Converge 2020

Converge 2020 applications open

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

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.

Our Challenges

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 

Why apply?

  • £200k + 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.

2018 winners

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.

Our impact:

Since launching in 2011, the programme has delivered substantial impact to the Scottish economy. 

  • 225+ companies created
  • 400+ aspiring entrepreneurs trained 
  • Over £120m funding secured
  • Converge alumni companies also share a very high survival rate of more than 80%

Get involved!

Converge is now open for entries until Thursday 14 May 2020 (12 noon). For more information, updates, advice and to apply, visit

If you have any questions, please e-mail and we would be happy to chat!

Key information

Converge Challenge