Spot on idea earns student entrepreneurs £10000 prize - Media Newswire (press release)

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( - A digital aid to fight acne has netted a team of Imperial and UCL students £10,000, as the winning entry in an entrepreneurial competition held over the summer is a phone application and web platform which allows users to take a photograph of their skin, and which then tracks the spread or retreat of their acne, providing them and their doctors with a record of how the acne is responding to different treatments over time.

The concept won over a panel of judges and investors at the Startup Summer, a pilot programme organised by the public research company YouGov, together with Imperial and UCL. The scheme gave students from the two universities the opportunity to develop their business ideas into start-ups. Support from the scheme was available to teams in the form of project funding and access to market research.

Imperial PhD student Steven Robinette ( Medicine ) and his team mates developed their winning idea over a period of six weeks. Steven said:

"I wanted to do something in mobile health that could have an immediate impact, and Spotless was the perfect combination of a lifestyle condition where communication and compliance are key to good care, with a target market that is accessible and receptive to technology.  The idea of how to do this went through a few iterations, the most constructive of which was conducted over pints at a South Kensington pub."

All six teams competing received mentoring from successful entrepreneurs, such as George Berkowski, founder of the internet dating site

The Entrepreneurship Hub at Imperial College Business School was involved in the development of the curricula and also taught some business planning sessions and coached students developing their projects. Additionally, students also attended masterclasses taught by entrepreneurs such as Martha Fox, co-founder of Dr Itxaso del Palacio from the Hub, who led sessions for the students, said:

"The start-up summer school has been a fantastic opportunity for students to develop their ideas in a business environment. They have really risen to that opportunity. The way they have been putting into practice everything they have learned during their time on the scheme has really made us proud."

The winning team also includes Zehan Wang, a research postgraduate from the Department of Computing, together with three UCL students, Nikhil Patel, Christina Stejskalova and Theo Ilori. They collected their prize at a reception on 30 August at Coutts, the historic private banking house.

Steven said: "The prize money will make all the difference in actually giving Spotless a real go.  Besides covering our server costs, we're using it to register the company, ensure compliance with data protection regulations, and expand the team to bring on more web and app developers."

Second place went to a team which developed Buildr, a web platform which allows people to work together to build photobooks online, which can then be shared and printed.  The team included Imperial students Jonathan Webster, Jonathan Kim and Maxwell Revitt.  Jonathan said:

"Startup-summer has been a great opportunity, it has provided the encouragement and resources we needed to make the best it can be! is lucky to have the advice and market research to show the demand for our social photobook service."

Spot on idea earns student entrepreneurs £10,000 prize
A digital aid to fight acne has netted a team of Imperial and UCL students £10,000, as the winning entry in an entrepreneurial competition held over the summer

11 Sep, 2011

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