BUILDING A NEW GENERATION OF VENTURES.

At OXFO L.E.V8 (Elevate) we're building a new generation of ventures. Ventures founded by students and alumni from the #1 university in the world. Ventures that while commercially successful, put people first and create true prosperity by bringing everyone along with them. Ventures that give back, that are part of a community and give other entrepreneurs a helping hand and share their experiences and skills openly and transparently. 

The accelerator is hosted in the Amersi Foundation accelerator space in the Oxford Foundry, 3-5 Hythe Bridge Street, OX1 2EW. 

See press coverage for the L.E.V8 accelerator

Our ventures are operating in 17 cities across the world including New York, London, Kampala, Tallinn, Munich and Karachi. See our global reach map

32 ventures, £11m investment raised, 71 jobs created

What do we look for?

We support pre-seed and seed stage Oxford-affiliated ventures who have a strong MVP and Proof of concept, a diverse and committed team, and who have shown early traction. We are sector-agnostic, and support ventures from a variety of sectors. 

team

Adding value - Community and contacts

We add value to individuals by supporting people to become confident, resilient and experienced leaders who build diverse and skilled teams. Our hands-on workshops, 121 mentoring and masterclasses, as well as peer-to-peer learning and being part of a supportive cohort give founders and their teams everything they need to succeed. 

We add value to ventures through direct introductions to clients, experts and mentors. Ventures have built and expanded their advisory boards, gained exposure to global audiences and got their first big clients through direct contacts and relationships brokered by the Foundry. 

 

alum

Our bespoke model

Our 6 month intense accelerator programme has an underlying curriculum coupled with tailored, objectives-based mentorship and support.

L.E.V8 is structured around five phases: fundamentals of the venture, Specialised deep-dives, Go-to-market strategy, Client acquisition and strategy and investment readiness.

The accelerator is equity-free and open to Oxford-affiliated students and alumni and their teams. In 2019, over 1,600 hours of bespoke, experiential learning was delivered on the L.E.V8 programme.

And our model works. 90% of cohort 1 and 2 ventures are still in operation, way above the national average. 

model

Women founders

Supporting more women founders and women-led teams is essential. Essential for the commercial success of ventures, essential for equality, and essential for the economy. We're proud that the number of women on our venture co-founding teams ha increased every year and we are working hard to achieve and sustain gender parity.   

Alice

Additional extras

Ventures are provided with free or discounted services from companies including Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Hubspot, Twilio, MathWorks and Mixpanel. We also have a startup lending library and online resources so you can get learning.

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Oxford's entrepreneurial ecosystem

We're part of a diverse and thriving innovation and entrepreneurship community within Oxford including Oxford Sciences Innovation, Oxford University Innovation, Said Business School's Entrepreneurship Centre, Skoll Centre for Entrepreneurship and the Creative Destruction Lab. 

oxford

Giving back

Our accelerator community give other entrepreneurs a helping hand and share their experiences and skills openly and transparently. 

Bill aulet

Our core beliefs

We are proud to be unique and of the culture and ethos of the Foundry. We work on 8 core beliefs. 

beliefs

Our mentors and experts

The Foundry has a global network of advisors, ambassadors and generalist and specialist mentors including Professor Bill Aulet, MIT, Biz Stone, Cofounder of Twitter and Medium, and Jenny Tooth OBE, UK Business Angels Association. 

Our expert network includes:

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 – Co-founder @Accommable (exited to Airbnb) and now-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

 

kal arlan

Adding value - Investors

We also add value though direct introductions to our network of over 500 Angels, VCs and investment funds including Seedcamp, OSI, Force Over Mass and Truesight and over 100 investors attending Demo Day.

 

demo day

Follow-on support

We make sure that ventures who go through the programme have all the support they need after the 6 months to give them every opportunity for success. This includes continued access to our network, space, and learning programmes as well as discounted services through industry partnerships and service providers. 

chairs
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.

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!!

“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