The University of Aberdeen has seen a record number of entries for the 2016 Converge Challenge competition. Converge Challenge is open to students, graduates and staff from universities and research institutes in Scotland providing training, national exposure and funding for entrepreneurs.
In 2015, Aberdeen had nine entries to the competition. This year, 33 entries have been submitted from University of Aberdeen staff, students and alumni.
Dr Ann Lewendon (Commercialisation Manager, Research & Innovation) commented: “This increase in participation in the Converge Challenge competition can be attributed to two key factors. The first is the University’s participation in the Enterprise Campus project, which provides support for postgraduate entrepreneurs. The second is the recently-opened ABVenture Zone incubation space which provides facilities for entrepreneurs to work on their business ideas. Input from Dr Alan Feighery, Enterprise Advisor for Enterprise Campus North, has been invaluable in encouraging postgraduate students to apply.”
A further boost to Aberdeen’s numbers was a result of the decision of Dr Ian Heywood (Graduate Business School MBA programme director) to encourage his students to apply as part of their New Venture Creation Course.
Applicants from every university in Scotland must now wait to hear whether they have been selected to go through the next stage.
This year, Converge Challenge has increased its total prize fund to £150,000 through cash prizes and a broad range of expert support and training provided through partners and sponsors including RBS, Mazars and Badenoch & Clark. This year also sees a special call for a cash prize of £10,000 for a Design and Creativity Award in celebration of Scotland's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
The top 30 shortlist for each category will be announced on Friday 13 May 2016.