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May The Odds Ever Be In Your Favour

Kirstie Armsworth
Posted by Kirstie Armsworth
Published: 13/04/2015, 2:58pm

If you think that when entering the Converge Challenge the odds are stacked against you and it may not be worth trying – think again!

First of all, anyone with the right Entrepreneurial Spirit – which we are also rewarding this year with a new prize – will go for it anyway.

Secondly, somebody told us the other day they were unsurewhether to apply, since surely we will receive thousands of applications sothere is little chance of making it to the next round. Well, here’s the goodnews for any potential applicants out there: we don’t receive thousands ofentries.

In fact, while we are growing year-on-year, based on lastyear’s entries you have about a 1in3 chance of reaching the Top 30!

If you do reach the Top 30 that means you will be invited to our tailored Business Development Training Programme and be asked to compete at our Elevator Pitch event in June which is a fantastic opportunity not only to hone your presentation skills but also to network with industry insiders and showcase your idea at our first ever business fair.

And if you still think it’s all about winning that top prizeof £60,000, just take a look at David Hunter (University of Edinburgh) from ShotScope Technologies who reached the Converge Challenge Top 10 in 2013, triedagain in 2014 and reached the final but didn’t win. He did, however, win a place on the prestigious RSE Enterprise Fellowship training programme thanks in part to the support and training received from Converge and has just won the 2015 We Are The Future Glasgow Summit. He will now be going to San Francisco to pitch his project toan even bigger audience.

Also, Converge Challenge welcomes applications from anysector, any product, any stage of development.

Amongst the many brilliant ideas entered into Converge, we have seen a portable, Russian doll-style drum kit, a mental health app for young people, a cheap and re-usable menstruation hygiene device to improve the lives of women and girls in developing countries, and of course our first ever Social Enterprise winner, PopUp! Scotland, a project that brings art to the public in unexpected places.

We have had entries from all over Scotland, from large Universitiesas well as smaller institutions, and we can guarantee you the support forbudding entrepreneurs is out there, as well as here on our Converge website.

We have different categories to suit everyone and if your choice isn’t a perfect match our initial judging panel will move you to the appropriate category. In any case, to make life easier, it is the same application to fill out for all three categories.

Christopher McCann, for example, with his project Snap40, a patient health early warning system, had applied to the main Converge category last year but was moved to the KickStart category and ended up winning. He has since gone no toreceive substantial ScotEDGE funding.

So sign up to the website, fill out that application form on the home page and may the odds be ever in your favour! For more visit www.convergechallenge.com and join in the conversation @ConvergeC