Converge Challenge Elevator Pitch winner announced

Left-right: Bill Bryan, The Entrepreuneur School; Stephen Wilson, Charles River laboratories; Yifan Liu, Heriot-Watt PhD student and prize winner; Jane Queenan, Business Development Executive.

Heriot-Watt PhD student, Yifan Liu, has won first prize in the Converge Challenge Elevator Pitch, for his business plan idea on Smart Biosensors for Personalised Medicine.

The event, held recently at Edinburgh Business School (EBS), saw 21 budding entrepreneurs pitch their innovative business ideas to an expert panel in under a minute. The elevator pitch was part of a two-day commercialisation training course for shortlisted applicants of the Converge Challenge business plan competition.

Yifan Lui is a PhD student in the School of Engineering & Physical sciences. His pitch was considered the best due to its delivery and commercial potential.

Runners up included Dr Paul Henderson from Heriot-Watt's School of Engineering and Physical Science for his saliva based roadside drug test, and School of Management and Languages MSc student, Ms Olga Nikora, for her UK market entry of a muscle treatment product.

Dr Olga Kozlova, Heriot-Watt's Enterprise Creation Manager, said: "This role-play style elevator pitch was very well received by all of our applicants, giving them the opportunity to pitch their ideas to an experienced business panel in a simulation of the type of real world situation in which they may find themselves as they pursue their business dreams. The event was a great success and one participant even managed to impress an audience member so much that she received an offer of investment."

The elevator pitch was chaired by Professor Gillian Hogg, Head of Heriot-Watt's School of Management and Languages. The judging panel were: Mr Bill Bryan, of the Entrepreneur Business School, Mr Steven Wilson of Charles River Laboratories, Ms Jane Queenan, Business Development Executive at Heriot-Watt's Technology & Research Services, Professor Alex Scott of the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Mr Karan Dhir of Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University.