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Converge Announces 2019 Finalists

17 Sep 2019

Converge Challenge 2019


  • For the first time in the Programme’s history, women finalists outnumber men
  • Finalists now go forward to the Converge Awards Final where a total prize fund of cash and in-kind support worth £220,000 awaits the winners

The finalists for Converge 2019, Scotland’s leading entrepreneurial development programme for Higher Education, have been revealed, illustrating how Scotland’s Universities are competing on the global stage with ground breaking innovations.

18 academic entrepreneurs leading both start-ups and spin-outs and representing institutions from across the length and breadth of Scotland, will now go head-to-head at the Converge Awards Final which takes place at the iconic V&A, Dundee in September. 

For the first time in the Programme’s history, women founders outnumber men (55%). Climate change and health care also lead the charge this year with the shortlisted projects spanning everything from a human skin culture system that mimics living skin and a flat-pack, solar collector providing an affordable source of clean heat for people in developing countries through to a computer game aimed at gamifying the physiotherapy routine for children suffering from Cystic Fibrosis. Finalists are now chasing a prize package of equity-free cash and in-kind business support totalling £220,000 which will be shared across three challenge categories: Converge Challenge, Creative Challenge and Impact Challenge.

Converge Director, Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo comments:

“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”

The full list of finalists is:


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


About Converge

Converge is Scotland’s leading entrepreneurial development programme for staff, students and recent graduates of all Scottish Universities and Research Institutes.

We help the most innovative and creative thinkers from academia to realise their entrepreneurial ambitions by offering generous cash prizes, mentoring and a programme of business support that turns fledgling businesses into investor-ready companies. From spin-outs to start-ups, we support proposals from any industry sector and for products or service-based ideas at any stage of development. 

We collaborate with and are funded by all 18 of Scotland’s universities.  This close working relationship is vital to the success of the Converge programme.

For further information including full details on all our finalists, please visit  We are also active on Twitter - Follow us @ConvergeC

To discuss this release in more detail, please contact Kevin Dorrian at Acumen on 0131 661 7027 – 07786 386 300 or email – – twitter @acumenpr

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