Academic entrepreneurs on the rise

Dr Olga Kozlova, Director of Converge Challenge and Enterprise Creation Manager at Heriot-Watt University, discusses the rise of academic entrepreneurs who are turning their research into commercial opportunities.

Dr Kozlova  said, "Support for academics to flourish as entrepreneurs is vital. Universities must provide a framework that encourages developments without imposing unduly restrictive limitations. However, striking a balance on key issues such as who owns the rights to intellectual property require careful consideration in order to ensure both parties receive due recognition.

"Scotland is well-placed in this respect as it has a range of supportive commercial departments within its research universities, where experienced staff work with budding entrepreneurs and their nascent companies, to turn research into commercially viable propositions."

Converge Challenge 2013

Converge Challenge is Scotland's largest business competition and entrepreneurial training programme with a top prize of £60,000 in cash and business support. The annual programme, run by Heriot-Watt University, aims to find Scotland's next generation of entrepreneurs and is open to staff, postgraduate and final year students of all Scottish Universities and Research Institutes.

As well as offering the largest prize of its kind available, the competition provides applicants with commercialisation training, hands-on mentoring, business start-up seminars, networking opportunities and business support to develop their entrepreneurial skills and realise the commercial potential of their inventions..

Applicants have now submitted their business plans to the judges. A top ten will be chosen before six finalists are selected at the start of September.

Find out more about the Converge Challenge business plan competition.