Edinburgh startups and spinouts feature strongly in the Converge 2023 cohort, the competition organisers revealed today.
Fourteen of 100 finalists in the annual company creation competition are from the University of Edinburgh, in a list where harnessing AI for good was the dominant theme.
The finalists will receive funding and business support from Converge, which nurtures innovation at Scotland’s universities.
In the main Converge Challenge category, Edinburgh finalists were Amtis, Concinnity Genetics, DeepQA, Rigpa, SensiBile and WhiteHaul.
Dr Jessica Birt of spinout Concinnity Genetics won last year’s Kickstart Challenge for her unique AI technology for gene control systems. Dr Sofia Ferreira-Gonzalez of SensiBile (pictured above) is developing an electrochemical biosensor to help detect problematic biomarkers in donor livers.
Marise Treseder of DeepQA (pictured above right, with co-founder Tom Cartwright) won Edinburgh Innovations’ Startup Summer Accelerator with her AI to identify bugs in software and former PhD Mike Huang, who commercialised his brain-inspired AI chip through startup Rigpa, took home the Cisco Future Tech Award in November.
PhD Mohammed Kassem made the tech press earlier this year with new spinout Whitehaul, bringing high speed broadband to rural areas, and Eva Steel of Amytis recently won £5000 from the Data-Drive Entrepreneurship programme’s Venture Builder Incubator for her ‘bio-notebook’ – a a digital infrastructure for bioscientists in the form of a web-based workspace.
In the Create Change Challenge category Shasha Network, Ukamaa Spice and Whimsylabs all made it through; while Moxie Energy Group was the Edinburgh finalist in the Net Zero category.
In Kickstart this year, the finalists are CEXAL, Excellio Labs – Kamila Malysz, Soleus Digital Health and SymphoMe.
Dr John Lonsdale, Head of Enterprise at Edinburgh Innovations, the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service, said:
Edinburgh’s startups and spinouts continue to spearhead innovation to meet the world’s challenges, especially in the areas of AI and data for good, health and sustainability.
" We are proud to be part of a University, Scottish and wider ecosystem that nurtures their ideas and supports them through to real-world impact that benefits us all. ”
Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo, Executive Director at Converge, said:
This year’s cohort proves that ideas and innovations are thriving in Scotland’s universities, with AI at the heart of many of these new companies.
“Turning ideas into impact is at the core of Converge’s mission to unlock the potential of innovators, creatives, and aspiring business founders across Scotland’s universities. ”
Stats released last week [4 May] by data experts Beauhurst showed that Edinburgh is the top startup hub outside London, with 12.3% of companies working in AI, digital security, and financial technology.