Student start-up goes from strength to strength

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A start-up, founded by Manchester Business School student Simon Specka and his business partner Markus Hänel, has received six-figure investment funding from company builder, Project A Ventures. This follows their move to the investor-backed Axel Springer Plug and Play Business Accelerator in Berlin earlier this year.

Simon and Markus are the first graduates of IQuBit –The University of Manchester’s digital business accelerator – and won second prize in the technology category of Manchester Enterprise Centre’s Venture Further 2013 business start-up competition.

The company – ZenGuard – was founded in Manchester in 2013 and its first product – ZenMate – protects users’ privacy while surfing the Internet.

MSc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship student, Simon said: “The investment is a great chance to develop our product further, as well as for developing other products, expanding our user base, scaling our team and professionalising our company structures. We are very happy to have one of the leading European experts in their respective fields on board.

“The support at The University of Manchester was very helpful at the very beginning as it provided office space and a great network to work with and challenge our ideas.”

Dr Martin Henery, Venture Further Competition Director, commented: “The drive and passion exhibited by Simon and Markus has transformed their concept into an exciting opportunity that investors want to get involved with.”

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