• New Director Appointment at Converge Challenge

    Converge Challenge, Scotland’s leading company creation programme for staff, students and recent graduates of Scottish Universities and Research Institutes which is hosted by Heriot Watt University, has confirmed the appointment of its new Director, Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo.

    Claudia, who joined Converge Challenge in October 2017 as Deputy Director, is a former Saltire fellow with a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. During her career, she worked with a biotech spin-out from the University of Edinburgh and more recently was Head of Saltire Fellowship within Entrepreneurial Scotland.

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  • Largest ever KickStart cohort enrolled onto 2019 training programme following record number of early-stage applications

    A record 139 applications were received from across Scotland’s Higher Education Institutions reinforcing the message that the country’s universities remain a bedrock of innovation for early-stage ideas and projects that have the potential to become viable businesses. 

    More projects than ever before will benefit from a 2-day practical business training programme to help develop their proposition culminating in an Awards Final with a prize package of £15,000.

    Scotland’s vibrant academic entrepreneurial eco-system continues to flourish with 33 early stage business ideas within sight of reaching the final of the Converge Challenge KickStart 2019 programme next March where a £10,000 cash prize awaits the winner and £5,000 will go to the runner up.

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  • KickStart - Events & Workshops

    The Converge Outreach Team will be travelling across Scotland in October & November to promote the early-stage KickStart programme to staff and students from all Scottish Universities and Research Institutes.

    The Outreach team includes Dr. Claudia Cavalluzzo and Adam Kosterka. Claudia has experience in entrepreneurial leadership and Life Sciences spin-outs while Adam has extensive knowledge of business start-up and innovation. 

    The team can offer hands on support to all applicants, be it application advice or just a sounding board.

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  • The Stars of Scottish Innovation Shine Bright at the Converge Challenge Awards

    Carbogenics, a spin out the from University of Edinburgh has secured the coveted first prize at the 2018 Converge Challenge awards with their innovative waste solution. Turning low value paper waste products into a carbon-rich material, their revolutionary product CreChar improves biogas production and enhances digestate as a sustainable alternative to energy-intense mineral fertilisers

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  • Academic innovations soar to new heights as 2018 Converge Challenge finalists are announced

    The finalists have been announced for Scotland’s leading higher education company creation programme, illustrating that Scotland’s academic community continues to thrive as a collective entrepreneurial hub.

    With over 60% of the companies coming through being either founded or led by women, this year’s Converge Challenge is not only breaking down gender barriers but is innovating across multiple industries too. Renewable energy, health care and agriculture are just some of the industries these entrepreneurs are working within.

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  • Converge Challenge Top 30 Showcase To Business Leaders

    The Converge Challenge 2018 best of the best Top 30 came together after three days of comprehensive business training to showcase the most innovative ideas emerging from Scottish Universities. They had just 60 seconds to present their innovative ideas to a panel of experts and esteemed industry professionals.

    Peter Orrell from the James Hutton Institute won the Converge Challenge ‘Ready Steady Pitch’ award with MycoNourish that uses fungi to act as a secondary root system, to improve plant health.

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  • Top 60 Converge Challenge 2018 shortlist announced!

    Following record-breaking entries to this year’s Converge Challenge, the leading Top 60 projects from Scottish Universities and Research Institutes include a range of innovative ideas covering women’s health, virtual reality, renewables and sustainability, demonstrating that Scotland’s pipeline for new and innovative businesses is robust and healthier than ever before.

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  • Converge Challenge 2018 hits record numbers!

    Converge Challenge 2018 closed to the record-breaking news of receiving 223 applications from Scottish University staff and students demonstrating the appetite for entrepreneurship across Scotland. This continued growth brought them to over 1,100 applications since the programme inception and an over 5 times increase in the number of budding entrepreneurs stepping forward compared to their inaugural year in 2011.

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  • If only Converge Challenge was around when I was a researcher!

    Tomorrow marks our application deadline and I can’t help but reflect back on the highlights of the past few months.

    I joined Converge Challenge in October last year, an organisation I have always been fond of, a team with an outstanding reputation and a programme that I hope I’d had come across during my academic career.

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  • Janice Kirkpatrick urges creative entrepreneurs to take on the Converge Challenge!

    As founder and Creative Director of international design studio Graven—and more importantly, as a working designer—I’m really looking forward to being part of this year’s Converge Challenge judging panel.

    There’s never been a more important time for Scotland to encourage and support people to turn their ideas into businesses. The world is changing more quickly than ever and change always creates opportunities—for new services, processes and products. Ideas are Scotland’s richest resource and its greatest natural asset and those of you with a creative education are often considered the most likely to be entrepreneurial. People like you have the potential to start businesses that will change the world for the better and create wealth and employment.

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