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Cambridge Enterprise Conference announces winner of international business plan competition

Warwick Effect Polymers won the Enterprise Launch Pad award at this year’s Cambridge Enterprise Conference. Using an electronic voting system, delegates voted in real time for each of the 12 competition finalists chosen from 175 entries from around the world, who represented new technologies in internet, life sciences, materials, software and telecommunications. Warwick Effect Polymers’ successful two-minute pitch wins them £5,000 and the opportunity to talk business with the UK’s entrepreneurial community. Ernst & Young, with their experience of the long-running the Entrepreneur of the Year awards, gave invaluable support to the competition.

Warwick Effect Polymers, a spin-out from Warwick University, is developing ways to produce polymers, or plastics, with far greater control and precision. Polymers feature in all areas of life, from shampoo to inkjet printer ink, from contact lenses to mobile phone displays, and from medicines to lipstick. The control over production that Warwick Effect Polymers can achieve makes it possible to tailor polymers exactly to fit their application, resulting in better products and greater efficiency of production.

"We are delighted to have won the competition," said Professor David Haddleton, founder and Director of Warwick Effect Polymers. "The opportunity to participate in the Conference has given us excellent opportunities to network, particularly as we are currently looking to raise funds and bring business expertise into the company."

The runner up in the competition was Avecho, a software company that has developed a new and unique technology, Avecho GlassWall, which ensures its users never receive or transmit email viruses. Third place went to Climate, a company who have applied established technology to make dramatic improvements to the management of clinical trials of pharmaceuticals. Other finalists were Brain Juicer, Cambridge Cell Networks, Deltaseal Software, Home Media Networks, KeCrypt, Neurotargets, Sphere Medical, SROM and YYY Systems.

After a session on technology futures, the Conference voted for the technology with the brightest future, and materials was the runaway winner with 48% of the vote, with the closest rival being biotechnology, with 19% of the vote.

"The entrepreneurial community is looking for the next hot area after the spotlight has been on telecommunications, software and silicon, " commented Dr Alex Pasteur, Adviser to the Cambridge Gateway Fund, who spoke on the future of materials at the Conference. "This gives a chance for sectors like materials to get the attention of investors and build great businesses."

"Polymers are coming of age," Pasteur says. "Demand for clever new products is high and there are excellent opportunities to build profitable companies."

Warwick Effect Polymers and the other 11 finalists are also participating in the Conference Deal Day, along with over 80 of the other entrants in the competition.

"The Conference is all about building new businesses," says John Snyder, Chairman of the Cambridge Enterprise Conference. "Many of the new businesses we have seen among the 12 finalists and the 100 exhibiting at Deal Day are working on technologies that will make a difference to all our lives in the future."

For further details please contact on the Fifth Cambridge Enterprise Conference: 
Kate Kirk (01223) 305405 kate.kirk@mahseer.co.uk
or visit www.cambridgeenterprise.co.uk 

For further details on Springboard and Connect Midlands, please visit www.connectmidlands.org.

For further details on the Enterprise Fellowship Scheme please visit www.efs.ac.uk