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All-Innovate is Oxford University's first inter-college idea competition for the WHOLE University

The All-Innovate contest is an Oxford inter-college idea competition in which students can pitch their entrepreneurial ideas for a chance to win a top prize of £10,000 prize money, and two runner up prizes of £5,000.

The competition aims to encourage ALL students at Oxford, regardless of discipline, to develop an entrepreneurial skill set and to generate entrepreneurial ideas.

All-Innovate is led by Oxford Colleges, in partnership with The Oxford Foundry, and is fully sponsored by Santander.


Why opt in to All-Innovate?

All-Innovate is an exciting opportunity for you to support your students by giving them access to expertise and resources to develop their venture ideas, enabling them to connect with your college's entrepreneurial alumni and fostering a university-wide entrepreneurial community.

In order for its students to apply and take part in the competition, each college will need to opt-in using the link below. Once they have opted in, colleges will receive a full competition pack, containing all the information and resources needed to be a part of the competition.


Whether you have an idea already or would like to develop one, whatever your interests, All-Innovate is a fantastic opportunity to get creative and explore the process of turning that idea into a reality. The Idea Exploration Series, delivered by the Oxford Foundry has been designed in line with the competition, and can support idea generation as well as offer further support and guidance for those who already have an idea.

Applications for the competition will open in January 2019

FAQs for All-Innovate

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. 

When can I apply?

Applications for the competition will open in January 2019, and the competition itself will take place on 28th February 2019 

Who can apply?

The competition is open to all current University of Oxford students. Application to the competition must be done via a participating college. At least one member of each team must have an association with the college through which they apply.  If a team is made up of members of multiple participating colleges, then the team will apply through the college of the founder/leading team member, and may not submit multiple applications through multiple colleges. Should there be two co-founders, the college through which they apply will be at the team's own discretion.

Selection Process

Shortlist - 20 teams will be shortlisted to attend a 1-day boot camp, with experts and mentors who will provide guidance and feedback. At the end of this day, all teams will pitch their idea, and 10 finalists will be selected by the judging panel.

Finalists - The 10 finalists will pitch at the All Innovate final contest. Prior to this, all finalists will be invited to a 1 week long boot camp, which will offer additional guidance and support to help the teams to refine their proposition and pitch.

3 Winners:

1 Top Prize  - Innovation of the Year Award £10,000

2 Highly commended awards £5,000

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

The one day boot camp will involve an intensive ‘Pitching’ workshop after which, teams will pitch to judges and mentors who will offer guidance and feedback throughout the day. The day will end with teams pitching to a judging panel who will combine feedback from throughout the day to shortlist the final 10 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.

I have an idea but how do I find team mates?

The best place to find team mates is to engage with The Oxford Foundry! We have a number of workshops and events through which you can meet and connect with students from across the university. Specifically, the Idea Exploration Series is a great place to meet fellow students who are looking to form a team.

In addition to this; come and visit The Foundry! The co-working space is designed to encourage students to connect and collaborate through communal notice boards and collaborative working areas.

What is the commitment if colleges ‘opt in’?

  • Opting into the competition is a commitment from the colleges to encourage their students to get involved in the competition. Ideally, each college who opts in will be able to submit a minimum of 1 application from their students.

What happens if a college doesn’t opt in, and a student from that college wants to apply?

If a team of students wishes to apply but none of their colleges have opted in, their application will be supported by The Oxford Foundry. Students will be given the opportunity to nominate their college to take part. The Oxford Foundry will collate nominations and communicate these to the relevant colleges.

How will applications be collected and distributed?

The Oxford Foundry will collect all applications and distribute these to Colleges for shortlisting. Each College will then choose and submit their top two entries to the Oxford Foundry. Entries that make it through this round of applications will then be invited on the 1 day bootcamp, after which the final 10 teams will be selected to pitch.

What are the judging criteria?

  • Light bulb - does the idea capture the imagination
  • Team -  diversity of team will be looked on favourably; particularly in relation to diversity across disciplines and gender
  • Quality of pitch – quality of slides, how effectively the idea is communicated
  • Impact - Is the idea of benefit to society, i.e. does it have social impact?
  • Validity of idea - strength of value proposition and business model

How is the competition funded?

The competition is fully funded by the Oxford Foundry, powered by sponsorship from Santander.

With thanks to our sponsors

The All-Innovate competition is powered by sponsorship from Santander.

Santander logo