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Student Spinout Aims at High Fashion

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07 July 2009

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A pioneering undergraduate from our Department is set to make finding exclusive and elusive fashion items easier, thanks to her innovative new website, Snap-Fashion. Jennifer Griffiths' (pictured with the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Eric Thomas) eBay-meets-Facebook venture has won the University’s annual New Enterprise Competition 2009. Jenny is the latest in a long line of Bristol students to take the content of their final year project and form a new company from it.

Consumers will be able to visit the website and upload an image of an item of clothing or an accessory that they wish to find. They will define the region of the image that they are interested in and the website will apply a number of image processing techniques to the picture in order to find approximate matches for the item of clothing. Basically, the website will act as a pictorial search engine for the latest fashions on the Internet.

To entice users to the website and make them stay, there will also be a social networking aspect to the website. Users will be able to create their profile and share their latest fashion finds with their friends. There will also be a resident fashion writer writing articles for the site and a weekly newsletter. The site will be free for users.

Snap-Fashion was awarded first prize at the University's prestigious annual Enterprise Dinner on 30 June. The prize includes £15,000, free legal advice from Osborne Clarke, and 6 months of managed office space at the Bristol SETsquared Business Acceleration Centre. As well as office space, the centre provides entrepreneurs with business mentoring, guidance and support.

This years final was dominated by entrants from the department, two entrants in the undergraduate category made it through to the final. They included Jonathan Bliss, a second year Mathematics and Computer Science student with his project: Crunch; a software based method of electronic data transformation giving significantly faster transmission of data of any type.

Jonathan was joined by another group from the second year, Yoav Farbey, Daniel Kaczmar, Ben Moag and Emy Calder, with their project: PandaPic; educational photo editing software, specifically aimed at children.

Finally Rupert Baker & David Bath (a graduate of Computer Systems Engineering) were successful from the Alumni category with their project Teamup; an online market place for booking local sports activities and making sports arrangements with friends and other players. The department would like to congratulate all of this years entrants and wish them much success in their future endeavours.

The entries were judged by a panel of experts from the sponsoring organisations, including Bristol City Council, Business Link, Deloitte, EADS, Edwards, Ginko Investments, IP Group, North Bristol NHS Trust, Osborne Clarke, Santander, SETsquared Business Acceleration Centre (Bristol) and Wyvern Seed Fund.