OX1 Incubator Annual Report 2019-2020

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OX1 INCUBATOR Building tomorrow today.


Introduction and welcome The opportunity What makes us different? Our methodology

6-7 8 9 10

Past cohort: 2019-20 LevelUp Legalme ScanGenomics GreenerRoutes Ripple Serena Demo Day 2020 in pictures

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 19-20

Past cohort: 2018-19 Operon (formerly Coli) AllGood Artale Ceres GP Assist Rebndl Intrepidus

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Our collaborations: a snapshot Emerging Technologies Party (2019 and 2020) Magdalen Means Business (2019-20)

29 30 31

Our partners, advisors, mentors and supporters Our programme advisors and workshop partners Our start-up mentors Testimonials

33 34-35 35 36-42

Our leadership team, governance, partners, collaborations and plans Our leadership team Our advisory board, partners and past collaborations Our plans and how you can support us


www.ox1incubator.com | f @ox1incubator

in @ox1incubator

44 45 46


Gemma Timmons and Adrian Kozhevnikov Co-Founders and Co-Presidents, OX1 Incubator A summary of our achievements to date:




ventures supported

equity-free support provided

jobs created by our startups

colleges represented




75% +

student founders


ÂŁ22k +

female:male engagement

undergrad: postgrad engagement

start-ups have continued beyond OX1 Incubator

Welcome OX1 Incubator has 3 missions: provide a platform for building start-ups at university; nurture aspiring entrepreneurial talent; and raise awareness of entrepreneurship as a career path. In order to fulfill our missions, we founded Oxford’s first start-up incubator programme designed by student entrepreneurs, for student entrepreneurs, which does not take equity or IP. We support student entrepreneurs who wish to develop a start-up from an ideas-stage to being ready for the first round of funding. Oxford University has a huge talent pool of alumni and students engaged in entrepreneurial activities. By encouraging students to turn their talents to entrepreneurship, supported by mentors and our strong support network, we are providing a platform for a new generation of start-ups, built out of interdisciplinary collaboration and a desire to drive positive change. We are building tomorrow today. We are a start-up within ourselves, and as we grow, so too do our goals and ambitions. Our first cohort focused on better understanding the needs of students, testing and honing our programme, and building our core team. Our second cohort has been about growing our OX1 Incubator community, refining our programme, and anchoring our place in the Oxford entrepreneurial network. By building on Oxford’s university- and college-

level knowledge capital with alumni networks, investors, entrepreneurs and industry experts, we are harnessing and nurturing the talents of future entrepreneurs. In the past year, we have seen OX1 Incubator’s impact going from strength to strength: our Demo Day grants and attendance increased year-on-year, with engagement from a diverse community of undergraduate, Masters, DPhil and MBA students. We have welcomed our second cohort of six skilled start-up teams to OX1 Incubator, who are grappling with big challenges like the shift to online learning, disease diagnostics and democratising legal technology – you can find out more about them on pages 11-26. This cohort included a marked increase in female founders: over 65% of the teams included women, compared to around 40% in the first cohort; we are determined to build on this in the future. There is a clear demand for efficient, accessible support systems at Oxford which cater to the needs of students who want to found successful startups. We fulfilled our missions in the first two cohorts. In our next cohort, we will target postgraduates and start to seek sponsorship and investment from early-stage ventures and angel investors. We are ready to build on our successes, learn from the challenges we faced, and better serve the needs of early-stage student entrepreneurs at the University of Oxford.

“…we are providing a platform for a new generation of start-ups, built out of interdisciplinary collaboration and a desire to drive positive change. We are building tomorrow today.” www.ox1incubator.com | f @ox1incubator

in @ox1incubator


The opportunity OX1 Incubator grew out of 3 main main points in the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Oxford at the time: Existing support systems for would-be student founders in the Oxford entrepreneurial ecosystem were ineffective, fragmented and largely universityor college-led, hampering vital cross-discipline and undergraduate-postgraduate collaboration. This made the early stages of founding a start-up inefficient and discouraged students from pursuing their ideas.

Even if students overcame the first problem and started to develop their start-up idea, there were no start-up incubators which supported students founding a start-up from an ideas-stage that did not take equity or IP and still provided adequate support at this stage of incubation.


There was no single incubator or support system which provided end-to-end support for the early stages of founding a start-up, namely: a chance for student entrepreneurs with an idea but no co-founders to form a team, to have regular professional mentoring, to develop their startup to be ready for investment, and to be exposed to potential investors.

