Finalists for Converge 2020, Scotland’s top academic company creation programme, unveiled

The finalists for Converge 2020, the company creation programme for Scotland’s higher education sector, have been unveiled.

Claudia Cavalluzzo, director of Converge, said the event was an opportunity for the academic community in Scotland to throw open its arms to the rest of the world.

The 18 fledgling ventures and a “wide range of exceptional innovation” from across the nation’s universities will be showcased later this month.

This year’s Converge final, due to take place on 24 September, will be staged virtually via a webcast.

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It gives the finalists across three of the four established Converge “challenges” – impact, creative and the flagship Converge category – extra impetus to make an impression as they each vie for a chance to win part of the £230,000 total prize fund of equity free cash and in-kind business support.

Claudia Cavalluzzo, director of Converge, said the event was an opportunity for Scotland’s academic community to throw open its arms to the rest of the world.

“For obvious reasons, our approach this year is different and wholeheartedly embraces the message that Scotland is an innovation powerhouse,” she added.

This year’s finalists are:

Converge Challenge

Brian Quinn - Aquaculture Health Laboratory - University of the West of Scotland

Barry Leaper - LiberEat - University of Aberdeen

Genevieve Patenaude - Earth Blox - University of Edinburgh

Desmond Gibson - Albasense Ltd - University of the West Scotland

Stuart Hannah - Microplate Dx - University of Strathclyde

Robyn Hickerson - Ten Bio - University of Dundee

Ross Gillanders – Lightwater Sensors - University of St Andrews

Eve Hanks - MI:RNA - SRUC

Creative Challenge

Elena Höge - Yaldi Games - University of Edinburgh

Lucy Fisher - Knit It - Robert Gordon University

Stephenie Pagulayan - ALICE Theatre Project - University of the Highlands and Islands

Robbie MacIsaac - MacIsaac Ltd - University of Strathclyde

Jonathan O'Neill - Make Your Own Musicals - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Impact Challenge

Dominic Gammon/Leia Kennedy - Aquaponics Garden – SRUC

Bartosz Soltowski/Fraser Stewart – Connex Solar – University of Strathclyde

James Swinburne – Metacarpal – University of Strathclyde

Yanik Adam Nyberg -Seawater Solutions Ltd – University of Strathclyde

Laura Higham – Vet Sustain – University of Edinburgh

Converge is the largest company creation programme for Scotland’s higher education sector providing a platform for university staff, students and recent graduates to explore the commercial potential of their research, creativity and ideas.

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