When can I enter?

Online entry for All-Innovate was open from w/c 15 March - 6 June 2021 for the Trinity term competition.

How do I enter?
Entry is by short online form with questions outlining your idea.

Key dates

w/c 15th March - entries open for Trinity term 
6th June  - Entries close for the academic year 
10th - 11th June - Idea Development workshops for all entries
24th June Selection Bootcamp 
25th June - All-Innovate final! 

Am I eligible to enter?

The competition is open to all current University of Oxford students (undergraduate, postgraduate and DPhil) who have an official association to an Oxford College. If a team is made up of members of multiple participating colleges, then the team will enter through the college of the founder/leading team member, and may not submit multiple entries through multiple colleges. Should there be two co-founders, the college through which they enter will be at the team's own discretion. 

All entrants MUST be members of the Oxford Foundry. Becoming a member is easy, simply complete the online membership form.

Are visiting students able to enter the competition? 

Whilst the primary audience for the competition is full time students, visiting students are eligible to enter, at the college's discretion, if they have official association with the college. 

Is my idea at the right stage to enter?

Entrants will be judged on the idea itself as opposed to how developed the idea is. So whether you have just thought about an innovative solution to an everyday problem and think you might have found a niche, or you have been working on your idea for some time and have started to gain some traction, All-Innovate is for you! Read about the past finalists and winners:

Read about All-Innovate 2019/2020

Read about All-Innovate 2018/19

What are the judging criteria?

  • What is the problem that your idea is helping to solve? (Is there a clear need, does an interesting market exist? Will it be of benefit to society? What is the potential for positive impact?) 
  • How well does your idea address the problem? (Is your idea innovative, does it address the problem in a new way? How is it superior to potential competitors?) 
  • Strength of team (Why is this team best placed to work on this idea? Diversity of team and collaboration across departments will be looked on favourably) 
  • Potential viability of the idea (Considering the information provided about the idea, and the skillsets of the team) 
  • Quality of entry (How effectively the idea is communicated) 

What if my college hasn't opted in?

If your college hasn’t opted in, your entry will be supported by The Oxford Foundry, which you can select on the entry form.  

What additional support is there? 

EXCLUSIVE WORKSHOPS: All entrants will be invited to attend exclusive workshops. You can also talk to your colleges about entrepreneurial alumni they could connect you with.

The competition will be supported by two virtual workshop series;

  1. Idea Exploration: This workshop series takes you through the initial stages of the entrepreneurial journey with practical tools and frameworks to help guide you in the development of your idea.
  2. Creativity Series: This series, delivered by Rudi Sellers, IBMiX teaches you how to think more creatively and though the process of Enterprise Design Thinking. Through interactive group sessions, working with peers from across the university, you will learn how to use Design Thinking to enhance your skills in creativity, complex problem solving and collaborating with others, all of which have been identified by The World Economic Forum as essential skills to thrive in the new world of work.

These workshops are open to students from all Divisions and Colleges and are a fantastic chance to build your CV, meet new people and learn from our leading experts and facilitators. 

Selection Process

  • During both Hilary and Trinity Term, the process will run as below: 
  • Shortlist – We will shortlist the top two entries from each college to go through to the quarter final, in which you will pitch directly to experts who will provide feedback to your idea.   
  • During the quarter final 30 teams will be selected to go through to the All-Innovate semi-final. During the semi-final, you will pitch to a new panel, who will select the top 10 entries. 
  • Finalists - The 10 finalists will pitch at the All Innovate final contest for their chance to win a share of the prize money. 
  • 3 Winners: 
  • Best Idea - £10,000 
  • Best Undergraduate idea - £5,000 
  • Best Postgraduate idea - £5,000 

3 Winners:

  • Best Idea - £10,000
  • Best Undergraduate idea - £5,000
  • Best Postgraduate idea - £5,000

What will be involved in the 1 day selection boot camp?

The top two entrants from each college will go through to the bootcamp selection day. Whilst the day is a part of the shortlisting process to select the final 8 teams, it is also a fantastic learning opportunity to work with and receive feedback from expert mentors on your idea.

The one day boot camp day will involve 2 rounds of selection. Firstly you will pitch your idea to designated expert mentors, there will then be a pitching workshop, whilst the mentors decide who to take through to the second round. The teams who get through the first round will go on to pitch to the afternoon judging panel who will go on to shortlist the final 8 teams.

What will be involved in the 1 week boot camp for finalists?

The five day intensive workshop will be designed to support and prepare the teams in their vital next steps to move their business forward. The week will be made up of immersive workshops and deep-dives with experts. By the end of the week, each term will walk away with a personal and business development action plan.

What will be involved in the virtual quarter and semi-finals?  

The top two entrants from each college will go through to the quarter final. Whilst this is a part of the shortlisting process to select the final 10 teams, it is also a fantastic learning opportunity to work with and receive feedback from expert mentors on your idea.  

You will be given a specific timeslot to join a Zoom call. You will then be moved into a breakout room, with 5 other teams and two expert mentors. You will all pitch for 2 minutes and receive 8 minutes of feedback from the experts on your idea. Following the pitches, the experts will decide who to take through to the next round of selection.  

What are the guidelines around spending the prize money?

The prize money awarded is for the winning teams to spend on developing their idea. The Oxford Foundry will work with the winning teams, providing them with mentorship and guidance as to how to best allocate the given prize money.

What about Equity and IP?

The Oxford Foundry will not take any equity or claim any ownership in ideas or intellectual property (IP) created by teams or individuals through their participation in the All-Innovate Competition. 

However, if non-Foundry University staff contribute to your idea outside of All-Innovate, if University research is involved or your ideas have been developed using other University resources or facilities, 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. Further info can be found here>> 

Is this competition connected with the Tri-Innovate idea competition? 

Following a kind donation, Will Hutton, Principal of Hertford College and Pat Nuttal, Fellow of Wolfson College, launched Tri-Innovate in 2015 as a collaborative initiative between Hertford, Pembroke and Wolfson Colleges. Following the tremendous success and growth of the competition since 2015, Will and Pat have endorsed and are supporting The Oxford Foundry to scale the competition to include all 38 colleges, expanding the opportunity to all students at Oxford.  

Can I enter again if I do not get through during Hilary term? 

If you do not receive prize money in Hilary final, you are eligible to enter again to be considered for the Trinity round. You will need to submit a new entry and note how you have updated your entry and incorporated the feedback offered during the first round.   

For more general questions about the All-Innovate competition, please email



Thank you

All-Innovate 2021 is delivered in collaboration with EY.