Converge Cohort 2024

Earning a place on Converge’s yearly cohort is no small thing. The process is highly competitive and only the very best emerging ideas across Scotland’s university sector make the cut.

All sectors are represented this year from Food & Drink through to Renewable Energy; the Creative Industries; Technology; Engineering; the Life Sciences and more with ingenious ideas that have the potential to change life as we know it.

So what are you waiting for? Scroll down to uncover this year’s innovators!

Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo, executive director, Converge

Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo, executive director, Converge

Challenge Showcase

Discover all 100 semi-finalists here by clicking on the challenge buttons below.

Converge

A challenge category for novel business ideas based on strong and innovative science and technology with high commercial potential See participants

Create Change

A challenge category aimed at turning innovative ideas into creative, cultural and social businesses See participants

Net Zero

A challenge category for innovative low-carbon solution-based businesses advancing the race against climate change See participants

KickStart

A challenge for early-stage entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas they’d like to test, validate and prepare to launch. See participants

Partners

SIS Ventures

SIS Ventures, Scotland’s leading impact investor, works with entrepreneurs committed to bringing positive change for the people and planet.

SIS Ventures is part of the Social Investment Scotland group, which has been providing impact-aligned investment and support for over two decades and deployed over £120m in 500+ social enterprises and mission-led businesses across the UK.

SIS Ventures is Converge’s strategic partner for Impact, helping us and the companies coming through the programme to embed environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles in their operating standards.  By focussing on diversity and profit with purpose, together we will shape a more vibrant and cohesive economy and support greater social change.

 

SSE

We are a leading generator of renewable electricity and one of the largest electricity network companies in the UK.

We develop, own and operate low carbon infrastructure to support the zero-carbon transition.  This includes onshore and offshore wind, hydro power, electricity transmission and distribution grids, and efficient gas-fired generation, alongside providing energy products and services for businesses, and we have interests across Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Japan, Spain, Portugal, Denmark and Poland.

Our twin focus of practicality and inspiration is a strategy that has seen us through more than 70 years.

We are UK listed, employing 10,000 talented and skilled people and are real Living Wage and Fair Tax Mark accredited.

Because we’re SSE, and we’re for a better world of energy – for everyone.

 

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CT

The team at CT has an unrivalled knowledge of the Scottish investment and startup market. Our collaborative approach has a direct, positive impact on our clients – our award-winning team has a genuine interest in their growth ambitions.

From our market leading Entrepreneurial Tax team that offer advice on Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS), Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes (SEIS), Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) share schemes and Research & Development (R&D) Tax Relief, through to our digital solutions focused accounts team, we are here every step of the way to provide clients with honest advice and tech-savvy solutions.

 

CPI

Enterprises is the private investor engagement and ventures arm of CPI, a leading independent technology innovation centre and a founding member of the UK Government’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

Enterprises stimulates impactful investment into early-stage deep tech companies, leveraging our world-class technical expertise, facilities and innovation network to benefit both investors and companies alike.

 

Firefinch Software

At Firefinch Software we create custom software and data science solutions, specialising in the Life Sciences sector.

The work we do varies from small proof-of-concept data analyses and prototype applications up to large systems which companies run their core business on every day.

Our clients are diverse and include instrument manufacturers, academic start-ups & spinoffs, and contract research & manufacturing organisations

 

HLK

HLK is one of the largest independent IP firms in Europe and works with visionaries, innovators and businesses, helping them to get the most out of their intellectual property and safeguard their inventions, creative designs, brand identities and other innovations. 

Providing services that span the whole spectrum of the IP rights life cycle, from strategy through to filing and all the way through to litigation, HLK is privileged to work with some of the world’s most exciting and forward-looking businesses that are at the forefront of innovation and product development in their various spheres. The firm has clients in over 50 countries, including the UK, US, China, Japan and all major European countries.

As well as large corporate entities, the firm’s clients include universities, research institutes, SMEs and early-stage businesses across all sectors, all serviced from our offices in Glasgow, London, Munich, Bristol, Leeds, and Guangzhou (China).

HLK is a global cooperation combining Haseltine Lake Kempner LLP and HL Kempner Partnerschaft mbB.

 

i4 Product Design

i4 Product Design is an employee-owned company with a 20 year track record of working with start-ups and multinationals to deliver commercially successful products. 


Clients utilise the i4PD team to accelerate challenging roadmaps and/or innovate a way past technical challenges. The i4PD team achieve this by augmenting the size and capabilities of a client’s internal team.


Our experienced engineers and creative design team work in partnership with clients throughout the product design and development process to ensure their products aren’t just beautiful, they’re brilliant too.

 

MBM Commercial

MBM Commercial is an award-winning commercial law firm that helps entrepreneurial businesses.

Many of our clients are going through significant growth, either by investment, acquisition or by international expansion. We are committed to helping our clients succeed and always aim to help make connections and add value wherever possible. The work that we do spans all sectors, and we are proud to represent many exciting businesses, ranging from small start-ups to large companies. 

The firm provides a full range of commercial legal services, including corporate finance, commercial contracts, insolvency/restructuring, commercial property, dispute resolution, employment/HR and company administration.