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15 April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is shining a fierce light onto the areas of our society that urgently need fixing. It has highlighted the inequalities, the divisions and the scarcities. Now more than ever, it has shown us that there is a huge need for us to be connected and supported by ties of community, empathy and compassion and to better plan for the challenges ahead. 

The Oxford Foundry COVID-19 Action Plan focuses on:
1. Rapidly scaling ventures in our portfolio who are responding to COVID-19
2. Rapidly building, scaling and implementing new solutions to challenges that will arise as a result of the pandemic so we can build resilience for the future (The OXFO COVID-19 Rapid Solutions Builder).

The Action Plan covers four critical impact streams; Healthcare, Education, Inclusive Social Engagement & Mobility, and Operations, Logistics and Supply Chains. 

We have convened a global network of judges, experts and mentors, made up of more than 60 entrepreneurs, leading academics, policy-makers, investors and private and public sector organisations including Foundry advisors Mohamed Amersi, Founder of the Amersi Foundation, Alexsis de Raadt St. James, Managing Partner, Merian Ventures, Biz Stone, Co-founder of Twitter, internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Reid Hoffman CBE, Honorary advisor, Arlan Hamilton, Founder of Backstage Capital, as well as leaders such as the former CEO of Burberry and SVP Retail at Apple, Angela Ahrendts DBE, and Arunma Oteh, Former Vice President and Treasurer at the World Bank.

We're looking for Oxford students, alumni and external experts to join the Action Plan. Here's how you can get involved:

1. Support the exponential scaling of Oxford Foundry ventures who are responding to COVID-19

13 ventures in our portfolio of 32 are directly responding to the pandemic and its impacts. They include a GP-to-patient remote platform, fever detection cameras, sensors to monitor NHS hospital bed availability, a communication platform for care home residents and families to keep in touch, and a remote tutoring app for students.

Help give them the crucial runway and resources they need to achieve the maximum possible impact, as rapidly as possible.

The ventures are particularly interested in hearing from sector specific experts, potential partners and clients, researchers, and investors. Please click below to see their asks. 

2. Submit a solution to the OXFO COVID-19 Rapid Solutions Builder

Oxford student and alumni teams are invited to submit solutions to the Rapid Solutions Builder, designed to find and scale innovative solutions to challenges that will arise from the pandemic in the foreseeable future. 

The Action Plan is focused on four streams; Healthcare, Education, Inclusive Social Engagement and Mobility, and Operations, Logistics and Supply Chains. You will note a few suggested sub-themes on p.6-7 of the Welcome pack. These are suggestions only, and whilst we welcome solutions that overlap with the sub-themes, we are also keen to support solutions that relate to the four main overarching streams. 

Four solutions will be taken forward and provided with a full two month programme of support. Please see the FAQs for further details. 

    ELIGIBILITY: OXFORD UNDERGRAD AND POSTGRAD STUDENTS + ALUMNI: 

    The deadline was 23:59 Tuesday 28 April 2020 

    3. Volunteer your time and expertise to a team

    Venture and solution teams are urgently looking to connect with talented people for voluntary roles who have skills including, but not limited to: Technology (software developers, data engineer/scientist, AI expertise), business (marketing, sales, strategy, PR, operations), branding and design, engineering, finance, research, legal, and sector-specific knowledge e.g. healthcare providers and scientists.

    Please do register your interest to volunteer. Should venture or solution teams need your specific support, a member of the Foundry team will be in contact with you by mid-May. We apologise in advance for not being able to get back to everyone individually due to high volume and low resource. We are incredibly grateful to you for kindly volunteering your time. Thank you.

    OPEN TO ALL INCLUDING THOSE EXTERNAL TO THE UNIVERSITY

    Deadline: 15 May 2020 

    4. Donate to the OXFO COVID-19 Action Plan Grant fund

    We are asking for your support for the OXFO COVID-19 Grant fund. This provides urgent grant funding to ventures and solutions in the OXFO COVID-19 Action Plan, and gives them the crucial runway and resources they need to achieve the maximum possible impact, as rapidly as possible. Please click here for further information.

    The Oxford Foundry and its impact-driven entrepreneurial initiatives are funded thanks to charitable donations. All funding will go directly to ventures and solutions responding to the pandemic. 

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    Thank you to our partners:

    Verizon, Gyana, WPM, Oxford Sciences Innovation, Santander Universities, Citi Private Bank, Founders Factory, Genix Healthcare Ltd, Regent College London, Oxford Engineers without Borders, Oxford Biotech Society, Oxford Strategy Group, Oxford Women in Business, OxRam (Robotics and Additive Manufacturing) Society, The Oxford Guild Business Society, Oxford Artificial Intelligence Society, Females in Engineering, Science & Technology Society.

    For more information about the OXFO COVID-19 Action plan please see the FAQs or email info@oxfordfoundry.ox.ac.uk.

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