What makes us different?

Founded by students, for students, we understand and cater for the needs of student entrepreneurs. This has allowed us to create an incubator programme which is effectively structured to support the earliest stages of founding a start-up.

We do not take equity or IP from the start-ups we support. We focus on supporting the earliest stage of venture growth through crossdiscipline and undergraduatepostgraduate collaboration and fostering socially responsible student entrepreneurs.

We provide end-to-end support for the earliest stages of founding a start-up. In addition to the incubator programme, we run social events and have established a strong alumni network of student entrepreneurs and mentors. This provides support to the start-ups which develop in OX1 Incubator and enables them to continue to develop beyond the our programme.


Our 3 steps to building a successful start-up

Team formation

We invite students to apply to the OX1 Incubator programme if they have an idea for a start-up or key skills (whether technical or ‘soft skills’) but no idea for a start-up. Following a selection process and team formation event, we support team formation based on complementary skill sets.


Mentorship and workshop programme We hold a 12-week programme to develop students’ start-ups from an ideas-stage to being investment-ready. CEOs and investors run workshops on 3 core areas: ‘idea validation’, ‘build’ and ‘growth’. Mentors are allocated based on students’ ‘problem statement’ and target market.

Demo Day

The start-ups pitch their ideas to a panel of investors, CEOs and members of the Oxford entrepreneurship community. The ideas are scored on their novelty, market and scalability, profitability and feasibility by our judges. The best startups receive financial investment from OX1 Incubator in the form of grants.

PAST COHORT: 2019-20



“Asia and the U.K.’s first Educational MMORPG” LevelUp is a personal development platform for ‘K-12’ students (aged 3 to 18) that enhances their academic and holistic development. LevelUp offers a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) experience where children can interact, collaborate and build on their interpersonal skills while learning from curriculum-aligned content developed in-house and sourced from publishers. LevelUp measures users’ interactions in a virtual world and generates both academic activities for children and holistic activities for parent-teacher bonding, based on advanced analytics. For parents and teachers, LevelUp features a companion application which tracks children’s psychometric profile (via the OCEAN Model) and academic profile, based on which it offers developmental activities.

THE TEAM Nicholas U Jin: BA Jurisprudence, University of Oxford. He was awarded the Young Changemaker Award by the National Youth Council, and he is part of the Kairos Talent Program for entrepreneurial-minded students. Pawit Kochakarn: MENg Engineering Science, University of Oxford. He has extensive experience in both software and hardware development, having developed a wide range of software for numerous start-ups and firms. Alessandro Bongioanni: Postdoctoral researcher in Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford. He is an expert in the cognitive neuroscience of decision-making, learning and motivation. He has a background in philosophy, psychology and neuroscience (ENS, Paris; UCL, London; Oxford).


The LevelUp team continued to work on their start-up after OX1 Incubator. LevelUp currently has 33 employees across 5 departments. Parallel to development, the team will focus on fundraising and securing partnerships to test the MVP. LevelUp is part of OUI Incubator in Oxford and it has secured non-equity funding from Singapore, Indonesia and the U.K. LevelUp has partnered with 69 users across 4 different organisations. LevelUp plans to secure 1000 users by the end of 2020 and to iterate a full immersive 3D experience by early 2021.

WINNER: Grand Prize 2020 (£10,000) WINNER: Magdalen College Trust Social Impact Prize 2020 (£1,250) 12

OX1 Incubator Cohort: 2019-20


“Making the law less intimidating” The law is intimidating. Legalme is an online platform to help students manage and win their tenancy disputes. Legalme helps students keep their landlords accountable by guiding them through the process of making a small claim in the courts. The platform enables students to generate formal legal documents for their case, and aims to demystify the legal process to repair the power imbalance that exists between landlord and tenant.

THE TEAM Arthur Berkley: MEng Materials Science, University of Oxford. He has extensive experience in software development and product management. James Neale: MMath Mathematics and Statistics, University of Oxford. He is an experienced statistical researcher with a background in FinTech. Chiara McDermott: BA Neuroscience, University of Oxford. She has experience in finance, is a director of multiple companies and holds a silver Commonwealth medal.

