Three University of Aberdeen student, alumni and staff led businesses have been named as finalists at this year's Converge awards.
The University will be represented in three out of four categories at this year’s awards; the Net Zero Challenge, the Create Challenge and the Converge Challenge.
Joint founders of Aberdeen-based Two Raccoons Lasse Rasmussen and Elliott Martens are finalists in the Create Challenge. Their business uses soft fruit waste from the hospitality sector across the north-east to make different flavours of wine including strawberry, pear, mango and orange.
Zephyrus Aerolabs Ltd will represent the University in the Net Zero Challenge. The start-up aims to develop technology for remote real-time emission monitoring of uncontrolled emissions of harmful gasses to the atmosphere.
In the Converge Challenge category is staff led project, BrigID Bio, which has developed a novel drug discovery platform that produces human monoclonal antibodies effective in tackling serious fungal infections. These antibodies enhance survival and reduce fungal burden in animal models. They offer a promising therapy for life-threatening fungal infections, especially in high-risk groups.
Converge’s mission is to help the next generation of innovators, creators and groundbreakers turn their ideas into commercially viable businesses to improve lives, safeguard our planet and help Scotland’s economy thrive.
Lasse Rasmussen, co-found of Two Raccoons commented: "We are stoked to be shortlisted for the Create Change Challenge. It shows that our commitment to fighting food waste through delicious products has an impact, not only physically in Scotland, but also as an inspiration for current and aspiring entrepreneurs."
Soumya Palliyil, who co-founded BrIgID Bio said: “I am delighted that BrIgID Biologics is one of the Converge Challenge finalists this year. This is an excellent opportunity for us to pitch our project to an external panel of entrepreneurs and business experts from across the country. The Converge journey has been exciting so far, and complemented our Scottish Enterprise-High Growth Spinout Programme which is currently funding BrIgID Bio as we enter the crucial fundraising stage.”
Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo, Converge’s Executive Director, said: “Our finalists demonstrate that Scotland’s universities are at the forefront of developing innovations that will help people and the planet while growing our economy.
“We selected our cohort of 100 start-ups and spinouts from a record 247 applicants back in May, just as the national innovation strategy was being unveiled.
“That alignment between the strategy’s objectives and the innovative ideas developed by our students, graduates, and researchers demonstrates the importance of Scotland’s universities and research institutes when it comes to fulfilling our nation’s ambitious goals.”
The winners and runners-up will be named at the Converge awards ceremony in Glasgow on 4 October.