Converge Challenge, Scotland’s premier company creation competition, has expanded its award categories for 2015, giving research staff and students from the University of Edinburgh an even greater opportunity to challenge for the £100,000 prize fund including a comprehensive support and training package.
As well as expanding its categories, Converge Challenge is, for the first time, broadening its reach to embrace all university staff, undergraduates, postgraduates, as well as recent graduates (qualified in the past 12 months). Even if a fledgling business has been started and it has been trading for less than six months with sales of less than £50,000, then Converge Challenge is open to applications.
Like last year, the University’s aspirational entrepreneurs can participate in three main categories – Converge Challenge Award, KickStart Award and Social Enterprise Award. The Organisers have this year added a fourth category – the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award – a special award given to an entrant who possesses all the attributes of traditional entrepreneurs, creates value and has the willingness to take risk.
There’s no doubt: Edinburgh’s entrepreneurial landscape is booming. New projects pop up every week and exciting events are scattered throughout the city.
So what’s better than telling you what’s coming up next? Here are some opportunities and events in February that student entrepreneurs shouldn’t miss.
Don’t have an idea yet? This is for you. This popular event will be facilitated by one of SIE’s top advisers Tom McGuire who brings his breath of innovation support to the table.
Get innovating looks at design thinking and how business ideas can solve real life problems. By the end of the course you will be well on the way to being an energetic and resourceful entrepreneurial thinker. Spurred into action to come up with ideas for your own venture or armed with the experience and skills to demonstrate your potential for innovation to a future employer.
When? 25th February – 4.30pm to 8.00pm
Where? Evolution House, Edinburgh College of Art, Room 2.13
Register here for GET INNOVATING
Next week (16th – 20th Feb 2015), we will celebrate Innovative Learning Week at the University of Edinburgh. This is the time when our students get ready to wander on untrodden paths and re-invent the way we learn together – and from each other. Innovative Learning Week 2015 is a chance for students, staff and alumni to develop skills, meet new people and celebrate innovation in our academic community.
LAUNCH.ed had a deep look into the event calendar, and we found some exciting events for student entrepreneurs.
- ILW Pop-up Co-working Space
- Venture Philanthropists
- Innovation Lab & Smart Data Hack
- Teambuilding Workshop
- ILW Mission Workshop
- The Edinburgh Apprentice
A guest blog by Pop Up! Scotland Founder Anne Rushing
There is no pressure like the pressure associated with “guest blogging”. It’s even more embarrassing as I haven’t regularly blogged for my own website in several months. However, the nice folks at LAUNCH.ed have put up with my inability to meet a deadline and let me ramble a bit about starting a Social Enterprise, working with LAUNCH.ed and other organisations, and my experiences as an entrepreneur.
Oh, and if you were curious, I’m Anne Rushing, founder and Creative Director of Pop Up! Scotland. You can find out more about us and my background on our website: www.popupscotland.org.
How do you run a social enterprise, and what are the challenges?
Running a social enterprise (or really any business) is more a process of just diving in a figuring things out. In starting your own business you have to be excited about it, it’s a cliché to say be passionate, but it’s very true, especially with a social enterprise.
Mainly, we talk to people who know more than we do to try and make things work, make mistakes and try not to make them again, and try to balance the passion for our product with making sure we are actually building a sustainable business. The main challenges were our lack of experience, lack of money, lack of time, and lack of other resources (like people! we always need more people). Read more
It’s competition time at SIE! Two fantastic business competitions close this Thursday and LAUNCH.ed wants to make sure you don’t miss your opportunity. Many University of Edinburgh students have previously won SIE competitions and made it to the annual SIE Student Enterprise Summit in March.
Could you be the next winner?
If you need help with your SIE application, be quick & don’t wait – just get in touch with us asap. We want you to succeed!