Heriot-Watt wins Converge Challenge 2016



Dr Olga Kozlova, Professor Marc Desmulliez and Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work

Heriot-Watt University and University of Glasgow have been announced the joint winners of Converge Challenge 2016.

Professor Marc Desmulliez, Deputy Head of Sensors, Signals and Systems in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, has won with MicroSense Technologies Ltd, a service company based on the patented product called FoodSense, a sensor system aimed at reducing waste and improving process monitoring in food processing lines for the Food and Drinks industries.

Susanne Mitschke, a graduate of University of Glasgow has won with MindMate, an assistance platform for people with dementia, their caregivers and family members.

The whole team at MicroSense Technologies Ltd is very grateful and delighted by the vote of confidence that the Converge judging panel conferred on us with respect to the quality of our business offering. We thank the Converge Challenge and Heriot-Watt's Research and Enterprise teams for their constant support throughout these months of hard work.
Professor Marc Desmulliez

Converge Challenge, Scotland's leading company creation competition and start up development programme for staff, students and recent graduates of Scottish Universities, announced its winners at its annual awards ceremony on 22 September 2016 at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh. 

The first place prize is valued at £71,000 including £43,000 in cash and £28,000 worth of business support will be split between the joint winners (valued at £35,500 each, £21,500 in cash and £14,000 in business support).

My congratulations to all the winners, the finalists and the participants of Converge Challenge 2016 for raising the bar yet again. This is the first time we have had a joint first place and it is testament to the quality of this year's finalists.
Dr Olga Kozlova, Director of Converge Challenge

The annual awards hosted over 220 guests including the panel of expert judges, made up of industry experts, leading entrepreneurs and investors from across the business community, who earlier in the day judged the Converge Challenge finalists as they presented their final business plans in 45 minute pitches. 

The 2016 Converge Challenge programme has been the most successful to date with 17 of Scotland's universities represented among 212 applications. This was a record number of applicants and represents 14% growth year on year. Applications were received from undergraduates (30%), postgraduates (40%) and staff (30%) and increased applications for both the KickStart (34%) and the Social Enterprise award categories (14%).