Converge Challenge, Scotland’s largest entrepreneurial training programme, has launched its latest competition at the University of St Andrews.
Since its inception in 2011, the company creation initiative – aimed at staff, students, and recent graduates of Scottish universities – has trained 240 budding business leaders, who have formed 62 companies and secured more than £39 million of follow-on funding.
Olga Kozlova, director of Converge Challenge, said: “This year every Scottish university is tasked with uncovering the next big idea and as a female entrepreneur I would like to personally encourage more women to apply in 2017.
“Following an increase in applicants for both the KickStart and Social Enterprise award categories both prize funds have been increased to £10,000, encouraging entrepreneurship at every stage.”
She added: “Converge Challenge remains committed to developing ambitious entrepreneurs and helping them build a valuable network of contacts that helps them to grow their business on a global stage. We are delighted to have the continued support of our entrepreneurial partners including Entrepreneurial Scotland who are providing broader networking opportunities for our winners.”
The total prize fund is valued at more than £150,000 this year. In addition to a cash prize, winning projects receive a business support package from selected partner organisations.
Last year’s Converge Challenge awards saw two start-ups share the top £71,000 prize, with Edinburgh’s MicroSense Technologies and Glasgow-based MindMate each winning £21,500 in cash and £14,000 worth of business support.