Entrepreneurship and Innovation – New to Oxford and not sure how it works?
Tom Hockaday, Managing Director, Isis Innovation Ltd
This question came out of a great meeting at Hertford College in September. The room was packed with folk wanting to boost the innovation hub, cluster, ecosystem in Oxford and Oxfordshire. Best quote for me was an entrepreneurial academic saying ‘I’ve been in Oxford for four years and I’m having a ball, it’s incredibly connected’. That’s what we have, a culture of connection, a wonderfully diverse bunch of people doing amazing things. That is Oxford.
Some thought we really needed to improve to make things work better; I put this to an entrepreneur the next day and he was clear – “I disagree, Oxford is already fantastically well connected; I arrived in the UK knowing one person involved in the innovation scene, and within three months was CEO of an Oxford start-up and we had raised money”.
But let’s say you don’t know anyone, you need help, the things you’ve tried haven’t worked – what do you do? You want to start-up, scale-up, get a job, invest, help, whatever, research, hire.
Here’s a list of people and places you can start with; all are primed to help.
Some people like websites:
|Begbroke Science Park||Incubation space, research facilities|
|Connected Oxford||LinkedIn community|
|Future Business Virtual Incubator|
|Harwell||Incubation space, research facilities|
|Isis Angels Network||Angel Network|
|Isis Innovation||University technology transfer and start-ups|
|Isis Software Incubator||University software start-ups|
|Milton Park||Science & business park|
|Oxford Entrepreneurs||Student society|
|Oxford Innovation||Innovation Centres|
|Oxford Science Park||Science & business park|
|Oxford Brookes University|
|Oxfordshire LEP||Local Economic Partnership|
|Oxfordshire Bioscience Network|
|Invest in Oxfordshire|
|Oxford Investment Opportunity Network||Angel network|
|Oxford Early Investments||Angel network|
Others like to start with a person:
|Chas Bountraemail@example.com; Structural Genomics Consortium|
|David Mottfirstname.lastname@example.org; Oxford Capital Partners|
|Don McClavertyemail@example.com; Oxford Innovation|
|Huw Jonesfirstname.lastname@example.org; Technology Strategy Board|
|Ian Wenmanemail@example.com; Entrepreneur, corporate finance|
|Jim Hallfirstname.lastname@example.org; Entrepreneur, OxCEI|
Not on the list and want to be added – great, thank you – drop me a line and you are on.
I’ll finish with a definition of terms you can disagree with. Innovation is the successful exploitation of new ideas. Entrepreneurship is spotting a gap and starting a business (who said it had to be a new company?).
Somebody has to do something! Well, that somebody is us and we are doing it.
Go have a ball!