Michael Fontaine – ArxBio

Posted September 21, 2012 by Harry
Categories: Applications, Awards Dinner

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This year, Converge Challenge was also open to all Research Institutes in Scotland.

Dr Michael Fontaine from the Moredun Research Institute took the challenge and submitted a strong business plan which brought him to the final.

Dr Michael Fontaine, ArxBio

Michael’s research group has developed a platform technology for the creation of new, efficacious vaccines for bacterial disease of animals and humans.   They have so far generated proof of concept data supporting the technology’s use in target animals.

They plan to establish a company to exemplify the technology by further developing a number of products for use against veterinary pathogens, in addition to gaining regulatory approval for each.

The Future

Within 3-5 years they expect to have two registered products that will yield a licensing income for the company, with a range of other veterinary products in the pipeline, along with the potential to licence the technology for human applications.

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Ekaterina McKenna – Dynamic Bioarray

Posted September 20, 2012 by Harry
Categories: Applications, Awards Dinner

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Continuing our showcase of Converge Challenge ’12 finalists, is Dr Ekaterina McKenna, Enterprise Fellow at the Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology, School of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow.

Dr Ekaterina McKenna

Ekaterina proposes to create a new bio-nanotechnology company based in Scotland that will provide products, IP, consultancy and services for the world-wide micro- and nano-array technology market.

Dynamic Bioarray

The value will be created by combining skills, expertise and some unique development and manufacturing facilities available locally within the Scotland Biotechnology Cluster and the bio-engineering community and to create high quality products and services that are much more than the sum of the components.

The products will comprise two main elements: the silicon or glass biochips and the bio-analytical protocols for use with such chips/devices.

Ekaterina will go head to head with the other finalists on the 27th September.

Derryck Reid – Chromacity

Posted September 19, 2012 by Harry
Categories: Applications, Business Plans

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Professor Derryck Reid of Heriot-Watt University, has reached the final of Converge Challenge with his business idea – Chromacity.

Derryck leads the Ultrafast Optics Group at Heriot-Watt, whose work concerns the development and application of lasers that produce pulses of light lasting for a fraction of one millionth of one millionth of one second. It is in this field that Chromacity are focussed.

Derryck Reid – Chromacity

Looking primarily at a biological imaging market, Chromacity aim to bring to market an innovative laser which will allow users to gain a far better understanding of the conditions within cells – a vital step forward in the advancement of research in cell biology, genetic analysis and molecular biology.

 

Tig Tag Tracy Thomson

Posted September 13, 2012 by colinthomsonkt
Categories: Applications

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Tracy Thomson, an undergraduate at the University of the West of Scotland, has been short-listed in the final of a national academic business competition and now stands on the threshold of turning her academic research into a commercial reality should her business idea land the £45k cash and in-kind support first prize.

Tracy, from Paisley, is one of sseven students and academics through to the final of the Converge Challenge, run from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, which gives gives students and members of staff of any Scottish university the chance to develop the commercial potential of their inventions.

The Converge Challenge judging panel was highly impressed with Tracy’s invention – an interactive mobile advertising company, called Tig Tag – which embraces a unique information and ticketing system for music events using pioneering QR code technology. Tracy also plans to replace conventional tickets and incorporate a number of important data capture management techniques into her invention.

“Tracy and the other five short-listed entrants have a market-focussed product or service, and have demonstrated impressive commercial acumen and business planning.”

Converge Challenge 2012 Finalists profile – Jack Hoy-Gig Ng, Sansible

Posted September 7, 2012 by Harry
Categories: Awards Dinner, Business Plans, Pitching

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Heriot-Watt Research Associate, Jack Hoy-Gig Ng, was the winner of the 2012 Converge Challenge Elevator Pitch.

He has developed Sansible, a pioneering antiviral mechanism which has benefits for water purification, water treatment plants and medical devices.

Jack Hoy-Gig Ng in his lab.

