The 2017 shortlist of academic entrepreneurs for Scotland’s company creation competition has been announced today. The nominees represent 12 Scottish universities from across the country and 44% of this year’s finalists are female showing increased female participation versus year prior.
Converge Challenge is Scotland’s leading competition for entrepreneurial development and startup program for staff, students, and recent graduates of Scottish universities and Research Institutes. Converge Challenge represents all of Scotland’s 19 universities and research institutes demonstrating the strong collaborative enterprise agenda in Scotland. Since inception, It has trained 180 company founders and 120 early stage and social enterprise founders that have created 78 companies with a 43% incorporation rate. Converge reports that 77% of those companies have received follow-on funding totaling to £60 million and have a 78% survival rate post three years – which is pretty impressive.
Organizers report the judging process has shortlisted 25 nominees across the competition’s three award categories:
- Converge Challenge: for those with an established idea – 10 shortlisted
- KickStart: for early stage ideas – 10 shortlisted
- Social Enterprise: for ideas that will have a positive impact on social and environmental issues – 5 shortlisted
Organizers state that entrepreneurial activity within Scotland’s universities is thriving and there is a solid path for the outcomes of worldwide research to be developed into businesses that benefit society and the economy.
Dr Olga Kozlova, Director of Converge Challenge, commented on this years competition;
“This year’s finalists are game changers showcasing innovations with amazing market potential. The candidate’s business plans displayed solid market engagement and commitment to developing a strong team and clear details on how they plan to grow the business – all key elements that contribute to the future success of a new business and ultimately Scotland’s economy. The strong pipeline of university spinouts is encouraging and at Converge Challenge we are delighted to offer the follow on training and support to develop these ‘ideas’ into profitable and scalable businesses. We congratulate all the candidates for getting through to this stage, the judges found it difficult as every project had the potential to become an exciting business and we have no doubt they will go on to become Scotland’s next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.”
Finalists will now enter the final stage of the company creation competition and entrepreneurship development program with the opportunity to win cash prizes and in kind business support packages from the total prize fund valued at over £170,000. The winners of each of the three categories will be announced at a Converge Challenge awards ceremony on Thursday, 28th September 2017 at the Glasgow Science