The Converge Outreach Team will be travelling across Scotland in October & November to promote the early-stage KickStart programme to staff and students from all Scottish Universities and Research Institutes.
The Outreach team includes Dr. Claudia Cavalluzzo and Adam Kosterka. Claudia has experience in entrepreneurial leadership and Life Sciences spin-outs while Adam has extensive knowledge of business start-up and innovation.
The team can offer hands on support to all applicants, be it application advice or just a sounding board.
Carbogenics, a spin out the from University of Edinburgh has secured the coveted first prize at the 2018 Converge Challenge awards with their innovative waste solution. Turning low value paper waste products into a carbon-rich material, their revolutionary product CreChar improves biogas production and enhances digestate as a sustainable alternative to energy-intense mineral fertilisers
The finalists have been announced for Scotland’s leading higher education company creation programme, illustrating that Scotland’s academic community continues to thrive as a collective entrepreneurial hub.
With over 60% of the companies coming through being either founded or led by women, this year’s Converge Challenge is not only breaking down gender barriers but is innovating across multiple industries too. Renewable energy, health care and agriculture are just some of the industries these entrepreneurs are working within.
The Converge Challenge 2018 best of the best Top 30 came together after three days of comprehensive business training to showcase the most innovative ideas emerging from Scottish Universities. They had just 60 seconds to present their innovative ideas to a panel of experts and esteemed industry professionals.
Peter Orrell from the James Hutton Institute won the Converge Challenge ‘Ready Steady Pitch’ award with MycoNourish that uses fungi to act as a secondary root system, to improve plant health.
Royal Bank of Scotland and Talent Spark announced their sponsorship of the Converge Challenge KickStart Award with a cash prize of £10,000.
The KickStart category is for early-stage ideas for new products or services. This year the award will be split across two areas, startup (£5K cash) sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland and spin out (£5K cash) sponsored by Talent Spark.
The first spin-out company set to emerge from the University of the West of Scotland has closed its seed investment round, raising £1.5 million.
novosound, the winner of the 2017 Converge Challenge, has developed and patented a ground-breaking technique to mass-manufacture printable ultrasound sensors. The revolutionary method overcomes the limitations of existing technology, improving a manufacturing process, which hasn’t majorly changed in more than 40 years.
Following record-breaking entries to this year’s Converge Challenge, the leading Top 60 projects from Scottish Universities and Research Institutes include a range of innovative ideas covering women’s health, virtual reality, renewables and sustainability, demonstrating that Scotland’s pipeline for new and innovative businesses is robust and healthier than ever before.
Converge Challenge 2018 closed to the record-breaking news of receiving 223 applications from Scottish University staff and students demonstrating the appetite for entrepreneurship across Scotland. This continued growth brought them to over 1,100 applications since the programme inception and an over 5 times increase in the number of budding entrepreneurs stepping forward compared to their inaugural year in 2011.
The wheelAIR cooling backrest cushion was offered a £75K investment deal by four Dragons on the latest episode of Dragons’ Den after hearing a pitch by Staels Design’s Managing Director Corien Staels.
The Dragons decided to pair up with both Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden, and Touker Suleyman and Tej Lalvani offering £75,000 in return for a 30% equity stake, with the option of buying back 10% of the shares once the initial return on investment was made.
Social Investment Scotland (SIS) Scotland’s leading provider of affordable, flexible, repayable investment for social enterprises in partnership with Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global communications and engagement firms, today are joining the prestigious listing of companies working with Converge Challenge 2018.
SIS, in partnership with Weber Shandwick, are providing a prize of £20,000 cash and in-kind business support for the winners to help them become investment ready and develop their brands for success. The benefits include a package of workshops, one-to-one support and mentoring, providing the winners of the 2018 Social Enterprise Award with the right tools and expertise to maximise and sustain social impact.