Entrepreneurs put ‘social’ at the heart of their inventions

Fri, 25 Aug 2017 11:44:00 BST

Two burgeoning entrepreneurs from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) have made the shortlist of the 2017 Converge Challenge.

Making the top 5 shortlist in the social enterprise award category is undergraduate student Callum MacKinnon and, for the first time, GCU staff member, Professor Lorna Paul.

Callum, an undergraduate occupational therapist student, is working to help children and adults with additional support needs by using a trampoline for therapeutic use. The Forth Valley Rebound Therapy Service CIC is the first and only open referral service for rebound therapy in Scotland.

Web Based Physio created by Professor Lorna Paul is an online platform to help patients with long-term conditions gain easier access to physiotherapy.

Professor Paul identified that patients’ prognoses could improve with increased physiotherapy and set about creating a digital space for sharing expert advice, which reaches patients from all over the world.

She said: “I am delighted to be shortlisted and to represent GCU. Getting down to the last five is a great achievement and I am pleased to see another candidate from the School of Health and Life Sciences.”

Professor John Lennon, Director of the University's incubator space, UHatch, which supports entrepreneurial students, graduates and staff members, said: "This encouraging result reaffirms our commitment to the common good and the centrality of social business to our vision and mission."

Professor Bruce Wood, UHatch academic lead, added: “Congratulations to Callum and Professor Paul – it’s fantastic to see social entrepreneurs recognised for their talents and ideas; ideas that reflect our University’s common good mission and truly transform lives.”

The 2017 Converge Challenge programme received entries from universities across Scotland and the shortlist includes representatives from 12 of Scotland’s 19 universities. Nearly half, 44 per cent, of this year's finalists are women, highlighting a further year-on-year increase in female participation.

Converge Challenge will announce the winners at its annual awards ceremony on Thursday, September 28 at the Glasgow Science Centre.

Converge Challenge