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Award success for University of Leeds spin-out

The success of University of Leeds spinout Image Analysis has been acknowledged with a Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Award.

Image Analysis, which was set up with the support and assistance of the Graduate Entrepreneurship Project, won the 2009 University Spin-out of the Year Award at a glittering ceremony on Friday 16 October at the Queen's Hotel in Leeds.

Olga Kubassova set up Image Analysis in 2007 and she found the support she received from the University of Leeds Careers Centre business start-up team, Spark, invaluable. Spark is funded by the Graduate Entrepreneurship Project and the Higher Education Innovation Fund.

"We have a really good product, but it was challenging to get people interested in the early days, so support from an organisation like Spark was vital. Image Analysis has grown incredibly rapidly since its inception in 2007. We now have three full-time members of staff and are hoping to expand further in the next twelve months. The level of support from experienced staff at Spark helped to get Image Analysis to where it is now," says Olga.

Fellow finalists Creode, run by University of Leeds graduates Luke Harrison and James Hannaford, also took advice from Spark before setting up their web design agency Creode. They took part in the annual Entrepreneur's Boot Camp, sponsored by the Graduate Entrepreneurship Project and open to graduates of Yorkshire & Humber universities. This residential course offers young people with good business ideas a chance to learn more about basic business issues from those with direct experience.

Luke says: "In the early days of starting up a business you really need to talk to as many different people about your ideas as you can. We are still in contact with some of the people we met on the Boot Camp and we are really grateful for the opportunities that the event offered us."

Says Susan McColl, who manages the Graduate Entrepreneurship Project: "We've never been in any doubt about the entrepreneurial talent of the region's students and graduates. Olga, Luke and James have founded companies that are having real impact and I'm delighted that they're receiving the recognition they deserve."

For further information:

Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk

Or Susan McColl, Manager, Graduate Entrepreneurship Project: Tel: 07984 904600, email s.mccoll@hud.ac.uk

Notes to editors:

  1. Graduate Entrepreneurship Project (GE)
    Supported by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, GE brings together the region's 11 higher education institutions to develop awareness and understanding of enterprise amongst students and graduates. GE funds a wide range of initiatives and activities at the partner institutions to support the business aspirations of students and young graduates, and building their confidence and motivation to be better prepared for the world of business start-up.
  2. Image Analysis
    Image Analysis is a University of Leeds spin-out company that develops MRI analysis software for radiologists to interpret MRI data in clinical practice and clinical research.  The company's first product Dynamika-RA (http://www.dynamika-ra.com/) was developed in collaboration with key opinion leaders in rheumatology to speed up workflow and to increase diagnostic confidence. With rheumatoid arthritis affecting 2% of word population, there are over half a million suffers in the UK alone. This number is growing with 26,000 new cases in UK diagnosed each year. Three quarters of sufferers are of working age, meaning treatment  delays cost the economy almost £2 billion a year.
  3. Creode (www.creode.co.uk)
    Creode is a web design company established in the summer of 2008. Specialising in offering bespoke solutions to clients ranging from customer relationship management systems, to ecommerce systems and search engine optimisation, the company has already received one award, winning last year's University of Leeds' Business Plan Competition. High profile clients

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