensuring the best possible start for your new business. Let your ideas soar with Converge Challenge 2017!

  • Converge Challenge - The top prize is £50,000 cash and over £28,000 in-kind business support and second prize is £25,000 cash and over £14,000 in-kind business support. The first prize enables matching of a Scottish Enterprise SMART: Feasibility award. PLUS: £15,000 cash prize plus in-kind support in the Design and Creativity Award.
  • KickStart – Top prize was £6,000 cash and second prize was £4,000 cash.
  • Social Enterprise – The top prize is £5,000 cash and one runner up of £3,000 cash. In 2017, the overall prize pot has increased to over £10,000 as the winners will receive branding and PR in-kind support.
  • Training - May 30, 31 and June 1: 3-day residential training, including coaching in how to deliver the perfect elevator pitch, if you make it to the Converge Top 30; 2-day residential business development training if you make it to the KickStart Top 30 (May 31 and June 1); 2.5-day residential business development training if you make it to the Social Enterprise Top 30 (May 30 pm, May 31 and June 1); 12 months personalised training and mentoring to help you set up your business if you make it to the Converge Top 10.
  • Business Surgery - Converge Challenge run Business Surgeries for the Converge Top 30 on June 27th 2017 at Morton Fraser, Edinburgh and June 28th 2017 at RBS, Glasgow. KickStart/Social Enterprise Business Surgery will be held for those challenge category finalists on November 21st 2017 in Edinburgh.