Scottish Universities Pledge Support for Converge
Converge expands its categories by launching The Creative Challenge, supported by Creative Scotland, with cash and in-kind support for the winner and runner up.
All of Scotland’s universities have joined the Scottish Funding Council in pledging financial support for the entrepreneurship development organisation, Converge.
Alongside 18 academic institutions, an increase from 11 last year, the Scottish Funding Council has earmarked more than £1 million in funding to support Converge over the next three years.
Creative Scotland, the public body which supports the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland, has also pledged its support; prompting the launch of the Creative Challenge as part of this year’s Converge Challenge programme.
This year’s total prize fund stands at £230,000, shared across four main platforms, which include Converge, Impact KickStart and the newly created category.
Main prize winners are also set to receive up to £74,500 in cash, as well as support and advice from industry figures.
Speaking on the announcement, Converge Chairman Sandy Finlayson said: “Scotland’s universities are central to the success of the Converge Programme and, over the years, our university partners have given enormous support to Converge in its efforts to reach thousands of students, recent graduates and academic staff and to promote entrepreneurship.”
Finlayson added: “We now have the financial backing of all Scottish universities and Creative Scotland, which is tremendous, and it shows a clear commitment to increasing our rate of business formation and making Scotland a collaborative, inclusive and competitive nation.”
The newly formed Creative Challenge will help to encourage entrepreneurship and new business ideas from across Scotland’s creative industries sector. This will encompass a wide range of specialisms, including visual and performing arts, music, photography, software and computer games development.
Claudia Cavalluzzo, Director of Converge, said: “For Scottish business to flourish in the future, we need to keep the company creation pipeline strong, aim higher and aspire more, so programmes such as Converge are playing a valuable role.
“Converge is now in its ninth year and just think how fast technology has changed in that time. It excites me that our universities and research institutes are encouraging their staff and students more than ever to channel and cultivate exceptional creating thinking.”
The final of the 2019 Converge Challenge will be held at the V&A Dundee on the 25th of September, details of which can be found here: http://www.convergechallenge.com/