Originally from Hong-Kong, but now a proud resident of Edinburgh, Jack’s invention has the potential to become a market leader.

At the time of winning the elevator Pitch, Jack said:

“I’m incredibly pleased that the judges thought my pitch to be the best – it was a nerve-wracking but very thrilling experience to deliver a pitch to leading entrepreneurs. I managed to get the message across and the feedback from the audience was fantastic.”

To find out more about Sansible, you can watch Jack’s winning Elevator Pitch below, or by clicking this sentence.

Along with the other finalists, Jack will give a final pitch of his project to the Converge Challenge judges on September 27th.

Converge Challenge Finalists – Lee Baker, Chi Squared Innovations

Posted September 6, 2012 by Harry
Categories: Applications, Awards Dinner, Business Plans

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Over the next few days, as we build up towards the final, we will be showcasing the finalists of the 2012 Converge Challenge.

We start with Dr Lee Baker, a postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Dundee.

Dr Lee Baker, University of Dundee

Dr Lee Baker

Lee, originally from Leeds, but who now lives in Dundee, has got to the final with his business plan, Chi Squared Innovations.

Conducting statistical analyses of complex datasets is demanding and time-consuming, made all the more difficult by current statistical packages that assume that users are knowledgeable and experienced.

Lee has created a unique alternative, a fully-automated intelligent statistical analysis system – MOSAIC – that can be used across the scientific, commercial and marketing sectors to analyse data without requiring prior statistical knowledge.

You can watch Lee’s Elevator Pitch here.

The Converge Challenge final will be held at an Awards Dinner on the 27th September.

Final ten battle for Scotlands biggest start-up prize

Posted August 29, 2012 by Harry
Categories: Applications, Awards Dinner, Business Plans

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A ‘dress rehearsal’ facility for surgeons, a new form of plastic that can purify water, and ‘smart paint’ that detects structural defects are among the top ten business ideas competing for Scotland’s biggest start-up prize.

The short-listed applicants for Converge Challenge, whittled down from a record long-list of 50, include five from Edinburgh universities, four from Glasgow universities, and one from the University of Dundee.

Converge Challenge

Converge Challenge, run by Heriot-Watt University, gives students and members of staff of any Scottish university the chance to develop the commercial potential of their inventions with a four month-long series of business mentoring and training, before being short-listed for the final prize, £25k cash funding and a further £20k in-kind support from the private sector.

Olga Kozlova, creator of Converge Challenge, said, “New and existing SMEs are set to be a key driver in Scotland’s economic recovery.
“Converge Challenge is about equipping people with the right skills and support they need to turn their academic research into a successful commercial venture.

“All ten short-listed entrants have a market-focussed product or service, and have demonstrated impressive commercial acumen and business planning.

Converge Challenge is about equipping people with the right skills and support they need to turn their academic research into a successful commercial venture

“Going by the number and quality of this year’s entrants, Scotland’s track record of nurturing home-grown entrepreneurs across life sciences, IT, design and other key sectors, looks set to continue.”
Dr Olga Kozlova

In addition to the top ten, a special ‘Entrepreneurial Spirit’ award of £2,000 support has been awarded to Christine Watson, who is using her research into smart fabrics and heat-sensitive dyes to develop fashionable, water-proof garments, some of which may change colour as body heat alters, targeted primarily at music festival-goers.

This year, Converge Challenge has seen a record number of applicants, 50 from 14 separate institutions across Scotland, up 18% on the previous year.

According to the Higher Education Statistics Authority, university research led to the creation of 184 spin-offs in Scotland in 2010/11, up from 74 in 2008/9. With the Scottish Government considering how to ensure more public sector contracts go to SMEs, the opportunities for start-ups are grow

For more information on the shortlisted applicants, and for links to videos on the projects, visit the website below:

http://www.hw.ac.uk/industry/collaborate-with-us/converge-challenge.htm


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