Ventures with Prof Bill Aulet, MIT

Ready to take your venture to the next level?

Applications for L.E.V8 Cohort 4 will open in July 2020. Please register your interest in applying.

To date, the Foundry has supported 19 start-ups who have been valued in excess of £40m. They have raised over £8m, and created 70+ jobs globally. 

The Foundry has a global network of advisors, ambassadors and mentors including Professor Bill Aulet, MIT (pictured), Biz Stone, Cofounder of Twitter and Medium, and Jenny Tooth OBE, UK Business Angels Association. The accelerator is hosted in the Amersi Foundation accelerator space in the Oxford Foundry, Hythe Bridge Street. The Oxford Foundry and L.E.V8 have been featured in Forbes and the Sunday Times, and have a global network of leading entrepreneurs, mentors and advisors.

OXFO L.E.V8 (Elevate) at the Oxford Foundry is the University of Oxford’s most diverse accelerator, designed to support and nurture early-stage start-up teams affiliated to the University. The programme takes in up to 14 high potential ventures throughout an academic year.

The 2019-2020 programme will run from November 2019 – May 2020. Ventures are provided with an intensive programme of support which includes masterclasses, access to a network of industry experts, mentors and advisors, grant funding, access to free legal and finance guidance, co-working space, and much more. The programme is equity-free and delivers valuable learning and resources worth over £60K per team. Our investor network includes over 500 VCs and angels who are actively engaged with the accelerator.

Take a look at the venture portfolios for L.E.V8 cohort 1 (2018)cohort 2 (2019) and cohort 3 (19-20) and the FAQs.

Mentors and Resident experts include: 

Benn Legg, Board of Directors, Ola 

Stephen Scruton, Professor of Practice, Hult Business School, Former MD & Head of Research, HSBC and Lead Investor, Think Cyber Security Ltd

Claire Davenport, Chief Executive Officer at notonthehighstreet.com

Robin Saunders, Owner, Clearbrook Capital Partners LLP

Niamh Gavin, Global startup partner

Srin Madipalli, Product Manager, Airbnb

Farzana Baduel, CEO, Curzon PR

Kal Patel, Senior Advisor & partner @Vantage Point, & ex-CEO/President at BestBuy

Dominic Jacquesson, Director of Talent at Index Ventures

Feedback from cohort 2 

100% of entrepreneurs said they would recommend L.E.V8 to other startups.

100% of entrepreneurs said the OXFO L.E.V8 accelerator exceeded their expectations.

Overall, the programme received a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 9.1.

LEV8 Venture Logos

WHO CAN APPLY?

OXFO L.E.V8 welcomes applications from any start-up team that includes at least one University of Oxford student, member of staff, or alumnus / alumna. Solo founders can also apply. 

WHEN CAN I APPLY?

Applications for cohort 4 will open in July 2020. Please register your interest in applying.

HOW CAN I APPLY?

Application is through our online form. 

WHAT IS THE APPLICATION PROCESS?

Please apply online. Shortlisted ventures will be invited to a 20 minute panel interview. Final candidates will be invited to a second interview.   

All interview dates will be published in advance once applications are open. 

CAN WE APPLY IF WE’RE JUST AT THE IDEA STAGE?

OXFO L.E.V8 is for startups with a clear value proposition, who have ideally developed a minimum viable product (MVP) or who can demonstrate that their venture has traction.  

WHAT’S THE DEAL?

We offer each team a support package worth an estimated £60k, including:

  • Access to our network of investors, mentors and partners
  • Financial and legal advice for starting and scaling your business
  • Direct access to a network of experts who are available for 1-to-1 meetings throughout the journey. These include thought-leaders and highly regarded practitioners such as Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, and Robin Saunders, Managing Partner at Clearbrook Capital.
  • Support to build leadership, resilience skills and an entrepreneurial mindset
  • Dynamic masterclasses and workshops from leading experts and experienced entrepreneurs 
  • Tech and product development 
  • Fundraising advice
  • Hiring support and introductions to potential team members and cofounders
  • Help with product-market fit 
  • Sales and client introductions

     

    WHAT COMMITMENT DO YOU NEED FROM ME?

  • Participation in the programme, all of which is tailor-made
  • Presence in the accelerator space at least on a weekly basis. N.B. The accelerator is open 7 days a week. Attendance is flexible. The Oxford Foundry is a 2 minute walk from Oxford station and an easy 1 hour commute from London
  • Behaviour appropriate for the Oxford Foundry, and for a co-working environment
  • A desire to scale your venture, with our support
  • To have a great time! The programme is all about your personal learning journey and growth – and we want you to have as much fun as possible along the way!

WHAT ABOUT EQUITY AND IP?

OXFO L.E.V8 is a completely free package, and we will not take any equity or claim any ownership in ideas or intellectual property (IP) created by the ventures we support based on this help.

However, if non-Foundry University staff contribute to your ideas outside of the L.E.V8 programme, or if University research is involved, there may well be formal legal obligations between the University and its staff or the sponsor(s) of the research that you might not be aware of as a student entrepreneur. See more about IP at Oxford here, or contact us directly if you have specific questions around this via info@oxfordfoundry.ox.ac.uk.

GOT ANY MORE QUESTIONS? 

Take a look at our FAQ, or email us directly at info@oxfordfoundry.ox.ac.uk.

Reid Hoffman, Cofounder, LinkedIN
Reid Hoffman, Cofounder, LinkedIn and Founding Donor, OXFO

The L.E.V8 programme has supported venture growth, given founders fundamental skills for running a business, and ultimately made ventures valuable in the eyes of key investors and influencers. If you want to take your venture to the next level, I advise you apply.

