Building on the success of Saïd Business School’s Oxford Launchpad and Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Oxford University has launched a new entrepreneurial hub: the Oxford Foundry. Saïd Dean Peter Tufano and Apple CEO Tim Cook helped kick things off at an October 11th launch event.
The new student-led and student-centric hub will be open to all 23,000 Oxford students and is part of an effort to inspire campus-wide innovation. Its focus will be to help students develop their entrepreneurial skills as well as create and scale ventures.
The Oxford Foundry will welcome students from all academic disciplines, from engineering and medicine to history and business. The goal is to take these students from all different backgrounds and bring them together to learn from one another, generate new ideas, and tackle business and societal issues.
In particular, the new hub will support students in the three following ways:
- Community Building: The Oxford Foundry will draw inspirational and leading figures in the entrepreneurial world to speak to students and exchange ideas. It will also have a student advisory board and will partner with societies across the university including the 10,000-strong Oxford Entrepreneurs.
- Experiential Learning: The Oxford Foundry will host problem-solving competitions and workshops to help students put various skills and ideas to work.
- Start-Up Support: Each year, a select number of ventures will receive support including dedicated workspace, access to networks, and industry expertise to scale and start their ventures.
Oxford has a strong history of entrepreneurship and has produced more founders of “unicorn” businesses (worth $1 billion or more) than any other school in Europe. The new Oxford Foundry promises to only further strengthen this entrepreneurial community.
“Entrepreneurship is of increasing importance to students. As a generation, millennials desire to be more socially responsible, innovative and to make an impact,” Oxford Foundry Director Ana Bakshi said in a university press release. “Whether starting their own ventures or aspiring to lead in organizations, the Oxford Foundry will develop students’ entrepreneurial skills, understanding, and self-efficacy. The aim is to create future leaders whatever career they pursue.”
The Oxford Foundry spans two floors in a renovated Victorian ice factory. It offers co-working space, presentation areas, a café, and incubator space for accelerating new ventures.
To learn more about the Oxford Foundry, visit the school website.