Two innovative spin-out companies from Heriot-Watt University have come out on top at this year's Converge Challenge.
Low carbon brick developer, Kenoteq, won the Design and Creativity Award at the annual celebration held in Edinburgh. The company, formed in 2015 by Dr Samuel Chapman and Dr Gabriela M. Medero, produces environmentally friendly bricks made from 90% recycled materials from construction waste.
While HiRes Solutions received a Kickstart Award after being named as joint best early stage spin-out company. HiRes Solutions, established by Vassiliki Voulgaridou, is developing a software for ultrasound image processing that provides highly detailed maps of the circulation of tumours, allowing for faster and better cancer diagnostics.
Congratulations to all this year's winners and finalists. It is impressive how much they have progressed in just a few short months and we are looking forward to supporting them during the coming year and seeing their businesses thrive.
A total of four Heriot-Watt projects were nominated for this year's Converge Challenge, which recognises innovation and entrepreneurship from Scottish academia.
Congratulating the University winners and finalists is Dr Gill Murray, Deputy Principal of Enterprise and Business, who said: “We have had an exceptional representation at this year's Converge Challenge.
“We're very proud of our reputation as a champion of innovation and industry, and remain committed to nurturing tomorrow's entrepreneurs who are vitally important to building inclusive growth in our economy.
“I congratulate all of our finalists and winners who will, I'm sure, continue to go from strength-to-strength in the years to come.”
Converge Challenge is Scotland's leading company creation competition and entrepreneurial development programme for staff, students and recent graduates of Scottish Universities and Research Institutes.
More than £160,000 worth of prizes were awarded to 10 entrepreneurs from universities and research institutes from across Scotland at the gala awards, attended by over 200 representatives from higher educations, the investment community and the Scottish entrepreneurial sector.
Dr Olga Kozlova, Director of Converge Challenge, said: “Congratulations to all this year's winners and finalists. It is impressive how much they have progressed in just a few short months and we are looking forward to supporting them during the coming year and seeing their businesses thrive.
“This year has been particularly exciting for me due to our record female participation with 35% of entrants, 60% of our finalists and 70% of winners this year being women led or co-founded businesses. This has been a personal cause of mine to see many more women entrepreneurs coming forward.”
Converge Challenge has trained 210 company founders and 150 early stage and social entrepreneurs. Collectively, Converge Alumni have created 121 companies and have jointly raised over £79 million.