Engineering spinout company reaches Converge 2023 finals

Founders of Singular Photonics (left to right): Professor Robert Henderson, Dr Aravind Venugopalan Nair Jalajakumari and Dr Neil Finlayson
Founders of Singular Photonics (left to right): Professor Robert Henderson, Dr Aravind Venugopalan Nair Jalajakumari and Dr Neil Finlayson

A company founded by School researchers is among Scotland’s most innovative new businesses as named in the Converge 2023 competition finals.

Singular Photonics, a School spinout from Dr Aravind Venugopalan Nair Jalajakumari, Dr Neil Finlayson and Professor Robert Henderson, has reached the final stage of the springboard competition for university-based business founders.

The competition selects the best start-ups and spinouts addressing key themes from Scotland’s national innovation strategy published in June 2023: energy transition, health and life sciences, data and digital technologies and advanced manufacturing.

Dr Venugopalan, Dr Finlayson and Professor Henderson founded Singular Photonics to take to market high performance camera modules based on sensitive light detectors, with applications in spectroscopy, microscopy and medical imaging. The spinout previously received funding through the Scottish Enterprise High Growth Spinout Programme.

Theirs is among two of the six companies from the University that reached the final in the coveted Converge Challenge category, where finalists travel to London to present their ideas to investors and business leaders. One fifth of this year’s Converge finalists are from the University of Edinburgh.

Dr John Lonsdale, Head of Enterprise at Edinburgh Innovations, said:

“It’s a pleasure to see so many of our brilliant companies in the Converge 23 final. These innovators are helping us meet the world’s greatest challenges in our priority areas of climate, data and AI for good, and global health, and give us all great cause for optimism.

“EI has supported these companies through programmes like the Startup Summer Accelerator and PhD Max, so it’s fantastic to see Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem functioning well to support them as they go from strength to strength.”

Leah Pape, Head of Entrepreneurship and Investment at Scottish Enterprise said:

“Scottish Enterprise is the second most active investor in the UK for the number of equity deals going into spinouts, and it’s hugely exciting to see companies we’ve supported, such as Concinnity Genetics and Singular Photonics at UoE contending for these prestigious awards. Good luck to all the finalists – some of the most exciting and ambitious new companies in Scotland.”

Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo, Converge’s Executive Director, added:

“Our finalist demonstrate that Scotland’s Universities are at the forefront of developing innovations that will help people and the planet while growing our economy.”

The winners and runners-up in all categories will be named at the Converge awards ceremony in Glasgow on 4 October 2023.

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