Credit: John Cairns
By Leah Thompson
You would think that by the time you have done four events like this, that you would be cool, calm and collected, and ready for anything. But of course, being entrepreneurial means that you are constantly tinkering and trying to improve the format . . . meaning that nothing is ever quite the same. This event was no different. . . you spend half the time worrying that no one will show up, and the other half of the time worrying that everyone will show up!
Each attendee was given 1000 #StartedinOxford dollars to "invest" in the startup they liked the most. It was a great way to encourage the attendees to find out as much as they could about each venture. After a welcoming introduction by Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) at the University of Oxford, Professor Patrick Grant, the attendees were left to explore the hall, and to meet as many exhibitors as possible in the short time. The ventures focused on everything from food, health, accessibility and shopping, to better cultural exchanges, data collection and creativity – using a massive range of innovative solutions. In addition, there was a whole host of entrepreneurship support including The Careers Service, Begbroke Science Park, the Bioescalator, MPLS Enterprise and the Oxford Foundry, as well as external organisations such as the Oxford Hub, Oxfordshire LEP and Oxford Brookes Enterprise.
What made this evening so much fun was the relaxed atmosphere, and the ability of the attendees to speak directly with the startups. Each person could directly ask questions, and interact with the teams, making it very personable and enjoyable.
A huge thank you to all the startups, our sponsors, the fabulous volunteers, and of course everyone who came and made the event a success!
Leah Thompson (pictured at the top of the blog) is a Project Officer in the Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team, in Research Services. She leads on Enterprising Oxford, a University of Oxford programme to connect and support entrepreneurship in the University and wider Oxford area.