Converge – at a glance

Converge is Scotland’s leading company creation platform for the university sector – a rigorous pan-Scottish business competition helping the next generation of academic innovators to turn their research and ideas into commercially viable businesses.

Since our launch in 2011, we have springboarded the creation of 330+ companies including Elasmogen, Enterobiotix, Novosound and care-at-home technology platform, Current Health. While we are sector agnostic, our strongest performing sectors include technology, engineering and the life sciences.

Our most recent in-house data shows that we are making a big difference. Here are some of our achievements at a glance:

 

 

600

Aspiring entrepreneurs trained

330+

Companies supported

76%

Overall survival rate

69%

3 year survival rate*

*UK national average is 40%

£270m+

Follow-on funding

800+

Jobs

We make a difference

At Converge, we continue to buck the trend by attracting a high number of applications from ethnically diverse backgrounds.

In 2022, for instance,  37% of applicants and 21% of programme participants identified as ethnically diverse  - well above the 9% average representation in Scottish universities.

Pre-pandemic, we were on track to achieve full gender parity with female entrepreneurs making up nearly half of all successful entries in 2019 (or 49%).

Following this recent setback, we are making progress towards gender balance with 38% of 2022 applications coming from women.

 

 

As an outward-looking organisation, we continue to attract a high percentage of international participants – roughly half of the total pool – since our inception in 2011. Making Scotland a key destination for international students, researchers and aspiring entrepreneurs.

 

Through our Net Zero Challenge - a category sponsored by low carbon energy giant, SSE - we are nurturing a new wave of climate-conscious entrepreneurs who are creating commercially viable, green business solutions and technologies to meet Scotland’s ambitious energy transition goals.

This challenge is the culmination of our efforts to encourage entrepreneurs to tackle the climate emergency.

 

 

inside-innovation

Want to see tonight's pitchers again?

If you attended Spotlight on Innovation at Scotland House and want to see our six Converge Challenge finalists again, just click here to see their business summaries and 1-minute pitches.

Notable alumni

Meet some of our diverse and thriving alumni.

Dave Hughes - Novosound
Caroline Barelle - Elasmogen
Faisal Ghani - SolarisKit
Holly Butler - Dxcover

Dr. Claudia Cavalluzzo

Executive Director

Contact us

Got a question or fancy a chat? Email Claudia Cavalluzzo now.

Our strategic partners

Cisco

Cisco helps seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the unconnected. An integral part of our DNA is creating long-lasting customer partnerships, working together to identify our customers' needs and provide solutions that fuel their success.

Nearly every Internet connection in the UK touches Cisco technology and we're investing in projects across Scotland to support innovation, from smart cities to transport, healthcare and manufacturing, to cyber-security and digital skills.

 

Royal Bank of Scotland

The Royal Bank of Scotland is a UK-based banking and financial services company, headquartered in Edinburgh. Royal Bank of Scotland has paved the way in banking since it was established nearly 300 years ago. From the world’s first overdraft, and the first house purchase loan by a UK bank, to the first fully-fledged internet banking service, the bank has a history of using innovation to make banking easier for our customers.

Royal Bank launched its first mobile bank in 1946 and now has 20 mobile banks serving nearly 400 communities across Scotland. Royal Bank of Scotland has over two million customers in Scotland today, with over 120,000 business customers. These relationships are now enhanced by our Enterprise team who offer face to face support to customers the length and breadth of the country.

 

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, who have been providing Mission-aligned investment and support for over two decades and deployed over £100m in 400+ 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 our 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.