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Making the leap from engineering to fashion

The fashion industry is notoriously competitive, and any young entrepreneur looking to break into it needs the right combination of talent and support. Luckily, Julija Bainiaksina (UCL Civil Engineering, 2012) has just that.

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Explaining diseases to kids – with comics

Medikidz is a global initiative set up by doctors to help children learn about medical information that’s relevant to their lives and feel empowered by it.

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Entrepreneurship for a good cause

In 2009, entrepreneur Michelle Wright set up Cause4, an organisation that supports charities and social enterprises with fundraising and strategy. In the four and a half years since, Cause4 has flourished.

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Learning the not-quite-so-hard way: UCL Internship at Mavrx

For the founders of most start-ups, experience is hard won – born through trial and error. But UCL student Ian Campbell (MSc Management 2013) was lucky enough to learn from others when he joined fledgling company Mavrx as part of the UCL Internship programme. Ian had recently completed a Master’s in Management at UCL and was looking to extend his knowledge before taking the next steps towards creating his own company.

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A Real Gem

Making jewellery is a craft and a skill, and the Jewellery School helps people learn how to do it. Award-winning entrepreneur and jewellery-maker Jessica Rose set it up in a community hall in 2009 aged just 21, and it’s now London’s largest jewellery training centre. It runs six classes a day at its new Hatton Garden site and offers courses ranging from one day to a full diploma.

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Cause4 internship: a perfect fit for both business and graduate


Soon to graduate, UCL student Michael Button (BA European Social and Political Studies (History and French) 2013), was seeking work that would make a real difference to people. Following his application to the UCL Advances internship scheme, he gained a placement with Cause4, a social business set up to support charities, philanthropists and social enterprises.

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English Edutainment: UCL intern helps make language fun

Mastering the English language is a challenge for any student, but a mobile app developed by start-up company Tonguesten is turning education into entertainment. With support from recent UCL intern Ayne Zarof, news of the innovation is spreading.

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Flat Club

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snowcarbon - Fresh perspectives

Having won an Innovation Central London bursary award in February 2011, Daniel Elkan, founder of snowcarbon, was looking to increase traffic to his site, www.snowcarbon.co.uk; and boost his business.Turning to SMILE, Daniel was linked to mentor Emmanuel Baltyde, and is still reaping the benefits.

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Trading quality: Roubini intern enjoys prominent placement

UCL student Jakub Szukalski (BA Economics and Business with East European Studies, second year) was looking for a productive way to spend the months leading into his final year at UCL. So he jumped at the chance of an internship with Roubini Global Economics (RGE) – the research company headed up by the distinguished macro-economist Nouriel Roubini. The partnership proved to be a win-win situation.

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Letting in the locked-out: UCL boost for SpareKeys business

Barry Shaverin had not planned on becoming an entrepreneur until it happened. Forced to rescue his forgetful flatmate, who locked himself out again and again, Barry spotted a gap in the market. UCL Advances helped him develop his growing rescue service for the locked-out and forgetful.

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The innovation edge

In a highly competitive world, companies are striving to gain an edge, especially in the design, manufacture and market of high-end consumer durables, where smart innovation can make a tangible difference to market share and profitability.

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Madsen

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Smalls businesses benefit from more than just light touch support

Natalie Blakeley was juggling working for a national chain of cosmetic clinics and two small children when it struck her that she wanted to set up her own business. “It seemed obvious to me,” says Natalie, 38, from Weybridge in Surrey. “I was a doctor specialising in cosmetic procedures having to travel the country a lot, working in an area where I knew I could set up by myself.”

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BexSimon

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Making waves UCL tsunami modeling: insuring against the worst

In March 2011, a Tsunami generated by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded hit the east coast of Japan. Almost 16,000 people lost their lives. Cars, homes, hospitals, businesses and schools were swept away and the economic costs were vast. 

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Nano knowledge - Applying nanotechnology for better metrology

At the heart of all scientific endeavour is metrology, the science of measurement. So, as guardian of the SI system – Système International d’Unités – in the UK, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is vital to all scientific research, now and in the future. An EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Secondment has strengthened ties between NPL and the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN), a joint UCL and Imperial College venture, bringing us a step closer to more accurate measurement of current.

