Entrepreneurship and Innovation – New to Oxford and not sure how it works?

Entrepreneurship and Innovation – New to Oxford and not sure how it works? 

Tom Hockaday, Managing Director, Isis Innovation Ltd

October 2012

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  
Oxford University  
Oxfordshire LEP Local Economic Partnership
Oxfordshire Bioscience Network  
Invest in Oxfordshire  
Venturefest Oxford  
Oxford Investment Opportunity Network Angel network
Oxford Early Investments Angel network


Others like to start with a person:

Adrian Shooter adrianshooterltd@gmail.com
Amy Anderson info@oxfordhub.org
Chas Bountra chas.bountra@sgc.ox.ac.uk; Structural Genomics Consortium
Dave Waller dave.waller@investinoxfordshire.com
David Mott dmott@oxcp.com; Oxford Capital Partners
Don McClaverty d.mclaverty@oxin.co.uk; Oxford Innovation
Huw Jones huw.jones@tsb.gov.uk; Technology Strategy Board
Ian Wenman ian@wenmanltd.com; Entrepreneur, corporate finance
Jim Hall jim.hall@sbs.ox.ac.uk; Entrepreneur, OxCEI
Jonathan Black jonathan.black@careers.ox.ac.uk
Linda Naylor linda.naylor@isis.ox.ac.uk
Lucius Cary lucius@oxfordtechnology.com
Marcelo Bravo marcelo.bravo@pharmascience.co.uk
Mark Evans mark.evans@radius-health.com
Mark Ventresca marc.ventresca@sbs.ox.ac.uk
Pete Dobson peter.dobson@eng.ox.ac.uk
Phil Clare phil.clare@admin.ox.ac.uk
Philip Shadbolt phils@thezetagroup.com
Tim Bestwick tim.bestwick@stfc.ac.uk
Tom Hockaday tom.hockaday@isis.ox.ac.uk


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!