4,412 businesses were started in Oxfordshire in 2016 (the latest year for which statistics are available from StartUp Britain). Have you ever wondered what those businesses do? The #StartedinOxford demo nights offer a rare window into their world, showcasing exciting new startups. It’s fascinating to see so many interesting new technologies, ideas and products.
The 4th #StartedinOxford demo night, on Thursday 8th November, showcased 19 Oxfordshire-based startups, and one guest from Imperial college, Mitt Protheses, in addition to many of the support services available for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Oxfordshire. Professor Patrick Grant, Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) of the University of Oxford, opened the event and reminded us of the importance of the Oxfordshire innovation ecosystem.
The event brought a real silicon-valley-esque buzz to the Weston Library in the heart of Oxford. With over 300 people attending, all the startups had the opportunity to tell their story to a wide range of people from Oxfordshire’s entrepreneurial community. Each attendee gets 1,000 #StartedInOxford dollars to ‘invest’ in the startups of their choice. The winners of the event are those with the most investment at the end of the night. So who were on the podium this time?
In BRONZE position was Wallaroo, who make nutritious food snacks using natural ingredients from fair-trade sources. Packs of delicious coconut, mango and pineapple snacks were available on the night and I can definitely vouch for their tastiness!
In SILVER was PodHealth, delivering personalised prevention-based medicine. Their range of medical tests combined with expertise from health professionals and advanced computing technology helps patients take control of their own health.
And finally, taking the GOLD was social enterprise Common Ground, a cafe and meeting space on Little Clarendon Street in Oxford. The focus particularly on improving student mental health and connecting the community. Danya Ortner, Manager of Common Space said “We are really proud to be a space that brings the local community together – from students, remote workers & entrepreneurs, to local businesses who are conscious about social and environmental impact. Thank you for your support – we are really delighted with our win at the #startedinOxford demo night”. Common Ground plans to upgrade the space, improve the lunch offering and start stocking products from two other #StartedinOxford demo night companies – snacks from Wallaroo and Tea from Marulin. Like their Facebook page for more information.
The full line-up of startups who were showcased is available on a previous Enterprising Oxford blog post.
Here’s a few pictures from the night!
A few of our partners, sponsors, the atmosphere and investing!
Megan Morys-Carter is the former Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre at the University of Oxford, currently on a maternity break with her son Amroth, who was our youngest attendee/volunteer at 6 months old! She blogs regularly on entrepreneurship and innovation at www.moryscarter.com/megan/blog.
Event photography by John Cairns.