Seventeen enterprises led by students, staff and alumni of the University of Strathclyde have been chosen to receive support from Converge, the higher education company creation programme – more than any other institution.

The chosen firms will receive help to turn their ideas for products and services into reality through a series of entrepreneurial training and business masterclasses.

The Strathclyder-led companies selected are:

  • Converge Challenge (for novel business ideas with solid IP foundations, high commercial potential and scalability): Kaiba, Daniele Marini; Kineticolour, Marc Reid; TargoPep, Fergus McWhinnie.
  • Net Zero Challenge (sponsored by SSE, to springboard climate-conscious entrepreneurs developing low-carbon solutions in the race against climate change): CataNiTek, Elliot Johnson Humphrey; ENTROPYST, Arash Badaksh; Vertical Forest, Kimia Witte.
  • Kick Start Challenge (for aspiring entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas they’d like to test, validate and prepare to launch): Academy of Thought, Vivek Reghu; Claymore Surgical, Scott Black; effMobility, Mark Smith; GFibers, Aikaterini Lalatsa; Giraud, Bastien Giraud; Happy Leaf, Amy Roberts; Neurodapt, Daniel Brown; Peter Hou; Rowan, Rowan Cunningham; Socialyz, Fariz Rayees; Zhengjian Wang and Rashed Hasan.

Funded by the Scottish Funding Council, Creative Scotland, all 18 of Scotland’s universities, and a network of ten corporate partners, the Converge programme is designed to springboard new businesses through intensive training, networking, 1-2-1 support, generous equity-free cash prizes and expert advice from a roster of business and investment experts.  

Since launching in 2011, Converge has trained more than 600 academic entrepreneurs and supported the creation of more than 330 companies that enjoy an unusually high survival rate of 69%.

Culture of entrepreneurship

Fiona Ireland, Head of Entrepreneurship Strategy at Strathclyde said: “We are delighted to see such a large and varied cohort of Strathclyder-led companies selected to receive support through Converge this year.

At Strathclyde we are committed to fostering a culture of entrepreneurship across our University community, and helping students, staff and alumni to grow their businesses and fulfil their ambitions. 

Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo, Executive Director at Converge, said: “We are proud to be supporting ambitious people from right across Scotland who demonstrate that university students, staff, and graduates are rising to the challenge of delivering sustainable and inclusive economic growth in every region.

“At Converge, we continue to become more diverse and inclusive, with a 28% increase in applicants from ethnically diverse backgrounds, and an 8% rise in applications from women. Broadening diversity and inclusion is part of our aim to change the narrative around the word ‘entrepreneur’, which has negative connotations for lots of people, particularly women and impact-driven individuals.”

“Call them creatives, call them innovators, call them founders – these are the people who have the potential to change the world for the better.”