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Ballet shoe company shortlisted for award
Dr Matthew Wyon, from the School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure, is a finalist in the Innovative Business of the Year category of the Startups Awards.
Dr Wyon is a Reader in Performance Science and has established the University as a leading institution in dance science research.
His company, Flyte Limited, came up with the concept of a new pointe shoe for female ballet dancers using advances from the sport shoe industry. The company designs, assembles, markets, sells and distributes dance shoes, clothing and accessories.
Dr Wyon, who runs the company with his wife Claire, who is an ex-professional dancer, said: “We are very excited at being short-listed as it means other people have also seen the innovation and potential of the company. The company has short listed for the Lord Stafford Awards last year and hopes to go one better this year.”
Inspiration for the company came from the high rate of injury suffered by dancers. Dr Wyon investigated what sport science could do to improve this, and the resulting ballet shoe lasts longer, improves balance whilst en pointe and has improved shock absorption whilst jumping.
Flyte received financial and technical support from the Mercia Spinner initiative operated by the University to help protect and test the exploitation of new ideas emerging from universities. The funding was used to develop the design and production of the improved ballet shoe. They also received a £147,000 investment from the Advantage Creative Fund.
The winners of the Startups Awards will be announced at a ceremony at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London, on Thursday, 30 October, 2008.
Picture: Dr Matt Wyon
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