November 16th 2011 – Fantasy Shopper, a company supported by the SETsquared Partnership, has been announced by Amazon Web Services LLC (AWS), an Amazon.com company, as the winner of the fifth annual AWS Start-Up Challenge.
The competition recognises start-ups that use the AWS cloud computing platform. This year AWS received more than 1,500 applications from 78 countries. Fantasy Shopper was awarded US$50,000 in cash and US$50,000 in AWS credits, AWS premium support services for one year and technical mentorship from Amazon Web Services.
Based at the University of Exeter Innovation Centre, Fantasy Shopper is a social shopping game. The shopping platform centralises, socialises and “gamifies” online shopping to provide a real-world experience.
Graham Harrison, Partnership Director of SETsquared, said: “I’m delighted at Fantasy Shopper’s award win – this is recognition of the fact that the UK is home to some of the world’s brightest and best new companies, many of which we support in our innovation centres.”
Chris Prescott, Co-Founder and CEO at Fantasy Shopper, said: “The Innovation Centre has really supported us this year: it’s a fantastic place to be with a great team.”
The SETsquared Partnership is the enterprise collaboration between five universities: Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. The partnership works with academia, industry, students and start-ups to generate economic growth and has the UK’s largest network of incubators for early-stage hi-tech, high growth potential companies
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About the SETsquared Partnership
The SETsquared Partnership is the enterprise collaboration of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. Together, the universities employ 7,400 academic staff; and earn nearly 10% of the UK’s higher education research budget.
The partnership has a 10-year track record of supporting companies through its business acceleration centres, which provide access to industry specialists, investors and experienced entrepreneurs. SETsquared currently supports over 250 early stage high-tech, high growth potential businesses, and 90% of its incubated companies are still in business three years on. In the past five years, nearly £0.75bn in investment funding has been raised by spin outs and incubated companies.
SETsquared supports student enterprise including an annual showcase and a global scholars program. It provides opportunities for industry to access academic ideas with commercial potential and seeks to promote the impact, economically and socially, of its institutions’ research and enterprise activities.
About Fantasy Shopper
Fantasy Shopper is a social shopping game and a fashion discovery platform rolled into a compelling user experience. On Fantasy Shopper, players use Fantasy Money to create outfits and stock up their virtual wardrobes, all with real-world clothing and accessories from real retailers. There are badges to be won, events to create outfits for and friends to help in picking the right styles, and all the while the hourly Paydays keep replenishing the Fantasy Money account of the players.
“Fantasy Shopper is not a social game with e-commerce bolted on to generate revenue, nor is it an e-commerce site with social or gamification layers added on to increase engagement,” says CEO and co-founder Chris Prescott. “Fantasy Shopper centralises, socialises and gamifies online shopping and has each of these three elements tightly woven into its DNA to create a unique and highly addictive user experience”
Nick Daines, Lumen PR
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