Impact Challenge

What is it?

The Impact Challenge is now closed and will re-open in January 2021

The Impact Challenge is aimed at innovative ideas that have a social or environmental mission at their core and that have the potential of developing into financially sustainable businesses. The award is applicable to all enterprise types.

To be successful, proposals must demonstrate that social/environmental impact can be significant and long term. 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 £15,000 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 Impact Challenge is open to all mission-led enterprises and 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:

  • Innovation: unique selling point, competitive advantage
  • Sustainable social or environmental impact
  • Market validation: customer engagement, viable route to market, market fit
  • Team: relevant experience, planning for future team
  • Resource planning: understanding of market readiness requirements including funding, expertise and operations

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 be asked to:

  • Take part in a promotional film and photography shoot
  • Pitch live to our judging panel
  • Attend the Converge Awards ceremony

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
Pitching to Judging Panel – 16 September
Awards Final – 24 September

Judging panel

Dr Martin Valenti

Sally Good

Josiah Lockhart

Rob Halliday

Previous winners

Lingo FlamingoRobbie Norval

Giraffe HealthcareLorna Paul

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.