What is Converge?
Converge is Scotland’s leading company creation programme for staff, students and recent graduates of all Scottish Universities and Research Institutes.
We help the most innovative and creative thinkers from academia to realise their entrepreneurial ambitions by offering generous cash prizes, mentoring and a programme of business support that turns fledgling businesses into investor-ready companies. From spin-outs to start-ups, we support proposals from any industry sector and for products or service-based ideas at any stage of development.
Our mission is to capitalise on the intellectual assets and expertise emerging from Scotland’s Higher Education system to help create the next generation of sustainable, high-growth businesses. We do this by providing students, graduates and staff of all Scottish Universities and Research Institutes with the practical and commercial skills they need to make their business ideas fly.
Our collaborative nature allows Converge to enjoy a fruitful and productive relationship with all Scottish Universities and Research Institutes. This enables the team to offer bespoke support depending on the needs and strengths of each institution.
Converge is funded by The Scottish Funding Council, all Scottish Universities and a network of commercial partners.
We offer four, distinct competition categories including:
Converge Challenge: for more established ideas with high commercial potential and scalability
Creative Challenge: for innovative, new projects operating in the creative sector
Impact Challenge: for mission-led businesses looking to deliver a positive social or environmental impact
KickStart Challenge: for early stage, innovative ideas
- £230k prize pot across the four challenges
- generous cash prizes
- a money-can’t-buy package of business training and pitch coaching
- free consultancy from our network of partners in areas including IP, branding, marketing, legal, finance and product development
- access to a wealth of connections including investors, support agencies, commercial partners and funding bodies
Regardless of whether you win the top prize or not, we will guide you towards creating a commercially viable company.
The Converge Challenge 2018 Design & Creativity prize was awarded to Dr Sam Chapman and Professor Gabriela Medero of Kenoteq from Heriot-Watt University. Read all about the winners.
Since launching in 2011, the programme has delivered substantial impact to the Scottish economy:
- Over 120 companies created
- 300 company founders trained
- Over £80m funding secured
- Converge alumni companies also share a very high survival rate of more than 80%
Converge is now open for entries until Thursday 25 April 2019 (12 00 noon). For more information, updates, advice and to apply, visit www.convergechallenge.com
If you have any questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to chat!
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