Hat-trick of prizes for Edinburgh firms

Three companies set up by University staff and students have won awards in recognition of their innovative business ideas.

The start-ups were each awarded a prize at Scotland's leading company creation competition, the Converge Challenge 2015.

The awards were presented at a gala event in Glasgow.

Top prize

Photon Force Limited, founded by the School of Engineering’s Richard Walker, won the top prize - the Converge Challenge Award 2015.

The company designs, builds and supplies scientific sensors that detect and measure single photons - the tiny building blocks of light.

Richard received £35,000 to support his venture, plus a further £25,000 from legal firm Morton Fraser, patent attorneys Murgitroyd and accountants, Baker Tilly.

Enterprising ideas

The Converge KickStart Award was won by Salman Tahir in the School of Biological Sciences with his software company, Xi.

The software studies the cross-linking interactions in proteins to perform crucial data analysis of interest to molecular and structural biologists.

Student Hannah Dimsdale won the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award for her business idea, Teadough.

Teadough is a doughnut recipe kit directly inspired by one of Hannah’s ancestors, Elizabeth Dimsdale, who is credited with inventing the doughnut in 1803.

It's a fabulous achievement, especially given the quality of the others on the short lists. There were some big-names and some impressive research behind several of those projects. But the support and coaching that is available at the University of Edinburgh means that our companies are now ready for anything.

Professor Lesley YellowleesVice Principal and Head of College of Science and Engineering, University of Edinburgh

Company creation

Over the past five years, Edinburgh has supported the formation of 184 companies.

They are supported by Edinburgh Research and Innovation - the University’s commercialisation arm - and the wider enterprise network on campus.

LAUNCH.ed is the University’s award-winning service for student entrepreneurs.

It works with students and recent alumni to help them explore, launch and grow their business ideas.

The University is now regarded as one of the most successful centres of technology company formation in the UK. It’s seen by many as the leading exponent of staff and student enterprise anywhere. We aim to build on this success, setting new standards and delivering real impact in Scotland in the near future.

Grant WheelerHead of Company Formation, Edinburgh Research and Innovation