Lately there have been a lot of social ventures, lately there have been social science ventures. Confused? Read on.

By Chris Fellingham, Oxford University Innovation, and Morven Fraser-Walther, University of Glasgow.

The more well understood are social ventures, in particular those whose social mission is based on research, which we can term rooted ventures. Universities, like Oxford, are seeing an ever-growing number of these ventures emerge as researchers seek to maximise the impact of their research with a venture. Social Science ventures, such as SOPHIA from Oxford University, are also emerging and more broadly from UK universities as part of…

Chris Fellingham

It is time for the financial ecosystem to nurture and support the growing wave of rooted ventures and other problem-oriented, social ventures.

Rooted Ventures are part of a growing movement of ventures emerging that seek to find innovative, research-rooted solutions to many of the challenges societies face from poverty, to access to education and clean water. Exciting as they are and with many more emerging their potential will — as with most ventures — depend on their ability to access the right type and right amount of finance at the critical moments of their growth. Looking at the financial ecosystem…

Oxford PV’s solar cell

Oxford’s contribution to COVID has been a vaccine that will save the world — but what can we offer for the climate?

Written by Gregg Bayes-Brown

Oxford’s response to COVID-19 has been an excellent demonstration of what the institution is capable of when it sets its mind to a task. The institution has produced multiple high profile research papers on the pandemic, created companies geared to tackling ventilator shortages and rapid COVID testing, and has delivered an affordable, effective vaccine against the coronavirus for the whole world.

As a result, many in the University and the surrounding area are asking…

Despite their promise as a sustainable version of the traditional business model, social ventures continue to be shrouded in myth and misinformation. Here are the top seven misconceptions about social ventures, and why they don’t hold true.

Written by Philippa Christoforou and Sandra Ainsua Martinez, Oxford University Innovation

In 2018, OUI launched its new social enterprise (now called social ventures) programme. We witnessed a growing number of researchers who wanted a spinout company that fits with their values, and the “normal” company model wasn’t the best solution, either ethically or economically, to deliver the impact they desired.

To date, the…

Ani Haykuni — Founder of Vann

Ani’s battle against cancer informed and shaped her entrepreneurial journey, with the two becoming intrinsically linked.

Written by Gregg Bayes-Brown, Oxford University Innovation

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. Ask anyone who’s started a company, and they’ll give you a whole saga of obstacles they’ve had to overcome. Typically, we think of these challenges in business terms. Things like honing leadership skills under crisis, having the courage to make a crucial pivot, signing the deal that saved the company from certain doom — these are all par for the entrepreneurial course.

For Ani Haykuni, founder of OUI Incubator and digital health…

Oxsed, a social venture developing rapid COVID-19 testing, has gone from spinning out of Oxford University in the summer to already being acquired and its technology deployed in airports.

Written by Stuart Gillespie

A vaccine — perhaps more than one — is on the way. Therapeutics such as the steroid dexamethasone have been shown to improve survival rates. And millions of people have been living by the mantra ‘hands, face, space’ for many months.

The other key feature of the fight against COVID-19 — part of a ‘tripod’ of medical interventions heralded by the UK prime minister Boris Johnson…

Renewables spinout Odqa is developing a high-tech solar receiver that improves efficiency and enables reductions to the cost of capturing and storing the sun’s energy for conversion into power.

Odqa, which is working on technologies for the concentrated solar power (CSP) industry, has been issued a convertible loan worth £1.2m as part of the UK government’s coronavirus Future Fund for innovative companies.

The company will use the loan to develop its flagship product after postponing a planned round of seed funding following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Company co-founder and CEO Gediz Karaca, a graduate of the MBA programme…

Chris Fellingham

The abstract nature of knowledge derived from the social sciences has often led to it being written off as common sense, or as being ill-suited to practical application. In this post, Chris Fellingham, argues that creating businesses and social ventures based on social science insights presents bold, new opportunities for social science research to deliver impact.

Social Science has long had a problem demonstrating what it knows to be true — its impact on the world. STEM colleagues happily demonstrate tangible outcomes, new molecules, new engines, new vaccines — the impact is tangible and linear. The molecule improves a chemical…

A diary from the WFH-while-homeschooling frontline, as told by OUI’s Fiona Story

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Some of us will emerge fitter, fatter, alcoholic, divorced, with an additional immunity to something (maybe our families?), or worse. Some are predicting a baby boom around next Christmas creating a generation of “coronials”. But for those of us suddenly finding ourselves WFH (working from home) with kids, some will also emerge with varying reactions: a deeper bond with their kids, a true appreciation for the class teachers, less hair, no nails or shot nerves..…..

Bear with me, as we’re gonna take the “mumsnet” short cuts here… ds…

Alex McCallion presents at the Bright Sparks closing ceremony

What happened when we paired Oxford University’s unique startups with Vodafone’s business leader talent?

The entrepreneur’s journey is a perilous one, especially when they are first starting out. Be it a newcomer to the scene or a seasoned veteran, entrepreneurship is a profession of dizzying heights and crushing lows. Startups and spinouts can be made on a chance encounter and succeed despite the odds, while the best laid plans can still crash and burn in unforeseen pitfalls.

One of the ways Oxford University stacks the deck for our companies is mentorship. By pairing our companies with an experienced pair of…

Oxford University Innovation

The research commercialisation office of Oxford University. #Spinouts #Startups #Universities #Venturing #Entrepreneurship #Innovation

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