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Startup Support in...Oxford

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by Startacus Admin

startup support oxfordOxford based early-stage startups and entrepreneurs take note - here's the lowdown on key startup support and help available where you are...

Away from the established startup hubs like London, the support for setting up a business isn’t always so clear. It’s not a lack of support, just a quieter ecosystem that takes a little more work to unearth. We want to help with this by highlighting what some cities, which might not spring immediately to mind at the mention of ‘startups’, have to offer.

From startup support in Nottingham, if we squint hard enough and strain our necks, we can see the spires of Oxford. So that’s where we’re going next. Or maybe those are telegraph poles.

Co-Working space

It will surprise no one that Oxford is far from the cheapest place to find co-working space, have to spend money to make money?

The Wheelhouse at Angel Court is one of 3 locations across England. This space offers hot desking, for up to 50 hours per month, and fixed desks. Included is unlimited accessoxford startup support to meeting rooms, printing, and hot drinks.

Innospace is designed for single-person businesses and focuses on fixed desks only, although there is an option to share a desk with another part time. The monthly contract includes meeting room access, hot drinks, kitchen, and shower.

Urbanoid Workspace offers hot desking and dedicated desks, and includes the usual free tea and coffee, showers, meeting rooms, kitchen, and so on.

The Edison is highly flexible, with a range of options, from drop-in to executive private office. The most important thing of all, as always, is that they provide unlimited coffee - their own, locally roasted blend.


Backed by the University of Oxford Saïd Business School, The Oxford Seed Fund is a student-led initiative that invests up to £50,000 in startups and provides them with a network and support.

OION is a investment business that connects entrepreneurs and companies with highly active potential investors. Their OION Fund is set up to invest in startups and young businesses that have pitched at OION Showcase events.

oxford startup support There are grants available through OxLEP for those looking to start or grow a business, and these can be used on a range of necessities from coaching to advertising to market research and more.

Oxfordshire Business Support, through its Elevate programme, offers grants for startups and growing businesses. This is match-funded and gives between £1-3k for startups and £1-8k for growth.

Another one from the university, the Oxford Angels Network is interested in investing in University of Oxford spinouts.

The startup ecosystem and programmes

In terms of community, there's a meetup group with just shy of 1k members called unsurprisingly Oxford Startups. This is a meetup for startups and people interested in the startup scene in Oxford. 

Continuing the strong support for startups, the University of Oxford runs an incubator aimed at members or ex-members of the university.

OXFO L.E.V8 accelerator - Oxford Foundry is a new entrepreneurial centre at the heart of Oxford University supporting all students, staff and alumni in becoming more entrepreneurial in outlook and action and the L.E.V8 accelerator is the centre's accelerator programme. 

Enterprising Oxford is yet another university initiative to help encourage, support, and promote oxford startup support entrepreneurship to students, staff, and alumni by communicating, collaborating, and connecting with startups and entrepreneurs. Their website is full of information usable by anyone, however.

Created by people who have been through it all themselves, the FAB accelerator is a 12-week programme of weekly evening classes and regular 1-to-1 mentoring sessions delivered by expert speakers, experienced entrepreneurs, and special guests. The culmination is a demo day and pitching session where all participants get to pitch to a panel of angel investors and audience of business advisors, funding bodies, and support organisations.

As always, this is not an exhaustive list, so feel free to let us know at if you think there is a particularly deserving entity in any of these categories.

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Published on: 27th January 2019

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