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Tanaka Business School wins Business Week case study award

For immediate release
Monday 27 June 2005

The Director of Imperial College's Entrepreneurship Centre, Dr Simon Barnes, has won the Entrepreneurship category of the 2005 Business Week/ECCH European Case Awards with his case study exploring the venture capital financing of Renovo, a biotechnology start up company at the University of Manchester.

Renovo: Venture Capital at the Cutting Edge charts the challenges faced by the entrepreneurs who created Renovo and in the process raised £30million in venture capital finance.

The winners in each category for the Business Week Awards are based on overall use by business schools internationally, and a blind review process by the award committee.

The Renovo case examines the issues central to the creation of technology start-ups from the viewpoint of both entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, and with the aim of reaching a deal that is acceptable to both. The case also illustrates milestone-based financing for venture capital-backed technology start-ups, and the complexities of creating a business from within an academic institution.

Dr Barnes, who with Rob Zegelaar led the first round of investment in the company before joining Imperial College's Tanaka Business School, said the Renovo case showed just what could be achieved in terms of venture financings:

"After 18 months of developing business plans, talking to venture capitalists, negotiating with strategic partners and managing expectations, Renovo was close to securing the largest first round of venture capital finance ever seen in the UK for a life sciences start up.

"With this level of finance, the scientists involved were finally in a position to build the world's leading drug discovery company focused on scar-free wound healing therapies."

Professor David Begg, Principal of Tanaka Business School, said Dr Barnes was leading by example for the School's MBA students:

"Simon's win reinforces the excellence of our MBA Programme. An integral part is active involvement in internal business plan competitions and our unique Technology Venture Project, where students practice their skills by preparing feasibility studies on pieces of live commercial research."

Dr Barnes' case on Renovo was published last year in the International Journal for Entrepreneurship Education and received the journal's Mercia Prize for Best Case Study.

The final award will be presented in Paris on 6 September.

For further information contact:

Susie Haywood
Press and PR Manager
Tanaka Business School
Imperial College London
Ph: 020 7595 9154
Mob: 07739 851 881

Notes to editors

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 College'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