Converge, the pioneering entrepreneurship development and enterprise programme for staff, students and recent graduates from Scotland’s Higher Education Institutions, has appointed one of the country’s most prominent entrepreneurs and serial angel investors to chair its Strategic Advisory Board.
Paul Atkinson, one of the founding partners of venture capital firm Par Equity and chairman of the fast-expanding recruitment services organisation Taranata Group, has been a renowned figure across the Scottish business and entrepreneurial landscape for many years, building value for companies in the technology and services sector, then taking them to a successful exit.
His appointment as Strategic Advisory Board Chairman is a huge boost for Converge as it marks its tenth anniversary this year. Claudia Cavalluzzo, Director of Converge, explains that having the benefit of Paul Atkinson’s extensive experience, both as a serial investor and as someone who has built hugely profitable businesses from scratch, will help to further strengthen and develop the strategic pathway that takes Converge into its second decade.
“I’m thrilled that Paul has accepted the position of Chairman. His wealth of experience both as a significant angel investor and an entrepreneur in his own right is unrivalled. He is our ‘marquee signing’ who is already known to some of the Converge alumni having invested in, for example, Novosound and Current Health – two of our recent flagship start-ups. His support to me and the rest of the Converge board will be exceptionally helpful.”
Last year, Paul Atkinson was appointed Visiting Professor by Edinburgh Napier University Business School, an accolade which reflected his exceptional achievements in helping businesses create value and achieve their goals. Therefore, having already been immersed in the academic world to provide guidance and lecture on developing an entrepreneurial mind-set, Paul is well prepared for his new role.
“I am delighted to chair the ‘crown jewel’ of Scottish academic entrepreneurial achievement. I’ve already witnessed the success of several Converge alumni and their potential to bring forward disruptive and transformative technologies which were worthy of investment.
Importantly, I think we stand on the threshold of some remarkable breakthroughs where Scotland’s Universities can again show how adept they are at unlocking their research potential and where Converge can be the springboard to help them achieve growth and success. I am looking forward to playing my part in chairing the board that provides Claudia and her team with the means to move Converge on to the next level.”