Converge Challenge top 6 named

Graeme Thomsonblog

Converge Challenge top 6 announced in the most competitive year yet!

The ten shortlisted business plans for the Converge Challenge 2017 category award have now been whittled down to the Top 6 finalists in Scotland’s leading academic company creation competition. Open to students, graduates and staff from Scotland’s universities this year’s finalists show strong representation from the healthcare and engineering sectors, a healthy presence from female participants (30% of the finalists) and include 4 spinout and 2 startup businesses. The finalists are competing to win cash prizes and in kind business support packages from the total prize fund valued at over £170,000.

The top six finalists for 2017 Converge Challenge Award are:

  • Dave Hughes, Novosound, University of the West of Scotland
  • Des Gibson, SpectralSense, University of the West of Scotland
  • Dr. Holly Butler, ClinSpecDx, University of Strathclyde
  • Corien Staels, Staels Design, University of Glasgow
  • Rotimi Alabi, RAB-Microfluidics, University of Aberdeen
  • Andrew Herbert, Invizius, University of Edinburgh

The Converge Challenge External Judging Panel 2017 are drawn from across the business community, creating a diverse panel of experts who run, influence, evaluate, research and write about entrepreneurial and business ventures.

The  external judging panel included: Sandy Finlayson OBE – Chair; Professor David Milne, Founder and former CEO, Wolfson Microelectronics plc; Mary Jane Brouwers, Non-Exec Director and early-stage company consultant;  Andy Porter, Director – Chief Technical Officer, Elasmogen Ltd; Ian C Ritchie CBE, FREng, FRSE, FBCS – Chairman, Iomart plc; and Kerry Sharp, Head of the Scottish Investment Bank at Scottish Enterprise.

The six Converge Challenge finalists will now go on to deliver a 40-minute investor pitch including Q&As to the same expert panel of judges who shortlisted them, on the day of the 2017 Awards Dinner and Ceremony at the Glasgow Science Centre on September 28th. The Converge Challenge, KickStart and Social Enterprise winners will be announced at the end of this fantastic event which features an outstanding line-up of speakers including Bob Keiller, CBE and David Sibbald OBE, Entrepreneur and Chairman of the Glasgow Science Centre.

The KickStart and Social Enterprise finalists have also been revealed and can be seen in the full list of finalists on the Converge Challenge website.

Sandy Finlayson OBE, Chair of the Converge Challenge 2017 judging panel, said:

“It’s a huge accolade for our 6 finalists to reach this very last stage of the Converge Challenge 2017. This year has been the most competitive year yet and they represent pioneering brilliance in Scotland. The final 6 spinouts and startups are set for an even tougher challenge on the day of the award ceremony pitching to our judging panel but should take pride in the fact that they have already been singled out as some of Scotland’s most promising entrepreneurs.”

Converge Challenge will announce the winners at the annual awards ceremony on Thursday 28th September 2017 at the Glasgow Science Centre, Glasgow

For more information on Converge Challenge visit: