Converge Challenge 2016
The RSE is a partner in the Scotland-wide company creation competition and start up development programme for students, graduates and staff from all Scottish universities and research institutes.
Converge Challenge, which supports business ideas at all stages of development and across all sectors has launched its 2016 programme – its biggest to date with new partnerships and a new award to attract a wider range of applicants.
In celebration of Scotland's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, Converge Challenge is dedicating a £10,000 cash prize to a new Converge Challenge Design and Creativity Award. This award aims to encourage ideas in digital media, textiles, architecture and design.
In addition, Converge Challenge announces new 2016 partnerships with RBS, Mazars and Badenoch & Clark that will see the total prize fund and training increase to £150,000. The increased total prize of £150,000 includes access to a broad range of expert support and training including legal support from Morton Fraser and patent and trademark expertise from Murgitroyd for successful “Converge Challengers”.
Converge Challenge is now recognised as the leading opportunity for students, recent graduates and academic staff across the Higher Education sector. During the last four years, Converge Challenge has trained more than 120 entrepreneurs and formed 51 companies that have secured £15 million of funding and are employing 139 staff, making an important contribution to Scotland’s economy.
Olga Kozlova, Director of Converge Challenge, said:
“This an exciting year for Converge Challenge with our biggest prize fund to date and an ambitious development programme. We are delighted to welcome our new partners on board; they each bring a wealth of experience from their respective sectors that will equip our next generation of entrepreneurs to create companies that will have an impact for Scotland.
“At Converge we work with any industry sector, product or service-based idea and we are thrilled to announce the Design and Creativity award, to celebrate the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. We are confident the new award will encourage a wide range of applications that will uncover yet more great examples of Scottish innovation among our Higher Education population.”
Successful Converge Challenge applicants participate in entrepreneurial development throughout the competition. Through intensive training, mentoring, pitching experience, business surgeries and ongoing support, participants can ultimately develop a comprehensive business plan for their company, product and/or service. An expert panel of judges made up of industry experts, leading entrepreneurs and investors from across the business community will then assess the projects and select the winners of the prestigious Converge Challenge awards.
Converge Challenge 2016 winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in September.
Converge Challenge is now open for applications and closes on Monday 18th April at 5pm.