Biz Stone, Cofounder, Twitter
Biz Stone, Cofounder, Twitter, Medium: OXFO Advisory Board

With OXFO, Oxford has now established its own centre of entrepreneurial gravity. I've been coming to Oxford for years as a Silicon Valley speaker and a contributor to the ecosytem here, and now Oxford has a centre of innovation that is going to be self-reinforcing, and that will only get stronger and stronger. I'm glad to be part of it and I urge you all to nurture it, support it, be part of it - as much as you give, you’ll get back in multitudes.”

Arlan Hamilton, Backstage Capital
Arlan Hamilton, Founder, Backstage Capital. OXFO Advisor
Arlan Hamilton, Backstage Capital

For me, it's simple: I want people of every gender and color to see themselves represented in the world of startups. I believe that you have to be your biggest champion, you have to be a superhero for yourself. You can't leave it up to others to do so.

Danae Maragouthakis, Co-founder & Business development Manager, Scout Health
Danae Maragouthakis, Co-founder, Pod Health

The six months we spent on the OXFO L.E.V8 accelerator benefited Pod Health in so many ways: we got the space and support we needed so that we could focus on developing our business; we had access to some brilliant mentors and experts; and we were connected to a group of super-talented and supportive entrepreneurial peers.

Infogrid team
Will de Gruchy Cowell, Co-founder, Infogrid

“The OXFO LEV8 programme was incredible - and far exceeded expectations. We as a company, and I personally, have emerged after 6 months with a far broader understanding of lots of key topics. We also have excellent and hopefully lifelong relationships with some incredible people we'd never have had a chance to meet otherwise. That we've had all of this for no cost and no equity is truly astounding. The team worked tirelessly to make this happen, and we all have them to thank for an amazing programme.”

Sociability
Matt Pierri, Co-Founder, SociAbility

“I have really enjoyed the accelerator programme and gained a lot from the experience. For me, it has given me a really useful structure to my startup journey and I've learnt a lot about the practicalities of running an early-stage business that I was otherwise unaware of. To that end, it has also given me a strong network of fellow entrepreneurs and mentors to seek advice from. I really liked our cohort!”

Ella, WowYou!
Ella O'Connor, Co-founder, WowYou!

“Before the programme, I couldn't really see the possibilities for growing the business as big as I can envisage now. It's given me the confidence to build the business for its future potential, rather than cutting corners at this stage to save money.

Oxwash bike
Alice Curry
Alice Curry, Co-founder, Lantana Publishing

I'm incredibly proud of our entrepreneurial journey over the past six months, and many of our successes come down to the L.E.V8 Accelerator at the Oxford Foundry.

Nye health
Alex Finlayson, Co-founder, Nye Health

We were part of the L.EV8 cohort last year/this year at the Oxford Foundry. It was an incredible experience and I can’t recommend it highly enough if you want the building a business. The people that work there are incredible; kind, effective & brilliant. The culture is magnificent for companies navigating the choppy waters of building something that delivers a positive social impact.

Irwin Zaid
Irwin Zaid, Co-founder, See-Through Scientific

Last year, we were fortunate to be part of the L.EV8 cohort. It was a fantastic experience, enabling us to truly grow with the right contacts and support. I truly can't recommend it enough if you are an Oxford start-up looking to take your venture to the next level!

Kal Patel, Business Advisor, CEO BestBuy Asia
Kal Patel, Business Advisor, CEO BestBuy Asia

I have been fortunate enough to coach and mentor entrepreneurs on the L.EV8 programme at the Oxford Foundry. It’s an amazing programme and is a great place to incubate, build and scale your venture. Six months equity-free support!!

I cannot hold the Oxford Foundry L.E.V.8 family and their mentors high enough! Such incredible, humble and overachieving people and such an wealth of world class leaders casually and semi-casually popping in and out, sharing their knowledge with this small group.

Frederic Krahforst, Founder, Scalework

Grateful for the Oxford Foundry's invaluable mentorship! As one of the first #OXFOLEV8 cohort, we really benefited from the support, platform and network provided by the accelerator programme.

Util

“Through internships with its accelerator ventures and through wider industry partnerships, the Foundry provides impressive opportunities for our students to develop their skills in a commercial setting. It’s my belief that their programmes deliver valuable societal and economic benefits for both the students and our industrial partners.”

Lionel Tarassenko CBE, Professor of Electrical Engineering

“The L.E.V8 Accelerator is producing serious, scalable businesses, that are changing people’s lives for the better. Oxford is leading the way in universitybased venture acceleration, and as a resident expert to the Foundry, I believe that it’s imperative that we all support such initiatives to reach further and achieve more, for all of our tomorrows.”

Ben Legg, Managing Director, Ola UK

“I’ve been involved in advising major international businesses for many years, but there’s something particularly exciting about launching something completely new. I am thrilled to have been asked to help young entrepreneurs to translate their vision,ambition and energy into viable new businesses, and it’s so rewarding to see them develop personally and professionally through the L.E.V8 programme.”

Robin Saunders, Managing Partner at Clearbrook Capital

“Through my work with high-profile leaders of large multinationals, I know how crucial it is to challenge leaders to think in fresh ways and adopt new perspectives. By nurturing this fresh thinking and combining it with access to strong networks, the Foundry is ensuring that these young ventures are setting the right course for the future. Their commitment and determination is formidable. They are smart, they are focused and they are irrepressible.”

Kevin Roberts, ex-CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi