Venture creation and growth

We've supported 32 ventures across three accelerator cohorts, and ten more have joined in April 2021. Cohorts 1-3 have:

  • Raised £43 million+ in investment since joining the accelerator 
  • Are valued at over £150m+
  • Have created 170+ jobs
  • 75% have gone on to raise investment in Europe and the US since joining the accelerator
  • 86% of ventures are revenue generating 
  • Ventures have been featured in the media over 100 times including Fortune, TechCrunch and The Telegraph
  • Ventures have won awards including Forbes 30 under 30 and Microsoft and Mayfield’s $1m female founders competition
  • 100% of OXFO ventures have social missions at their core whilst being commercial, for-profit entities
  • The accelerator has a Net Promotor score on par with commercial accelerators
  • Ventures on the OXFO Rapid Solutions Builder have raised: Vatic (£2.4m and created 15 jobs), Devie (raised £90,000), Oblivious AI have secured their pre-seed round of 1.2m EUR, (the details of which will be announced in March), Crowdless (have raised £275k including Innovate UK’s Business Response to Covid-19 Disruption grant (£50k) and Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund (170k)).
  • As part of our OXFO Covid-19 Action Plan we raised a startup grant runway fund of £120,000 to support our ventures

Democratising entrepreneurship

The Oxford Foundry has a core focus of addressing the underinvestment in, and opportunity gap, that exists for underrepresented founders.

  • The OXFO Elevate Women programme has supported 16 ventures - 21 women - through two cohorts. The programme is designed to support women to build and scale their ventures, addressing the unique challenges they face as women in entrepreneurship through workshops, 121 mentoring and access to networks
  • OXFO Elevate women ventures have gone on to raise a total of £6 million in funding and create seven jobs
  • Following the programme, 100% of participants said the programme increased their confidence to take risks
  • 88% said the programme increased their resilience in facing setbacks with their venture
  • 100% of participants said the programme increased their confidence in their ability to move their idea forward
  • We ran a successful pilot programme with The Prince’s Trust, giving access to the Foundry's learning programmes and the All-Innovate ideas competition to talent from challenged socio-economic backgrounds. 30 participants took part and two ventures were awarded funding
  • We've worked with the University to launch the University’s first scholarship for Black students from disadvantaged backgrounds with US tech entrepreneur and Foundry Honorary Advisor Arlan Hamilton
  • We are working hard towards ensuring equality for underrepresented groups across all our programmes and at all levels, with a new Future Leaders Student Entrepreneurial Fellowship and work placement scheme supporting students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, being announced in March 2021, in partnership with Santander Universities.

Creating entrepreneurial mindsets, closing the tech skills gap, and supporting student careers

  • We've formed industry partnerships with EY, OSI, Ripple and Santander Universities
  • We've launched impactful educational, solution-focused programmes and initiatives including AI Impact Weekend and All-Innovate. These address tough world problems such as Climate Change, and fake news, through entrepreneurship and Institution-wide, multidisciplinary collaboration, bringing together students and academics, across 38 colleges and 4 divisions. 300 students have taken part in AI Impact Weekends. Over 250 students have entered an idea to All-Innovate and £50,000 of prize money and follow-on support has been given to build winning ventures
  • We've delivered over 11,000 hours of experiential learning
  • We've had 2,000 engagements across all divisions with our Foundry's tech speaker series and workshops on coding in Python, blockchain and Machine learning. More women than men participated in the Python workshops, vitally supporting women in tech
  • 111 ideas were submitted to our OXFO Rapid Solutions Builder, and four were taken forward, participating in 90 121s and online workshops
  • We've had 2,590 engagements with our entrepreneurial skills workshops and activities
  • We've introduced thousands of students to entrepreneurship through our OXFO booster grants and outreach activities
  • We've embedded entrepreneurship into the Physics curriculum through a successful seven week 'Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Graduate Physicists' course, and we are expanding this to other years of study and other departments
  • We've facilitated student internships with ventures, for example Physics student Alex Cheema worked at OXFO venture Veratrak, Lantana hired Oxford interns, and Ufonia has taken on four interns following the OXFO Covid-19 Action plan.
  • The OXFO Entrepreneurship online learning library is launching in September 2021 to enhance students’ access to the critical entrepreneurial and leadership skills they need for their futures. The online library includes over 100 unique video learning courses from the Oxford Foundry’s global network of Experts in Practice and thought-leaders, along with accompanying resources and community.

Membership and community

  • There have been 17,000 engagements with the Foundry since we launched, including re-engaging over 3,200 alumni, 1000 staff, and 500 investors and external experts
  • This includes 13% of the Oxford student body from all 4 divisions and 38 colleges. The current Foundry membership of 3,300+ is made up of 107 nationalities, 37% Undergraduate, 32% Postgraduate/ DPhil, 27% Masters education level, with a 46.3% Female, 51.3% Male, 3% unspecified split. We've built a large and engaged online community with 10,000 followers on our social media and 300,000 website views.

Strategy and reputation

  • We've developed the Foundry's unique and successful five stage experiential learning and delivery methodology (formed from Oxford Foundry Director Ana Bakshi's research, and work building university startup ecosystems)
  • We've built an Advisory Board, Academic Steering Committee and unique University-wide Student Advisory Board with 38+ student societies
  • We've led the Foundry to be featured in the press over 70+ times including in the Financial Times, BBC, Sunday Times, USA Today, Forbes, Business Insider and The Guardian, including supporting the University of Oxford to lead The Guardian's graduate outcome rankings after 10 years
  • We've attracted high-profile entrepreneurs, world leaders and advisors
  • We've developed and led the fundraising and donor strategy for the Foundry
  • Director Ana Bakshi published the White Paper 'Universities: Drivers of Prosperity and Economic Recovery' in October 2020.