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Revolutionary 3D laser scanner brings a modern twist to ancient Egypt’s treasures

Visits to museums on rainy afternoons have just become a lot more interesting thanks to revolutionary technology that allows artefacts to be scanned and modelled in 3D and then studied from all angles in a way the original could never be. UCL’s Petrie Museum has benefited from a shared-use agreement between the university and Canadian firm Arius3D, which makes the colour laser scanners.

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UCL rides the CREST of a wave with ‘Darwinian’ testing methods

Evolutionary ideas have proved revolutionary at UCL’s Centre for Research on Evolution, Search and Testing (CREST), where its director, Mark Harman, has been working with nature-based algorithms for testing software for more than a decade.

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Mentor Nasir helps self-improvement site to help others to help themselves

Nasir Zubairi – Sloan Fellow, technology consultant and mentor – and Ricky Cooper – former TV producer and new entrepreneur – are now good friends as well as business partners. This follows a successful and ongoing mentoring relationship through UCL Advances’ SMILE programme.

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Putting Education First with a SMILE

Teachus is a London-based tuition agency, covering Camden, Islington and Hackney boroughs amongst others, founded by UCL graduates Jay Ruparelia and Remal Tailor, who had a hard time finding affordable and quality tutors to help them prepare for their exams prior to entering university. When they later met at UCL and shared their experiences with one another, a business was born.

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Infection-free hospitals: a step closer

UCL is leading the development of a major class of new medical devices. Translating innovative science into patient benefit, novel antibacterial materials could herald impressive reductions in hospital-acquired infections.

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Advanced mathematics for human benefit

Operational research uses the techniques of mathematics to maximize the productive use of resources in large systems or organizations. At UCL’s Clinical Operational Research Unit, the focus is on the varied challenges that confront the delivery of healthcare. CORU’s director Professor Martin Utley came to the field from high-energy physics in order, he says, ‘to get a feeling of more frequently solving problems’.

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A polished spin-out: Zeeko

When it comes to polishing precision optical surfaces – the smoother and more accurate, the better the performance. That’s where Zeeko comes in. The UCL spin-out uses ground-breaking intelligent robotic polishing technology to create ultra-precision machines with extensive applications, from healthcare to space exploration.

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Interactive map will help to ensure that crime doesn’t pay

Witness Confident has set itself a tough task: reducing the level of violent street crime in two London boroughs by a fifth before mid decade. The charity, which encourages the public to take a stand and bear witness, rather than turn a blind eye, needed help to develop an interactive Google map which could see police, victims, witnesses and the general public working together to prevent and solve crime.

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Tales of Things

‘If these walls could talk...’ So goes the saying. Well, now they can, thanks to a joint innovation from UCL, Edinburgh College of Art, Brunel University, the University of Dundee and the University of Salford. Tales of Things electronic Memory (TOTeM) is a web-based platform that gives objects – anything from walls to shoes – a voice. It allows users to imbue a thing with the memories they link to it.

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Space Syntax: Making sense of spaces

Sector-leading company Space Syntax has deep roots in pioneering UCL research. It applies an evidence-based approach to explain why people use spaces as they do, providing valuable knowledge to architects, planners and developers.

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Spinout comes ‘home’ for help with wireless sensor network enhancements

Their original military application having expanded to include myriad industrial and commercial uses, wireless sensor networks are a dynamic research area where enhancements are constantly being sought. UCL spinout Senceive, whose product FlatMesh enables lots of tiny sensors to be positioned discreetly over a densely-packed area, needed the university’s expertise and equipment to test proposed developments to its system.

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Computer science graduate helps London start-up through testing times

In late 2009, Camden-based software development company Screama launched a new product which enables companies to send marketing ads with outbound emails. It needed to try it out on potential users first, though, to objectively assess whether it met its intended purpose. Working to a tight schedule, HELO matched the company with UCL graduate Ashton King, a specialist in human-computer interaction, who substituted an expert review for multiple real-life users. Screama was delighted with the results – and Ashton was spurred on to start his own consultancy, Tigersense.

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Business awards help engineering graduates to optimise their success

Frustrated that academic research involving algorithms in computing wasn’t being used to benefit business and industry, Daniel Hulme (UCL EngD candidate) and Alastair Moore (UCL Dept of Computer Science) launched Satalia, offering a software package using algorithms to carry out complex optimisation.

