Alice Curry, Lantana publishing

What you need to know:

1. What does OXFO L.E.V8 offer to venture teams?

L.E.V8 is structures around five phases: fundamentals of the venture, specialised deep-dives, go-to-market strategy, client acquisition and strategy, and investment readiness.

We offer a support package worth an estimated £60,000, including:

  • Access to our network of investors, mentors and partners
  • Financial and legal advice for starting and scaling your business
  • Direct access to a network of experts who are available for 1-to-1 meetings throughout the journey. These include thought-leaders and highly regarded practitioners such as Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, and Robin Saunders, Managing Partner at Clearbrook Capital.
  • Support to build leadership, resilience skills and an entrepreneurial mindset
  • Dynamic masterclasses and workshops from leading experts and experienced entrepreneurs 
  • Tech and product development support
  • Fundraising advice
  • Hiring support and introductions to potential team members and cofounders
  • Help with product-market fit 

2. Who can apply?

OXFO L.E.V8 welcomes applications from any start-up team that includes at least one University of Oxford student, member of staff, or alumnus/alumna.

3. If I’m not an Oxford student or alumnus/alumna, can I still apply?

If you have one or more Oxford students or alumni or staff on your founding team, you can still apply.

4. How advanced does our startup have to be? Can we apply if we just have an idea?

OXFO L.E.V8 is for start-ups with a clear value proposition, who have ideally developed a minimum viable product (MVP) or who can demonstrate that their venture has traction. If you’re at the ‘idea’ stage, then L.E.V8 is not for you - yet!  Please consider applying for All-Innovate, Oxford's inter-college idea competition.

5. Some of our team are international/non-UK residents. Can we still apply?

All Non-UK applicants will need to ensure that they have clear and valid visa arrangements to be able to participate in L.E.V8. Please refer to the University’s  Student Visa and Immigration Office, who will be able to advise you. It is the sole responsibility of the individual to ensure they do not breach the terms of any existing agreement/visa. Further information about visa applications, including Graduate Entrepreneur Visas, is available via the University Careers Service.

6. How large can each venture team be?

Each team should include a maximum of four people. Solo founders are also welcome to apply.

7. What is the duration of each cohort’s time in the programme?

Each cohort will run for six months.

8. What commitment does OXFO L.E.V8 require from the teams they select?

Participation in the programme, all of which is tailor-made

  • Presence in the accelerator space at least on a weekly basis. N.B. The accelerator is open 7 days a week. Attendance is flexible allowing for lectures, clinics etc.
  • Behaviour appropriate for the Oxford Foundry, and for a co-working environment.
  • A desire to scale your venture, with our support.
  • To have a great time! The programme is all about your personal learning journey and growth – and we want you to have as much fun as possible along the way!

9. Does the University or OXFO make any investment in/take any equity from the ventures?

OXFO L.E.V8 is a completely free package, and we will not invest, take any equity or claim any ownership in ideas or intellectual property (IP) created by the ventures we support. However, if non-Foundry University staff contribute to your ideas outside of the L.E.V8 programme, or if University research is involved, there may well be formal legal obligations between the University and the sponsor(s) of the research that you might not be aware of as a student entrepreneur. More information is available here.

10. I'm an investor / business professional / start-up mentor - how can I contribute to OXFO L.E.V8? 

We'd love to hear from angel investors, experts and mentors  - wherever they are in the world - who are interested in contributing their time and knowledge as part of L.E.V8. Please email and connect with us on LinkedIn

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