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Top Of The Class For Converge 2019 Finalists

As long time supporters of the great work Converge Challenge are doing within the Higher Education system, we were excited to find that the work we do in colleges had overlapped on the release of their 2019 finalist list.

One thing to note with his year's finalists is that for the first time in the Programme's history, women outnumber men.

Converge, an entrepreneurial development programme for Higher Education illustrates how Scotland's Universities compete on a global scale with regards to creativity and innovation.

From all entries to this year's challenge, it has been whittled down to just 18 entrepreneurs representing institutions the lengths and breadth of the country; they'll go head-to-head at the Converge Awards Final at the V&A, Dundee this month.

Leading themes this year are climate change and health care,with projects looking at everything from flat pack solar collectors designed to provide 'clean' heat to people in developing countries to a computer game aimed at 'gamifying' the physio routines of young people living with Cystic Fibrosis.

One of this year's finalists is Amee Ritchie of Queen Margaret University. We recently shared the work done by Amee on a Crowdfunder for her enterprise S'wheat, however Amee previously received support and advice from us as a student at Edinburgh College and was even able to take advantage of one of our Market Test Grants of £100.

Finalists are now chasing a prize package of cash and in-kind business support totalling £220k which will shared across three challenge areas: Converge Challenge, Creative Challenge and Impact Challenge.

Innovation has never been more important that it is today, not just in terms of generating economic growth, but also as a solution to some of society's most urgent challenges including climate change, social inclusion and public health. The calibre of this year's Converge finalists is proof positive that our Universities are playing a pivotal role in the enterprise agenda and are at the forefront of innovation for the public good.

By working closely with all Scotland's Universities, we help the most creative thinkers from academia to turn their discoveries and ideas into commercially viable businesses. We are delighted to be working with such a strong cohort of innovators and look forward to springboarding their success.

Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo

Converge Challenge

The full list of finalists by categories are:

Impact Challenge

Astellis - Maggie Ellis - University of St Andrews
Konglomerate Games - Jamie Bankhead - Abertay University
Seawater Solutions - Yanik Nyberg - University of Strathclyde
SolarisKit - Faisal Ghani - Heriot-Watt University
S'wheat - Amee Ritchie - Queen Margaret University

Creative Challenge

Atypical Cosmetics Ltd - Marwa Ebrahim - University of Glasgow/The Glasgow School of Art
Sculpture Placement Group - Kate Robertson - Queen Margaret University
SENSEcity Ltd - Pooja Katara - University of Glasgow/The Glasgow School of Art
Sing Hero - Elizabeth Jenkinson - The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Untitled Comics - Cliff Hughes- Robert Gordon University

Converge Challenge

Beltfree by Miss James - Emma James - Robert Gordon University
Crover Ltd - Lorenzo Conti - University of Edinburgh
In4Derm - Andrew Woodland - University of Dundee
mycoBiologics - Fiona Rudkin - University of Aberdeen
Natantis - Maiwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas - Heriot-Watt University
Nebu-Flow - Elijah Nazarzadeh - University of Glasgow
Speak:Unique - Alice Smith - University of Edinburgh
Ten Bio - Michael Conneely - University of Dundee

We wish all finalists the best of luck!