Santander partner to support OXFO venture creation

The Oxford Foundry are delighted that Santander have partnered to support the creation and scale up of early-stage ventures at Oxford.

Santander have provided equity-free grants of £5,000 to five ventures on cohort 3 of the L.E.V8 Accelerator. The recipients were chosen at a lively event at the Oxford Foundry on 27 February 2020 with guest judges Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK, Ana Bakshi, Director of the Oxford Foundry and Kyle Grant, Founder and CEO of Oxwash.

12 ventures pitched to the judges and an audience of 100, and grants were awarded to Appli, Smash Medicine, Sibyl, Peergos and Yoxly. The funding will be used to scale the ventures through activities including hiring team members, marketing, business development and market research.

Benjamin Harris, Co-founder of Smash Medicine,

The Santander grant will allow us to further engage patients in the development of our platform and help them share their experiences with the doctors of tomorrow. This will allow students to learn from what actually happens in the clinic, not just in the textbook.”

Danae Maragouthakis, Co-founder of Yoxly,

The grant will allow us to develop our online platform, and help us to put the kits in the hands of more users. It was wonderful to hear all of the positive feedback about Yoxly, and it proved that sexual health doesn't have to be scary!

Nik Vadgama from Sibyl,

The £5k grant will really help Sibyl ensure our first roll-out is a success. It will enable us to spend more time with our users and expand our development capacity to quickly build any requested features. It was great to hear supportive feedback from the audience after the pitch, especially from a couple of ex-lawyers we talked to!” 

Christian Holland from Appli,

“The grant will help Appli to build on our work developing partnerships with educational charities, access foundations and other organisations who share our goal of democratising university applications. By exploring and building strategic partnerships we hope to increase our reach and get Appli in the hands of applicants from all backgrounds.”

Dr Ian Preston, Co-founder, Peergos,

"Winning the 5k grant from Santander was amazing and uplifting for Peergos. We hope to use it to get professional help with our grant applications and assist us with making our imminent launch a success. The Foundry put on a great show and a fantastic evening!" 

Santander are also supporting the Foundry’s 2020 Speaker Series which invites industry leaders to speak to students about topics related to entrepreneurship and venture creation. Over 350 students will be supported in four key areas: Pitching, building resilience, unlocking creativity and building growth mindset.

The first event ‘A masterclass in public speaking with David Nihill’, took part on 24 February with 200 students from across all Oxford colleges, divisions and levels of study. The second event, a fireside chat with Mark Pollock, Ultra-endurance racer and TED speaker with 2million online views, took place on 5 March. Mark was interviewed by Oxford alumnus Srin Madipalli. Srin is the Co-founder of Accomable who were acquired by Airbnb in 2017.

Ana Bakshi, Director of the Oxford Foundry said, “A huge thank you to Santander for their support. The Santander Universities initiative is a great example of what is possible when we work at the intersection of students, academia and industry. This new partnership will help students from all corners of Oxford to come together to generate ideas and build ventures that have a real social and economic impact and generate jobs and wealth creation. The grants will help high-potential ventures to scale across areas including data privacy, university admissions, health, and law, and provide the vital capital they need to seize opportunities.

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