How the Trust and its partners support science & tech start-ups

An independent charitable trust, The Oxford Trust was set up by Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood 36 years ago to “encourage the pursuit of science and enterprise”. Their experience of setting up Oxford Instruments, one of the University of Oxford’s early, and some say most successful, spinouts enabled them to appreciate the challenges that face young entrepreneurs. They saw how hard it was to get started, find suitable premises and get support. That’s why the Trust’s innovation centres are more than just office and lab space. We want to help companies thrive!

We own two innovation centres in Oxford – the Oxford Centre for Innovation in the city centre, near the railway station, and the Wood Centre for Innovation (pictured above) in Headington’s Health and Life Sciences District. Together these centres provide 40,000 sq ft of spaces from co-working and offices of different sizes to technical workspaces and R&D (up to class II) laboratories.

Over the last 36 years, the Trust has helped dozens of young tech companies to flourish and go on to establish successful organisations, including Mirada Medical, Perspectum Diagnostics, Navenio, Natural Motion, Oxford Lasers, Voltec Instruments, Oxford Gylcosciences (now part of UBC Celltech), Oxford Computer Consultants and more recently Ultromics.

A partnership for success
The Wood Centre for Innovation is the main operating base of the Trust and home to Barclays Eagle Lab Oxford. Oxford Innovation is the managing agent for both our centres and provides an integrated suite of support programmes. All three organisations work in partnership to support science and tech start-ups, spinouts and grow-on companies in our region.

For early-stage companies coming out of accelerator programmes or starting out independently, our partnership offers a growth pathway. Barclays Eagle Labs enables us to offer fledgling companies an incubator environment with co-working space, desk hire and comprehensive business support. Companies that “graduate” from Eagle Labs can easily move into office space, R&D labs and technical workspace in the Trust’s innovation centres. Oxford Innovation offers in-depth 1:1 business growth support to help organisations grow in our centres. A three-for-one deal!

 

Barclays Eagle Labs’ Next Steps Programme
The Trust has partnered with Barclays to set up an Eagle Lab at our Wood Centre for Innovation to help young businesses, like those straight out of accelerator programmes. There are 25 Eagle Labs all over the UK offering co-working space, mentors, events and workshops for ambitious companies. If you’ve got a big idea, Eagle Labs can help businesses build, learn, and scale faster through their Next Steps Programme. Barclays Eagle Lab, Oxford, specialises in science and tech and is brilliantly managed by Nicki Campling (Ecosystem Manager; pictured above) and Matt Lucas (Manager). They can help companies plug in to Barclays dedicated industry networks, including healthtech. Not only that, but they have also got beers in the fridge and table football too.

The Trust’s Escalator Support Programme
Our Escalator Support Programme gives access to most workspaces with a discounted fee structure for early years (1 to 5) tech companies who need it most and a special bootstrapped company entry level fee structure. This support is non-dilutive and fulfils our charitable mission to encourage the pursuit of science and enterprise. When funds are tight, we can try to help ease the way a little. Each year the Trust invests over £200,000 in such programmes.

 

 

Oxford Innovation’s Connected Programme
Our innovation centres are managed by Oxford Innovation – an early spinout of the Trust. Over the last 30 years, they’ve created 20,000 jobs, helped raise over £130 million investment and currently assist over 1000 companies through their 26 centres across the UK. An impressive track record of accelerating businesses and their Innovation Director, Wendy Tindsley (picture left), is a key part of that success in Oxfordshire. She has a wealth of experience in coaching and mentoring innovative start-ups and scale-ups through the Connected Programme. Wendy offers 1:1 support to help with fundraising, finding new markets, and scaling up. Networked with many stakeholders and partners across Oxfordshire, she can also make connections – whether it’s with other businesses, clients or linking opportunities as well as an Amazon Web Service package of support worth up to $11.5K.

If you want to find out more about how we can help your start-up or spinout, email Georgina Matthews [[email protected]]