NEXT STEPS The Legalme team continued to work on their start-up after OX1 Incubator. The team is currently developing the first iteration of their product and which it hopes to launch this Autumn or Winter. This first iteration will launch in Oxford and will offer the key support needed to manage a tenancy dispute. The Legalme team has engaged a national law firm. The team recently brought onboard a legal consultant to help with their launch.

WINNER: Second Prize 2020 (£5,000) OX1 Incubator Cohort: 2019-20



“Genetics at your fingertips� ScanGenomics works on analyzing dermatoglyphics data using artificial intelligence and cutting-edge machine learning algorithms to detect markers that correspond to several genetic disorders. In recent times, genetic disorders have risen to be one of the significant causes of mortality. As we improve our understanding of the human genome, we see that nearly all diseases have a genetic component linked to them. The vision of ScanGenomics is to aid the early diagnosis of these genetic diseases using computational data analytics for successful treatment. The dermatoglyphics or the fingerprints of a human individual are among the very few features that can uniquely identify an individual, and are determined by various phenomena, including genetic and chromosomal factors. Thus, the analysis of fingerprint patterns might reveal insights into the genetic makeup of an individual. Fingerprints are proven to act as reliable biological markers for several medical conditions such as hypertension and other coronary diseases.

THE TEAM Ashwin Jainarayanan: DPhil Interdisciplinary Bioscience, University of Oxford.

Shyam Sankaran: MSc Mathematical Modeling and Scientific Computing, University of Oxford.

Olmo Ferro: MPhil Economics, University of Oxford.

Thomas Orton: DPhil Computer Science, University of Oxford.

Sasha Collington: Executive MBA, University of Oxford.

NEXT STEPS The ScanGenomics team continued to work on their start-up after OX1 Incubator. ScanGenomics is working on large scale data acquisition from medical industries and healthcare services and will soon release its first prototype unit for testing and optimization. The team is currently expanding and plans to spin out a new unit for focusing on the scope of other quantifiable biomarkers.


OX1 Incubator Cohort: 2019-20


“Control your transport emissions� Despite growing concerns over climate change, research has shown that an overwhelming number of people feel they lack the tools to make informed decisions when it comes to travel. GreenerRoutes is an alternative navigation app which helps users make sustainable transport choices. The app allows journey planning based on real time estimates of carbon emissions, taking into account both the route and mode of transport. GreenerRoutes gives users the ability to track and offset their individual carbon emissions by paying for trees to be planted.

THE TEAM Max Doody: BA Medical Sciences, University of Oxford. He has experience in business and is a former winner of the TeenTech Innovation Competition. Bhuvana Sudarshan: MSc Biochemistry, University of Oxford. She has experience in biotech, consulting, and research. She is a former member of the Oxford iGEM team, which won the award for Best Undergraduate Therapeutic. Cora MacGregor: BA Classics and English, University of Oxford. She has experience in creative fields and is a former employee at a London-based start-up.

NEXT STEPS The GreenerRoutes team continued to work on their start-up after OX1 Incubator. The team was contacted by a venture strategy consultant following their pitch at the OX1 Demo Day. They are currently looking into new ways of exploring the idea of GreenerRoutes to bring an MVP (minimum viable product) to market, with plans to scale geographically in the future.

OX1 Incubator Cohort: 2019-20



“Meditation for students, by students� Our mental health plays a huge role in our ability to study effectively and keep a good work-life balance. Ripple is revolutionizing the way students understand and practise meditation. Ripple provides peer-to-peer meditation sessions, charging College or University welfare budgets so that students can attend for free. The team has secured paid partnerships with 10 Oxford colleges, trained additional session leaders, built a website, and established a strong social media presence.

THE TEAM Ben Bilefield: BA Geography, University of Oxford.

Daniel Gordon Hall: BA Theology, University of Oxford.

NEXT STEPS The Ripple team has paused their work on this start-up due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the team intend to continue working on this start-up in the near future, with plans to expand within Oxford and in Cambridge.


OX1 Incubator Cohort: 2019-20


“Worry about having fun, not about getting home safely� Many women feel unsafe when travelling home alone after a night out. This fear is understandable given the statistics: women travelling home alone are much more likely to be preyed upon than women travelling home in groups. Many existing attempts at solving the problem, such as panic buttons, apply too late, when the situation has already escalated. Women should not need such last resort measures in the first place. Serena addresses this problem by pairing up two women that have overlapping paths home. That way, both are safer.

