A small thing like a pandemic isn’t going to stop Oxford celebrating entrepreneurship. For almost 24 hours, on Wednesday 18 November, the #StartedinOxford Demo Day will showcase the Oxford-linked entrepreneurship community.
The event is organised by Enterprising Oxford, a University of Oxford initiative to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among students and connect with startups and entrepreneurs with links to Oxford and Oxfordshire and will bring together exciting companies and ventures linked to the University of Oxford or Oxford Brookes University (students, staff or alumni) from across the globe, as well as those from across Oxfordshire.
But if you want to be a demo company, you’ve only got until this FRIDAY 23rd October to apply.
In previous years, 20-30 startups and more than 300 registered attendees mingling and chatting over the course of an evening. This year, in a virtual world where size is no barrier, there will be even more hand-picked companies to meet and engage with in a fresher’s fair style virtual setup.
The event will be open for almost 24 hours, with sector-specific sessions, panel discussions, and opportunities to hear selected companies pitch live throughout the UK work day. Attendees can find out more about each company, request more information, chat with the company representatives, and vote for their favourites to win prizes, including cash, introductions to networks and VIP’s, and connections to the wider Oxford-linked ecosystem.
Four successful companies started in Oxford
Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd was founded in 2005 as a spin-out from the University of Oxford. The company now employs about 500 employees from multiple disciplines including nanopore science, molecular biology and applications, informatics, engineering, electronics, manufacturing and commercialisation.
The company has since developed and brought to market a new generation of tools for biological analysis. The Company opened up a new, high-tech manufacturing facility in Oxford in 2019 to support rapid-scaleup of production.
The government has asked the company to roll out its novel LamPORE test. This will support the UK’s efforts to manage the continued reduction of COVID-19 and containment of new cases. Such Ground-breaking British technology will provide hundreds of thousands of fast, accurate, low-cost COVID-19 tests under new agreement with the UK Government, with the potential to build to millions of tests per month.
Founded in 2008, Immunocore is a pioneering, clinical-stage T cell receptor biotechnology company working to develop and commercialise a new generation of transformative medicines to address unmet needs in cancer, infection and autoimmune disease.
It is one of just a few private biotech companies in Europe that are estimated to be worth more than €1B. The company is tackling multiple forms of cancer as well as infectious and autoimmune diseases using T-cell receptor (TCR) technology.
TCRs are proteins on the surface of immune T cells that are responsible for identifying a threat that must be destroyed, such as cancerous or infected cells.
The company is collaborating on several projects with Genentech, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, and GSK. Its most advanced program is a treatment for uveal melanoma that is currently in phase III trials. Other programs target solid tumors, hepatitis, HIV, and type 1 diabetes.
Adaptimmune Therapeutics was founded at the same time as Immunocore to exploit T-cell receptor (TCR) technology in the form of T-cell therapy. The company’s objective is to improve the outcomes of patients who are suffering from cancer via immunotherapy. The company engineers the TCRs naturally present on the patient’s own immune T cells to improve their ability to identify cancerous cells.
Adaptimmune also has several partnerships with companies including GSK, Noile-Immune Biotech, and Alpine Immune Sciences.
OxWash, a business only founded in 2017 to offer more sustainable laundry services to university students, now finds itself supporting NHS workers in the thick of the current Coronavirus epidemic.It was founded by Dr Kyle Grant, born out of frustration from the perpetually broken washing machine in his college laundry.
With just a bike and a backpack, Kyle collected and washed clothes for fellow students, and the business grew fast.
The laundry’s aim is to achieve zero net carbon emissions for the whole process, including collection and delivery. This has never yet been achieved anywhere in the world.
The company, which is being supported by the Oxford Foundry – part of the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School which supports students in bringing their entrepreneurial ideas to commercialisation, is now looking for contacts within Oxfordshire NHS GP Practices, hospitals and hubs who would benefit from this COVID-19 response laundry service.