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Tanaka Business School team finds answer to lost London laptops

For immediate release
Thursday 26 May 2005

Left your laptop in a cab and know you will never see it - or that important data - again? Bought the latest mobile, only to have it go astray? The winners of the 2005 Tanaka Business School Business Plan Competition, "Doh! lost & found", think they have the answer to many a person losing their personal electronic equipment in London cabs, on the tube, or elsewhere.

According to PointSec, in the last six months a staggering 63,000 mobile phones, 5,800 Pocket PCs and 5,000 laptops were left in London taxi cabs alone. Thousands were not returned to their owners as there was no means of identifying the owner or incentivising the finder to return the item. Owners had to deal with not only replacing the item but having to start from scratch locating phone numbers and addresses and work documents.

Doh! lost & found offers an item retrieval service based on serialised identification tags that tell the finder how to return an item easily in return for a reward. Similar services are already popular in the United States and Australia, but despite retrieval rates exceeding 80% in the US, web-based lost and found services have yet to take hold within the UK.

Dr Simon Barnes from Tanaka Business School's Entrepreneurship Centre is enthusiastic about the team's idea:

"With initial negotiations already underway with a major UK electronics retailer, the team is now actively seeking to establish partnerships with home contents providers to take this exciting venture forward."

Second and third were the "London Gaming" and "Paros" teams.

The Doh! lost & found team will represent Tanaka Business School at the European MBA Business Plan competition in Stockholm next week. Dr Barnes said: "Tanaka Business School has a very strong track record in the European competition. We have been placed in the top three in eight out of the last nine entries, we have won twice and last year came second. I'm confident that Doh! lost & found will continue this winning streak in Stockholm."

For further information contact:

Susie Haywood
Press and PR Manager
Tanaka Business School
Tel:+44 (0)20 7594 9154
Mob:+44 (0)7739 851 881

Notes to editors:

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About Tanaka Business School

The business of science, the science of business

Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality.
Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.

Imperial's Tanaka Business School is a world-class provider of business education and research, focusing primarily on Imperial strengths in innovation and entrepreneurship, finance, and healthcare management. It offers full-time and executive MBAs, Masters programmes in Finance, Risk Management, Health Management and Management; and a PhD programme. The Financial Times currently ranks Tanaka Business School as 4th in Europe for research excellence, 10th in the world for its Executive MBA and 1st in Europe and 5th in the world for entrepreneurship.