Creative Challenge

What is it?

The Creative Challenge is aimed at new or prospective businesses that rely on creative talent and/or design skills of the founding team to create an original product or service that can be turned into a sustainable business with growth potential.

The award is applicable to businesses operating in any of the recognised Creative Industries sectors. To be eligible, applicants need to demonstrate that their company can start trading within twelve months of the annual Converge Awards in September.

Prize package

First prize: £20,000 cash (plus £21,000 in kind support)
Runner-up: £10,000 cash (plus £9,000 in kind support)
All semi-finalists: four days of intensive business training and bespoke business advice.

Who can apply?

The Creative Challenge is for innovative ideas that demonstrate individual creativity, skill and craft and which have the potential to develop into financially sustainable businesses.  The category is open to both product and service-based ideas.

To be eligible, all applicants must be either staff, students or recent graduates* of a Scottish Higher Education Institution.

* up to 24 months after graduation from the initial application date

Check out our full Terms and Conditions here

Judging criteria

You will be judged on:

  • Originality/uniqueness
  • Market validation: customer engagement, viable route to market, market fit
  • Resource planning: understanding of market readiness requirements including funding, expertise and operations
  • Financial sustainability
  • Team: relevant experience, planning for future team

What’s involved?

If your application is successful, you will be asked to:

  • Attend an online business training course
  • Attend an online training day focused on financial planning
  • Attend an online business masterclass with our network of partners
  • Submit a business plan, financial forecast and 1-minute video pitch

Then, if you’re lucky enough to be shortlisted as a finalist, you will also be asked to

  • Take part in a promotional film and photography shoot
  • Pitch live to our judging panel
  • Attend the Awards ceremony (held annually in September)

2020 programme dates

Programme Launch – 26 February
Application Deadline – New deadline: 14 May (12 noon)
Business Training – Delivered online w/c 15 June
Pitch to your Peers Event – 29 June
Financial Planning Training – 30 June
Business Masterclass – 25 and 26 June
Business Plan Submission – 6 August
Live Pitching to Judging Panel – 15 September
Awards Final – 24 September

Judging panel

Nick Kuenssberg

Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne

Previous winners

Staels Design LtdCorien Staels

Kenoteq LtdDr Sam Chapman

Got a question?

Check out our FAQ page where you can find answers to frequently asked questions.

Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Email the Converge Team and we’ll try to help.