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Putting the Prize in Enterprise

When it comes to Converge, everyone’s a winner – even if you don’t win first prize. Read our latest blog from Joanne Hagerty, a Freelance Enterprise Specialist currently supporting the Converge team.

Over the past few months I have been helping the Converge team spread the word about their 2019 programme. As someone who has both admired and supported the programme from an external perspective, it has been amazing working with such an energised team, thriving alumni, and engaged group of enterprise professionals throughout Scotland’s Universities. 

Interestingly, when promoting Converge, the team veers away from the word ‘competition’ and places emphasis on the challenge element.  At first, this can be difficult to understand as Converge does indeed have a (very glitzy) final complete with category winners and awards. Plus with a combined prize pot of £230,000 across all four categories, for the majority of applicants, all eyes are on the (cash) prizes.

The other day at an event I found myself comparing the Converge process to the X Factor. It might be a clumsy analogy but having met a lot of the alumni, it seems the true value of Converge lies in the participation and training offered to all finalists.  It gives them the space, support and structure to turn their ideas into sustainable, innovative businesses that can compete globally. Converge also offers a stage on which we shine a spotlight on the great ideas and talent emerging from Scotland’s universities.  Rest assured, the world is watching.

While Converge category winners have gone on to huge successes, as with the X Factor, many who don’t take the main prize on the night of the finals go on to achieve phenomenal things. Some noteworthy previous participants who have gone on to prove their star quality include My Way Digital Health,  Horizon Proteins,  Shotscope and Chromacity. With over 120 companies formed to date and an 80% survival rate – Converge truly puts the prize in enterprise

Beyond the companies created, the skills imparted to participants is one of the most positive outcomes for those who take part. Converge participation has shaped the academic and professional journey of many of our ‘rockstar’ alumni beyond the challenge. It is exciting to watch their individual journeys and careers unfold.

The Converge, Impact and Creative Challenges are now open with a deadline of Thursday 25 April.

If you have an innovative and entrepreneurial idea that you think has the potential to change the world, apply now at convergechallenge.com