All-Innovate Idea Competition
All-Innovate is Oxford's inter-college idea competition run by the Oxford Foundry in partnership with Oxford colleges. In 2020 the competition is supported by Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI). Students pitch entrepreneurial ideas for a chance to win a top prize of £10,000 prize money, and two runner-up prizes of £5,000 each. All-Innovate encourages all students at Oxford, regardless of discipline, to develop an entrepreneurial skill-set and to generate entrepreneurial ideas - useful skills for all careers.
Open to all teams with Oxford undergraduate, postgraduate, and DPhil students.
Deadline: 2020 competition is completed, new deadline yet to be announced.
Biotech incubator in the heart of Oxford's medical research district, providing lab space and entrepreneurial support for high growth startups.
High growth startups.
Creative Destruction Lab
Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a nonprofit organization that delivers an objectives-based program for massively scalable, seed-stage, science- and technology-based companies.
The programme entails: Access to mentorship, capital, chief scientist roadmaps, and MBA student support.
CDL operates five sites in Canada, one in the United States and two in Europe. CDL-Oxford is located in Oxford, UK at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. The first CDL site in Europe, CDL-Oxford maximizes the probability of success for science and technology-based startups from across the globe. Housed at one of the leading universities in the world, CDL-Oxford also leverages its close proximity to London, a global epicenter of innovation.
- Scalable, seed-stage science- and technology-based startups. CDL typically admits companies that have advanced beyond the concept stage and that have developed or are working on a prototype. Demonstrating that you are committed to building a product or service is important to unlocking interest and support from mentors and future investors.
- CDL is a technology first program. We assess applicants on the novelty of their technology, its defensibility, and its potential for scale in one out of many potential industry verticals. To this effect, we also assess the founders’ acumen and the various business models that can be applied to make the technology massively scalable.
- CDL is complementary to other support networks for early stage ventures.
Enterprising Oxford is a University of Oxford initiative to help connect our students, staff and alumni to the entrepreneurial people, places and programmes they need in Oxfordshire and beyond.
HarvardX Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies
You will learn about prior attempts to address these problems across the emerging markets, identify points of opportunity for smart entrepreneurial efforts, and propose and develop your own creative solutions.
The focus of this course is on individual agency—what can you do to address a defined problem? The creative process starts with immersion in the problem-at-hand and the harnessing of diverse perspectives.
The course then touches on issues related to financing, scaling up of operations, branding, the management of property rights, and the creation of appropriate metrics for assessing progress and social value, in the fast-growing but institutionally compromised settings of emerging markets.
The emphasis is less on comprehensive coverage than on developing a way of thinking with a bias-to-action.
Free and open enrolment (Certificate can be obtained for £97, optional)
McKinsey Venture Academy
Social venture competition open to all university students based in the United Kingdom and Ireland. All ideas, regardless of their stage of development, are welcome.
Winners: Ongoing McKinsey consulting support and a £10,000 unconditional grant
Second: £4,000 unconditional grant
Third: £1,000 unconditional grant
- Each team must consist of between two to eight participants.
- Each submission must, if implemented, exist as a social enterprise providing some form of social impact.
- The majority of your team must be enrolled as students in a full-time degree-granting program at any accredited university in the United Kingdom or Ireland.
- Participants can come from different universities.
- Visiting students are also eligible, as long as they are part of a team with at least one full-time university student from the United Kingdom or Ireland.
- Students should only participant in one team per MVA round. If necessary, case-by-case exceptions can be made, provided that you contact the MVA team and explain your situation before applying.
Deadline: Details and dates for MVA 2021 will be available in October.
Microsoft Imagine Cup Innovation Competition
Make an impact through coding, collaboration, and competition. Innovate with passion to tackle global issues and bring your tech solution to life in the Imagine Cup. Every year, students build inspiring tech projects that tackle some of the world’s biggest social, environmental, and health challenges.
Prizes include: mentorship from Microsoft experts, networking with industry pros, chances to showcase your idea, and cash to take your project to the next level.
Global competition for students aged 16+. You’re welcome to imagine any solution that you’re passionate about, but must include a Microsoft Azure component and take into consideration diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (see official rules for details). Maximum three (3) members per team.
Deadline: 2021 deadline yet to be announced.
Oxford Foundry L.E.V8 Women programme
The L.E.V8 Women programme offers a 7-day L.E.V8 Women pre-accelerator programme with intensive, immersive learning workshops and 1:1 mentoring from L.E.V8 Women Ambassadors. It includes access to a strong and diverse network of visiting experts, plus a pre-accelerator and a suite of e-learning resources, frameworks and templates.
-early-stage female-led start-up teams
-must include one Oxford University student or alumna as a founding member
Polar Bear Pitching
**Due to rapidly expanding coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, we are forced to cancel this year’s Polar Bear Pitching physical event.
Polar Bear Pitching has grown to be an internationally acclaimed startup event. We've had competitors from almost all continents and the competition is streamed to dozens of countries. Basic idea of the competition is that startup entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to judges, investors and audience while standing waist deep in an ice hole carved in frozen Baltic sea. Each year, organizers cut a hole in the frozen Baltic Sea, where 12 entrepreneurs wade into slightly-above-freezing water to compete. The rules are simple: Entrepreneurs can pitch for as long as they can stay in the water.
