What is the Oxford Foundry?
The Oxford Foundry is the University of Oxford's new entrepreneurship centre. We are creating a diverse, student-led community where innovation and creativity lives and breathes. We want to support all of our 24,000 students across the University - whether they are lawyers, medics, engineers or philosophers - in becoming more entrepreneurial in outlook and action.
A key focus is to enhance employability through entrepreneurship amongst students. The Foundry inspires students to think more entrepreneurially, to find like-minded people, to build confidence and overcome fear of failure. Venture creation, growth and support is also a major focus for the Foundry, through our accelerator programme, OXFO L.E.V8, and through our programme for female founders and leaders, L.E.V8 Women.
The Foundry is about people, it’s about finding your tribe and unleashing your best you. We want to support students to ‘smash it’ and achieve success. Success means different things to different people and we want to help give students the practical skills they need to support their respective futures.
Where are we?
Located on Hythe Bridge Street, in a building that was once the Oxford Ice Factory, the building is a large, easily accessible space that includes a cafe space, and facilities for co-working, socialising, workshops, events and more.
The Oxford Foundry supports our student community in three ways:
Building Entrepreneurial Leaders: We’re committed to upskilling the future workforce. We provide our students with opportunities to co-create, collaborate and build solutions to global challenges. We’re on a mission to equip young people with crucial skills, including critical thinking, problem solving, team work and decision making, alongside empowering our future generations to lead with purpose and emotional intelligence, to be more resilient, and to learn from failure.
Building Technology Skills:
Delivering practical learning opportunities to build skills and understanding in areas such as coding, blockchain and AI, with a particular emphasis on peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange across academia and industry – globally and locally. We develop thought leadership in tech-enabled questions, such as “How do we ensure AI is diverse and inclusive?”, and “How can we use blockchain technology to universally broaden access to finance?”
Building and Accelerating Ventures:
Our accelerator, OXFO L.E.V8, is based in the upper floor of the Foundry. Through the accelerator, a select number of startups are provided with co-working space as well as a suite of support to accelerate their growth - all of this is provided at no charge, and without handover of IP from students to the Foundry. The accelerator supports real businesses, with formed teams, and traction. It is sector agnostic, and focuses on ventures outside of research, whilst it benefits from being embedded in an established and powerful academic setting. Although it is equity and IP free, the L.E.V8 accelerator programme is extremely competitive.
Opening hours and Facilities:
The Foundry is open from 9am until 10pm every day of the week, Monday to Sunday.
There is a self-service cafe area, comfortable sofas, plus work desks and free WiFi.
Membership of the Foundry is free to all University of Oxford students - find out more about how to join.
Who is it for?
If you are a current student at the University of Oxford - whether you're an undergrad, postgrad, DPhil student or researcher - this space is for you. All you have to do is show up with your Bod card, and register for your free OXFO pass card. Alumni within 10 years of graduating can also use the Foundry up to 10 times per academic year.
Come in, chill out, connect over coffee, skill up and get inspired. We run our own suite of Foundry workshops and programmes for students, often collaborating with student societies and other University departments. Sign up for our newsletter (see below) or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn to stay updated on what's coming up next at the Foundry.