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Converge Kicks Off Its Search for Scotland’s Future Creative Thinkers

David Paul



The programme aims to “show the resilience, spark and creative flair of Scotland’s academic community,” despite the impact of the pandemic.

Company creation programme Converge has announced the launch of its quest to discover Scotland’s ‘Class of ’21’.

The programme is looking for the country’s “most dynamic and creative” thinkers – individuals who are developing ideas with the potential to be transformed into sustainable businesses.

Converge is also launching the Future Tech Award, sponsored by Cisco, which will support innovation in areas such as AI, machine learning and cloud security.

This new prize will sit alongside the Royal Bank of Scotland-sponsored Rose Award which was introduced last year in a bid to boost female entrepreneurship in Scotland. Presented to an aspiring female founder from this year’s Converge cohort, the prize includes a one-to-one mentoring session with the bank’s Chief Executive, Alison Rose.

Both awards will be made to individuals drawn from the Converge, Impact and Creative Challenge cohorts, and will consist of substantial cash prizes and invaluable in-kind support from the partners’ network.


Paul Atkinson, Chairman of the Converge Strategic Advisory Board, remarked: “For centuries, Scotland’s universities have had a great heritage in producing exceptional entrepreneurs and innovators – industrialists, engineers, naturalists, physicians and chemists – who transcended the globe as pioneers, making their mark in so many walks of life.

“Converge upholds that long tradition of success and we believe that this year’s cohort will be no exception and will help lay out a roadmap for a prosperous future beyond the current pandemic challenge.”

Director of Converge Claudia Cavalluzzo commented: “Visionary entrepreneurs will see opportunities opening up and, as ever, Converge is the perfect springboard to showcase these remarkable ideas.

“Everyone saw 2021 as a year of fresh opportunity. No one believed at the start of lockdown last March, that we’d still be fighting the pandemic on all sides, ten months later. However, from setbacks come fresh opportunities.

“Entrepreneurs are intrinsically problem-solvers. We will see a new wave of innovators creating businesses that will generate value for both our economy and our society, thus offering pathways to a brighter future.”

Converged is supported by all 18 Scottish universities, together with financial backing from the Scottish Funding Council and Creative Scotland.

The roster of sponsors and partners which includes the Royal Bank of Scotland, Social Investment Scotland, BeyondHR, i4 Product Design, MBM Commercial and Murgitroyd, will this year be joined by two new organisations – global technology leader, Cisco and CPI Enterprises.

Converged said that final will be held on Thursday 30 September “either in-person or online depending on the current circumstances”.

Applications for Converge 2021 are now open. Full details and how to enter can be found at

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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