The virtual programme will consists of:
- Matchmaking and keynotes in Brella networking tool
- Pitching live stream with Startups with an exciting and never-before-seen concept
- Zoom press conference after the live stream
- Discussions in social media with the hashtags #PolarBearPitching #FreezingMoment and #KissFearGoodbye
Deadline: No 2021 deadline announced yet.
Reddit has over 430 million active users each month with over 200 countries, which means that your target audience most certainly spends time on that platform. To find your audience on Reddit, search your keywords in the subreddit search tool to find conversations about your topic. For example, if you were in the nutrition industry, you might type in “nutrition” to bring up a list of subreddits related to that topic. You can use subreddits to get insight into trends, concerns, ideas, and needs in the community. You can also use it to ask questions, start debates, or test your new ideas.
The idea for using Reddit for market research is proposed on a Reddit entrepreneurship forum too: https://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/icxo3i/how_to_use_reddit_to_validate_your_ideas_and_find/
Science Innovation Union
Science Innovation Union (SIU) are committed to inspire entrepreneurship among young scientists from any background, and to provide a globally interconnected networking, communications and training platform for academia, industry, society and government to bridge the knowledge-translation gap in science.
- Professional events: SIU organises high-quality professional events, providing holistic views from the top speakers within academia, industries and government. Networking is always an integral feature.
- Education programmes: SIU uses its biotech-orientated focus to provide one of a kind education programmes for future and current bio-entrepreneurs, teaching them the key skills they need to succeed.
- Online editorial: SIU Editorial delivers easily accessible, quality information and updates on the latest technology, developments and events in the biotechnology business world.
- Workshops and tool-kits: SIU Communication provides access to a variety of workshops and tool-kits tailored to a scientific community. Together with our partners we discuss and interactively provide solutions in healthcare and life sciences.
Students, post-docs, budding entrepreneurs, innovative academics, industry professionals and policy makers. Focused on bio-entrepreneurship.
Skoll Venture Awards
The Skill Centre Annual Awards provide early stage funding to teams aiming to tackle the root causes of social and environmental challenges. This pitch event has up to £50,000 grant funding.
- You should have received no more than £100,000 in aggregate of external funding for this venture to date.
- Your venture should have a revenue-generating business model that is not reliant on charitable donations (both for-profit and non-profit structures can apply).
- Your venture needs to be more than just an idea – it should be at the pilot, prototype, or in early-stage traction.
Deadline: TBC. Last year competition was in June 2020.
Social Enterprise Awards
Through the Award Scheme we offer social entrepreneurs:
Funding: depending on whether your proposal is a vague plan or a tried and tested model, we have two options. The first is a Try It award of up to £500, or secondly you may apply for a Do It Award of up to £5000.
Support: including check ins and training with staff, introductions to our network, free publicity and room hire at our home on Little Clarendon Street.
Community: the opportunity to join a community of ambitious individuals tackling social and environmental issues in Oxford, whether through social enterprise, placements, or volunteering. Find us at speaker panels, socials, fundraisers and more - stay up to date with our latest events by subscribing to our newsletter and liking us on Facebook.
Deadline: May 27, 2021
The StartUp Kit contains everything you need to start and run your own business! This book is a friendly guide covering all aspects of starting up - from developing a business idea and setting up a company to marketing your new business, getting that first sale and making the most of the latest tech developments.
Full of great advice from start-up expert Emma Jones, it's packed with case studies of people who've successfully started their own businesses. It also comes with great offers from some of the leading brands for small business.
The F factor
The F Factor is a UK-wide startup competition underpinned with active entrepreneurship education for under 25 year old to harness
cutting-edge innovation and shape them into solutions for the World’s most pressing problems. The F Factor provides young aspiring entrepreneurs
with tools, skills-training and context to bring their ideas to life and gives the opportunities to collaborate with like-minded peers and to work experience.
Prize: £10,000 for the National Winners and £1,000 for the Regional Winners. Participants in regionals and nationals also access individual mentorship and
coaching, in addition to potential media exposure.
For your final F Factor submission, what is needed is
- The description of your idea in 280 characters
- A link to your prototype or a one minute video walk-through of your prototype
- A Video pitch of two minutes maximum to present your idea
This rules apply to ALL members of your team Age
- You have to be at least 18 by December 31st, 2020.
- You have to be 25 or younger by June 14th, 2021 (this means that if you are currently 25 but will turn 26 before June 14th 2021, you are unfortunately not eligible to enter).
- You have to be a “future founder”. This means you can run an existing startup as long as you are not running it full-time. We consider part-time founder anyone who in addition to running their startup:
- Is enrolled in University.
- Is employed in a full-time job.
- Is doing another activity than their startup to earn money (Freelancing, consulting, tutoring works for instance even if just a few days a week/month).
Deadline: January 29, 2021 Deadline in January 2021 followed by region semi-finals in February, region finals in March, and national final in June.
Must have a team member that is in the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust leadership programme.