The SoundSYNK team

Exeter students reach world final of international Microsoft competition

A team of students, including Alexander Bochenski a 2nd year Business Economics undergraduate in the Business School, has come first in the national heat of the Microsoft Imagine Cup, an international student technology competition in which students develop their own apps from scratch.

They will now travel to Russia in May to participate in the global final, where the top prize stands at £50,000. Supported by the Students’ Guild’s entrepreneurial support unit Ignite, and in association with SETsquared and the Innovation Centre at the University of Exeter, soundSYNK wowed the Microsoft judges with their team’s app, which synchronises its user’s music with other mobile devices to create a stereo experience without the need for external speakers.

Alexander said: “We are absolutely ecstatic. Representing the UK is an honour and we are going to do everything we can to win in Russia. We are grateful to both the University of Exeter Students’ Guild and SETsquared for all their support so far.”

The success of soundSYNK comes just after the news that they have secured a £10,000 grant from Creative England to help develop their app and fulfill their entrepreneurial ambitions.

The winning Exeter team were closely followed in the competition by another team of Exeter students, Ticklo, whose progressive learning app aimed at students and teachers at KS2 landed them with second place.

Tracy Costello, Deputy Chief Executive of the University of Exeter Students’ Guild, said: “This success is a testimony to the entrepreneurship, commitment and talent of our students, and the quality of their support mechanisms. The teams came together and created their initial ideas at a weekend appathon hosted by the Guild's new entrepreneur support unit, Ignite, and have worked incredibly hard since then. Particular thanks goes to the innovation centre at the University of Exeter and SETsquared for their specialist support."

SETsquared’s partnership director, Graham Harrison, said: “We had great belief in SoundSYNK from the outset. They had a great idea and, with our guidance, have turned it into what could be potentially a highly-profitable business with a sustainable future.

“Anyone can build an app to a certain degree, but turning it into a successful business, as these students have done, and making the most of the UK’s booming app market is another thing entirely.”

Date: 30 May 2013

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