Escalator Support Programme

Starting a new business is tough in any sector. Starting a new science or tech business in Oxford can be extra tough but maybe we can help?

Our Escalator Support Programme is:

  • aimed at helping young technology-based companies get a start in Oxford
  • directed to organisations that really need financial support before they either raise venture capital or become revenue generating
  • limited to four years of support
  • is not linked to any investment or commitments

How does it work?

Companies wishing to move to our Oxford Centre for Innovation (in the city centre) or Wood Centre for Innovation (in Headington) can apply for support via our managing agents, Oxford Innovation. It is granted on approval from the Trust.

Are you eligible?
Are you:

  • an early stage company, less than two years from formation?
  • focused on new technologies (life science, digital, medtech etc)
  • in receipt of funds no greater than £500,000 via grants, pre-seed etc?
  • requiring office accommodation for up to eight people?

What would your company receive?

  • up to 40% discount off the market rate in year 1 for fully serviced office and technical workshop space (subject to availability)
    • This discount reduces each year by 10% points.
    • Note: that laboratory space is not included in this programme.
  • if you are bootstrapping your way, please talk to us about your situation as special help maybe available.
  • 1:1 support from our Business Innovation Director
  • access to the angel investment network OION
  • access to the Barclays Eagle Lab (fees may apply) and their extensive business coaching and support programmes.

When does the Escalator Support Programme end?

Once an organisation can support itself by raising funds such as seed or Series A (£1 million+) or trading profitably for 12 months the ESP is discontinued and normal trading rates apply. This allows the Trust to focus its support on other early-stage ventures.

Each year the Trust supports early-stage companies to the value of up to £200,000 as part of our charitable mission to ‘encourage the pursuit of science and enterprise’.

Over the last 36 years we have helped dozens of companies get started, grow, and then expand beyond our centres. These recently include: NavenioMirada MedicalPerspectum Diagnostics

For our wider business support programme for companies based in our centres, see here.

If we can help you and your company get started, 

Contact Us



Note: The subsidised places are subject to terms & conditions and availability, based on the Trust’s assessment of the support needed.

Oxford Centre for Innovation

Right in the heart of Oxford, next to Oxford Castle, The Oxford Centre for Innovation is home to 200+ entrepreneurs working in science and tech start-ups.

Wood Centre for Innovation

The Wood Centre for Innovation provides 20,000 sq-ft of office, R&D lab and technical workshop space for start-up and grow-on companies working in science and tech.

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