Scotland’s leading business start-up contest has attracted a record number of entries, with almost double last year’s number of hopeful entrepreneurs signing up.
The total of 111 submissions for the Converge Challenge includes 13 from Dundee and St Andrews universities, organisers said.
Entrants will be hoping to land a first prize cash-and-support package valued at £60,000.
Director Olga Kozlova said she was delighted by an 83% spike in interest from academics and students across eight Scottish universities.
“This is the fifth year for the Converge Challenge programme, and I am delighted to see more and more projects coming forward as the competition acts as a beacon for entrepreneurship among our scientists and students,” she said.
“This year Converge Challenge is bigger than ever, with dedicated training provided to over 50 budding entrepreneurs and a record total funding pot of £68,000 in cash and £56,000 worth of business support.
“As our economy continues on its road to recovery, it is crucial that we can keep the pipeline of innovative ideas coming forward from our university base flowing, and do our best to help the individuals develop them into successful profitable businesses.”
Participants now face an anxious wait to discover if they can make it through to the elevator pitch stage, which will see them present their idea to a panel of judges in just 60 seconds early next month.
The Converge Challenge, which is funded by universities and the Scottish Funding Council, has a 30% incorporation rate with four out of five of those business going on to secure follow-on funding.