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.
MindMate have been named in the influential Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe 2018: Social Entrepreneurs.
Co-founders, Susanne Mitschke, Rogelio Arellano and Patrick Renner developed the award-winning App that provides fun and interactive games to stimulate the user's cognitive abilities based on world-leading research. The games challenge cognitive areas for individuals living with memory issues, Alzheimer's, other forms of Dementia or traumatic brain injury.
Ambitious entrepreneurs gathered at the inspiring contemporary sculpture park Jupiter Artland to launch the 2018 company creation programme, now in its eighth year.
Converge Challenge is aimed at staff, students and recent graduates from all Scottish universities, inspiring them to develop their ideas into viable and successful ventures.
The Converge Challenge Outreach Team will be travelling across Scotland from January - March to promote the 2018 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.
Together, Adam and Claudia offer hands on support to all Converge applicants, be it application advice or just a sounding board.