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Research to road - A journey to chemical success

With 303.8 billion vehicle miles covered each year in Britain, there’s a clear need for clean exhaust fumes. Usually a costly process, cutting-edge chemistry can offer more affordable approaches to emission control. A recent knowledge link-up between UCL and industry giant Johnson Matthey, as part of the EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Secondment scheme,took us another step closer to cheaper clean air.

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Bringing astronomy down to earth

Analysing starlight seems about as far removed from solving problems here on earth as it’s possible to get. ‘Astronomical spectroscopy is a long way ahead of applicability,’ admits UCL’s Professor Jonathan Tennyson. ‘I’m a blue-sky physicist. And yet my work has more subtle applications than you might imagine.’

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Marketing strategy helps company back to growth


PQ2 Ltd, a distributor of greetings cards, stationery and fine arts prints to retail gift shops, interior designers and department stores including Harrods, approached HELO to inject some fresh thinking into its sales strategy.

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Joint UCL/LBS team helps Photoedge to sharpen its focus on the future

Preparing his company to attract potential investment, Peter Rosen sought advice from those with far less experience than he – students from UCL and London Business School (LBS). Put together by HELO and led by MBA student Sebastian Sutherland, a team of six looked at all aspects of Photoedge’s eco-friendly canvas and photo prints business and suggested lowering the cost of production and formalising Peter’s business partnership.

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Corporate massage business gets a timely health check

Corporate massage has become increasingly popular over the past decade. Charlotte Hunter, managing director of the On Site Massage Co., has approached HELO for an objective assessment of the business. The HELO team put together a team of four students who conducted business analysis and drew up a list of recommendations to take the company forward.

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Making maps work for communities

Maps are not only a matter of geographic record, they are also persuasive visual documents that can be used to improve local environments, as many communities are finding with the help of Mapping for Change.

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Energy storage concept may be the answer to a greener future

Charlie Dunnill’s prototype for an energy-efficient water-splitting device that can convert electricity into hydrogen has come a long way since he started “tinkering in the barn.” UCL Advances helped to develop a prototype for the H2-NRG WSD, with prize money from the London Entrepreneurs’ Challenge and other sources, as well as with highly technical 3D CAD drawings arranged by the HELO programme.

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SentiMag: Detecting cancer cells effectively

Cancer specialists may be able to monitor the spread of cancer cells more easily, thanks to research carried out in the labs of Professor Quentin Pankhurst of the Department of Physics & Astronomy at UCL. This pioneering work led to the spin-out company Endomagnetics Ltd, which was set up in 2007 to commercialise the technology. A detecting device, SentiMag, is now available for use in breast cancer patients, and the team is looking at how the technology can be used in patients with other forms of cancer.

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Electrochemical Innovation: from concept to commerce

With low emission energy high on everyone’s agenda, electrochemical technologies offer a viable source of green power and low-carbon manufacturing. That’s why UCL’s Electrochemical Innovation Laboratory (EIL), which is developing novel power sources and chemical process technologies, is generating excitement in industry as well as research fields.

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KEA programme leads to a sea-change in career plan for one PhD student

With her expertise in applied econometrics, Tina Liu seemed destined for a career in academia upon completing her PhD. Instead, after nine months working as a Knowledge Exchange Associate (KEA) with Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd, ostensibly to make her knowledge of the sector “less abstract and more practical”, she says, she’s found an alternative career. Now a full-time consultant at the company, she and Drewry both agree that the UCL Advances-run programme gave them time and space to see if each other’s different perspectives were compatible. In this case, the answer was yes.

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Incredible invention was earmarked for success

His idea for a compact but crystal-clear audio system that is both easily portable and very powerful won Bradford Backus, a research scientist at UCL’s Ear Institute, not only the London Entrepreneurs’ Challenge but also a number of other internal and external awards.

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Maintaining the Creative Edge

UCL research across a broad range of disciplines helps to ensure that leading design and engineering company, Arup, can stay at the forefront of creativity and innovation.

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Aerobic Bins – Weight Reduction Calculations

HELO’s commitment to helping small and medium sized enterprises with the latest innovations was put to the test when a team was asked to prove to local councils that a new system could dispose of biodegradable household waste more effectively.

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Turning turbo design around


The shape of a blade can make or break any turbo machine. UCL spin-out company Advanced Design Technology (ADT) has turned aerodynamic blade design on its head, improving performance, reducing costs and cutting emissions.

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