Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) is pleased to share that two of its entrepreneurs in the field of cyber security
This year’s finalists for Converge, Scotland’s springboard for university founders, are demonstrating that students, graduates, and academics sit at the heart of delivering the national innovation strategy.
Scotland’s national innovation strategy, which was published in June 2023, outlined four innovation themes in which the nation has a competitive advantage, spanning the energy transition, health and life sciences, data and digital technologies, and advanced manufacturing.
Converge works in partnership with all 19 of Scotland’s universities and shortlists 28 finalists for its four challenges – Converge; Create Change;, KickStart; and Net Zero. Since its launch in 2011, the programme has helped to create more than 330 companies which have raised in excess of £320 million in follow-on funding.
Recently named one of the top 10 universities in the UK for spin-out activity, ENU has supported the creation of many cyber spin-out businesses over the last 10 years, including: Cyacomb, MemCrypt, Symphonic Software and ZoneFox.
Making the ‘Converge Challenge’ shortlist is Pavlos Papadopoulos of the ENU cyber project, TrueDeploy. The dominance of open-source software and the interconnectedness of software between organisations has raised cybersecurity risks in the software supply chain. TrueDeploy brings trust and transparency to the software supply chain. They do this by bringing together a novel combination of blockchain, credential management, and access control technologies.
In the KickStart Challenge category is LastingAsset’s Nanik Ramchandani. LastingAsset's solution aims to tackle the issue of online scamming, which accounts for 50% of all financial cybercrime with victims losing approximately $47 billion annually. Scammers often impersonate representatives of banks, tech support, MSPs, and businesses to defraud unsuspecting victims. LastingAsset's innovative solution verifies the identity of individuals to ensure that only legitimate representatives can communicate with customers.
As part of this year’s programme, finalists from the Converge Challenge category had the opportunity to travel to London to present their business ideas to investors and business leaders who can help them on their investment journey.
Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo, Converge’s Executive Director, said:
“Our finalists demonstrate that Scotland’s universities are at the forefront of developing innovations that will help people and the planet while growing our economy. We selected our cohort of 100 start-ups and spin-outs from a record 247 applicants back in May, just as the national innovation strategy was being unveiled.
“That alignment between the strategy’s objectives and the innovative ideas developed by our students, graduates, and researchers demonstrates the importance of Scotland’s universities and research institutes when it comes to fulfilling our nation’s ambitious goals.”
The Scottish Government’s ten-year national innovation strategy aims to place Scotland among the world’s most innovative small nations, including Denmark, Finland, and Norway. The strategy highlights the importance of the innovation ecosystem and the collaboration between businesses, the public sector and universities.
Paul Atkinson, Founding Partner at venture capital investor Par Equity and Chair of Converge’s strategic advisory board, added:
“Innovative universities are essential for an innovative nation to flourish, and this year’s Converge finalists demonstrate that Scotland’s students, graduates, and researchers have a key role to play in helping our nation achieve its goals.
“As a business angel and venture capitalist, these are the kinds of ideas that get investors like me excited – and the support and training that Converge offers to its cohort means that its participants are also developing the skills and abilities that investors want to see before they will sign any cheques.
“Congratulations and good luck to this year’s finalists – I can’t wait to see these companies flourishing in the future”
The winners and runners-up of all four challenges will be named at the Converge awards ceremony in Glasgow on 4 October 2023.
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