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Cass students win £2,000 prize at CitySpark

Business idea inspired by underdeveloped music industry in Russia and the Ukraine

Two Cass undergraduate students have been awarded £2,000 at this year's CitySpark Summer School, the student innovation and enterprise programme delivered to students of all Schools right across City University London.

Bogdan Maksak, BSc Accounting and Finance and Alexander Zheltov BSc Management came up with the idea of "Make them happen Music" a music label, which would employ UK professionals to produce very talented Russian and Ukrainian singers.

Bogdan Maksak and Alexander Zheltov are both very passionate about music; Bogdan owns his own video production company and Alexander attended the Gnesinksaya Music School in Russia. Their idea stemmed from their knowledge and experience of the Russian and Ukrainian music industry.

The music industry is still in its infancy stage in Russia and Ukraine and consequently music labels in those countries do not have highly experienced professionals. To solve this problem, "Make them Happen Music" would employ well skilled UK composers, film directors, music distribution professionals and strategy managers to work with talented, high potential Russian and Ukrainian singers, who would be selected by a Russian based team.

Bohdan Maksak said: "Our primary goal of entering the CitySpark competition was to get funding for the first video clip, which we are now shooting in Montenegro. Secondly, we wanted to hear some criticism, so that we could develop our idea more. We feel very thankful to the CitySpark organisers who helped us and all the other young entrepreneurs of City who turn our ideas into real businesses."

Alexander Zheltov said: "I think that CitySpark Summer School was a fantastic experience for everybody, who participated in it. The entrepreneurial skills gained there in such a short period of time are going to be useful for us. Special thanks should be given to mentors, organisers and wonderful teachers. Events like this are about making the future brighter and more valuable for entrepreneurs and the community. The prize is a big stimulus and helped us to realise once again that our idea is going to work and has a chance to exist."

Other winners included "LocalisingYou" a project by Huda Mahdi (MSc Computer Games Technology) and Adam Paciorek (MSc e-Business Systems) which translates and dubs digital games to Arabic, creating a connection between Arabic gamers and their favourite game companies. The business idea took the first prize of £5,000.

Second prize of £3,000 was awarded to Ashley Langham (Graduate Entry LLB) for E. E. Skate Shop, a Skate Shop embracing the culture of the skating community in East London.

The CitySpark Summer School took place 11 - 13 June. For three intense days the participating students were given the chance to rethink the foundation of their ideas, build their teams and finally pitch to our panel of judges. 33 students from several different departments took part and 11 teams pitched on the last day.

Bohdan Maksak from "Make them happen Music" was also part of City's team that won the the Rising Star Enterprise Challenge at London Metropolitan University in November last year.

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