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Startup uses Mathematics to Revolutionise the Little Black Dress

Manchester sisters Rachel and Laura Beattie apply Mathematics to create a first of its kind dress, the perfect black dress, for all women


Laura and Rachel Beattie

Growing up, I remember always stealing my sisters clothes…” says Rachel Beattie, Co-Founder of Careaux, “I always found I wanted to change something about each dress, but I couldn’t!

This insight stayed with Rachel who, when she was fourteen, had a dream of a dress that could adapt to each woman’s unique shape and different style preferences. The dream continued to develop into reality when Rachel was studying Maths at the University of Manchester. She delved deeper into the Mathematical principles behind Careauxcombinatorics (abstract algebra) to study the size, fit and style  of dresses, and the size and shape of women; finding patterns to match the two much better than conventional fashion.

Rachel and Laura  wanted to address the longstanding issue that has faced so many women, namely the issue of a dress that they love just not fitting them. For years, women have had to struggle with the one size fits all mentality whilst many of the fundamental aspects of fashion (particularly cut and fit) have remained unchanged for decades. But now Careaux is here to change that with  the Careaux magic – a concept never seen before that creates something unique, innovative and beautiful; giving the little black dress a new DNA.

“I love Rachel and Laura’s passion for Maths and fashion which they’ve used to reinvent the little black dress in such a clever way!  For any woman with a top half bigger or smaller than their bottom, their idea solves the ill-fitting dress problem in a stylish and comfortable way – well done girls!”
– Rachel Riley, TV Presenter and Mathematician.


Pitch@Palace 9.0 – Applications NOW OPEN!

The Pitch@Palace 9.0 applications are now open and we would like to encourage you to apply.

The programme offers mentoring and advice to those developing business ideas around data, intelligence and the future of security.


Whether you simply have an idea on paper or your business is at the point of scaling up Pitch@Palace 9.0 seeks to discover entrepreneurs and companies that have identified opportunities in the following areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • IoT
  • Cyber-security
  • Blockchain
  • Defence
  • Cloud
  • 3D Printing

Manchester Enterprise Centre, UMIP and Business Engagement at The University of Manchester are delighted to announce that HRH, The Duke of York, is bringing a key boot camp event in his Pitch@Palace initiative to our campus in 2018.

Enterprise Associates – Call for applications

Are you a PhD student at The University of Manchester?

Do you have:

  • Prior experience in enterprise, business or commercial environments?
  • 4 hours per week to undertake paid project work? (You MUST NOT be a graduate teaching assistant/demonstrator or in the final year of your PhD)
  • The ability to adhere to deadlines and enthusiasm to gain valuable business-related experience to enhance your CV?

UMIP are recruiting a number of high calibre PhD student students to become UMIP Enterprise Associates and work in their spare time alongside UMIP’s Innovation Optimiser team to undertake a range of assignments.

AMBS Ignition Funding Opportunity – NOW OPEN

We are pleased to announce the relaunch of the Ignition Awards that aim to inspire and further build on the spirit of enterprise and innovation within AMBS. Last year saw over 9 awards made and many of these projects are now actively moving forwards, one of which has already formed as a company.

We are now seeking to inspire the next generation of individuals or teams with entrepreneurial ideas:

  • Are you currently working or studying at AMBS or a recent graduate?
  • Is your idea likely to be an entrepreneurial or innovative solution to a business, societal or environmental problem?
  • We are particularly keen this year to receive your ideas in FinTech, LegalTech or Digital and Creative areas…

Start-up health data specialist ViewItUK takes on more staff

From l to r: Mr Tony Walker, Dr Yousef Taktak, Dr Michael Donmall, Dr Andrew Jones

ViewItUK, a health data specialist, is aiming to double its headcount.

The company, which launched as a University of Manchester staff start-up three years ago, helps companies and organisations use and understand their data better, and communicate to a broad audience.

UMIP Social Enterprise Ignition Funding – Apply now

We are now seeking to ignite a new generation of individuals interested in pursuing a social business:

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  • Are you currently working or studying at The University of Manchester or a recent graduate?
  • Is your idea likely to benefit the public or community, or be an entrepreneurial solution to a societal, healthcare or environmental problem?
  • Do you have the passion to drive your idea forward and set up a project or social business?

Ignition Awards spark innovative ideas from Alliance MBS staff, students and alumni

Alliance Manchester Business School (Alliance MBS), alongside Manchester Enterprise Centre (MEC) and The University of Manchester’s Intellectual Property commercialisation division (UMIP) is pleased to announce their Ignition Funding Opportunity – 2016 has resulted in eight outstanding budding entrepreneurs receiving awards of £500 to £2000 to further develop their ideas.

The competition was open to all staff, students and recent graduates of Alliance MBS and individuals were encouraged to submit ideas for entrepreneurial solutions to business, social or environmental problems.

It was launched to support new opportunities to bring into reality the ideas of Alliance MBS staff and students and help to maximise their potential for ‘real world’ use or societal benefit.