HEALTH APP CREATOR WINS AT ACADEMIC INOVATION EVENT
L to R: Claudia Cavalluzzo, executive director at Converge; Jodie Sinclair of Theo Health; Alexandra McKenna of Sioda; Ana Stewart, partner at Eos Advisory; and Kaia Waxenberg of Agrecalc
Jodie Sinclair won best pitch for Theo Health, a University of Dundee spin-out, at this year’s Converge Challenge.
This is Scotland’s largest company creation programme for the university sector; the high-speed event showcased the latest technologies, products and ideas emerging from Scottish universities which have the potential to grow into successful businesses.
The occasion saw 49 Scottish university start-ups and spin-outs participate in a competition at Edinburgh’s Dovecot Studios, sharing their ideas with a room full of investors and business leaders.
The semi-finalists from three challenge categories – converge, net zero and create change – had just 60 seconds each to secure the votes of the more than 100-strong audience.
Ms Sinclair developed her idea after a career-ending sports injury. Theo Health’s compression shorts have muscle sensors and provide real-time feedback, allowing wearers to measure track and analyse muscle development before progress is physically visible.
She was one of three female entrepreneurs who tasted success at the pitching competition.
Kaia Waxenberg was victorious in the net zero category with her carbon footprint measuring tool, Agrecalc, a spin-out from Scotland’s Rural College while Alexandra McKenna from Sioda, an eco-conscious social enterprise emerging from the University of Stirling, was successful in the create change segment.
Claudia Cavalluzzo, executive director at Converge, said: “The innovation coming out of Scotland’s universities is astounding. Each idea presented last night has the potential to change lives and benefit millions of people. To turn an idea like that into a tangible commercial business takes determination, drive and tons of passion – and the Converge cohort delivered that, in spades.
I’d like to congratulate everyone who took part in the speed pitching – it is no easy task to summarise your passion project in less than a minute. Our three triumphant pitchers are in pole position to do well at our flagship awards ceremony later this year when they will compete with the rest of this year’s cohort for the main cash prize.”
Ana Stewart, partner at Eos Advisory and chair of the Women in Enterprise Review, said: “Innovation is the lifeblood of every economy, and it is fantastic to see the pipeline of talent and entrepreneurialism emerging from Scotland’s academic sector.
What’s also great to see are future business leaders from a variety of nationalities, races and genders coming forward. As well as reflecting our changing world and demographics, diversity is simply good for business and critical to ensure that we’re open to new ideas to solve our most pressing challenges as a society.”