Scotland’s “leading company creation competition” has accepted 212 applicants this year, and now the judging process has shortlisted the top 10 nominees. The 2016 Converge Challenge category is said to be the most competitive year ever. The record number of applicants represents 14% growth year on year. Applications were received from university undergraduates (30%), postgraduates (40%) and staff (30%), with a 34% increase in KickStart applicants and 14% for the Social Enterprise award category. This year, Converge Challenge has increased its prize fund to £150,000 through cash prizes and a range of expert support and training that has been provided through partners and sponsors.
“It’s always tough to shortlist nominees and this year’s top 10 are the best yet. We’re especially pleased to see previous applicants back in 2016 with stronger business plans and that Scotland’s dynamic and diverse economy is well represented in the range of businesses included. In addition, our 2016 KickStart and Social Enterprise finalists are, I’m pleased to say, all new names to us, which shows a growing appetite in academia for start-ups,” stated Olga Kozlova, Director of Converge Challenge.
“Converge Challenge is becoming a vital opportunity for start-ups to engage with and it’s not only good for them, it’s good for Scotland’s economy. Over 80% of Converge Challenge companies go on to secure follow-on funding with alumni having secured over £34 million of funding and employing over 150 staff since 2011.”
The top finalists are listed below.
|Converge Challenge||KickStart||Social Enterprise|
|MIME Technologies Ltd||Automated Time-Resolved Cell Stretcher||Project Turnkey|
|Robotical||Elementary Therapeutics||Greyhope Bay Ltd|
|Cyan Forensics||Beyond Medics Ltd||The Comics Studio|
|MicroSense Technologies Ltd||MiAlgae|
|H Guard||Deep Context|