THE TEAM Karen Waserstein: MSc Interdisciplinary Social Science, University of Oxford.

Sarah Hong: MSc Computer Science, Dartmouth College.

Luka Deekeling: BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Oxford.

NEXT STEPS The Serena team has paused their work on this start-up due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the team intend to continue working on this start-up in the near future.

OX1 Incubator Cohort: 2019-20


Demo Day 2020 in pictures




PAST COHORT: 2018-19



“Multiplatform lab work management application” Operon (formerly Coli) aims to improve the efficiency of science with software. Science is held back by the way scientists manage their lab work. Of the $500 million current annual spend on Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs), 10% is by academia alone. Operon is a multiplatform ELN application to easily set up, execute and record experiments from the desktop to the bench-top. Unlike competitors, it is both easy-to-use and ready for bench-top integration. Operon’s business model has three stages: an MVP (for peers and iGEMers, members of a worldwide synthetic biology competition); a free model (for incoming Oxford graduate students, later expanding to Cambridge and London); and a freemium model (for UK graduates, with the potential to expand to postdoctorate students and industry in North America and Europe).

THE TEAM Reza Rohani: DPhil Bioengineering, University of Oxford and BA Genetics, University of Cambridge. He has experience in consulting, biotech and asset management. Sebald Verkuijl: DPhil Interdisciplinary Biosciences, University of Oxford and MSc Bioscience, Groningen University. He was a winner of the Merck Innovation Cup and received a Gold Medal at iGEM, a worldwide synthetic biology competition. Stefan Leape: MSc Biochemistry, University of Oxford. He also has experience in venture capital and biotech.

NEXT STEPS The Operon team continued to work on their start-up after OX1 Incubator. Operon was selected to present this idea at the final of All-Innovate 2019 (a university-wide start-up pitching competition) out of over 100 entries. Operon has continued to develop its idea through detailed wireframes. Its biggest challenge has been to recruit a technical co-founder to help implement the wireframes. Operon aims to continue searching for a technical co-founder, and in parallel gain the skills to more effectively iterate on their idea independently. The strategy for the coming years is to focus on de-risking their product by developing a strong productmarket fit and de-risking themselves through training. When they near the end of their studies, the team members will shift their focus to pursuing further funding.

WINNER: Grand Prize 2019 (£5,000) 22

OX1 Incubator Cohort: 2018-19


“Elderly care app that helps you checks on loved ones” AllGood was founded on the belief that families shouldn't have to worry about their elderly loved ones living alone. All current solutions entail functional, emotional, and economic compromises. AllGood helps you to check on your loved ones, and you can rest easy with the knowledge that all is well. As 40% of seniors have a smartphone, AllGood decided to solve this problem with a simple mobile application. It provides an alternative to obsolete panic buttons (of which half are never worn). AllGood has created an MVP and is planning on piloting the MVP in the coming year.

THE TEAM Maggie Chen: MPhil Languages, University of Oxford. She is the founder of 2 webbased international companies, including the ‘Girls in Charge’ Initiative. Carlo Quadrio Curzio: BA Human Sciences, University of Oxford. He has experience in marketing and worked as a Summer Business Analyst at McKinsey.

Ben Griffiths: DPhil Quantum Physics, University of Oxford. Patent pending, he is the developer of multiple software tools. Daniel Ma: BSc Computer Science, University of Oxford. He has worked as a software engineer at Cloudbase and IBM, and he has ML experience.

NEXT STEPS The AllGood team continued to work on their start-up after OX1 Incubator. AllGood was selected to present their idea at the final of All-Innovate 2019 (a university-wide start-up pitching competition) out of over 100 entries. AllGood has three main goals for the year ahead: pilot the MVP; add additional functions; and get customer feedback. Its three main challenges for the year ahead are: technical (testing the foundational technology); legal (ensuring protection against legal risks); and business-related (developing a customer acquisition strategy for an increasingly crowded market). AllGood is currently working on its strategy for achieving its goals and mitigating its challenges. It is being assisted by 5 MBAs from Saïd Business School.

WINNER: Second Prize 2019 (£1,000) OX1 Incubator Cohort: 2018-19



“Art marketplace platform developing limited editions of art derivatives” The Chinese Authorised Art Derivatives market has an estimated size of 10 billion USD, but it still has untapped opportunities. Artale addresses four primary issues faced by artists: a lack of ability to monetise their art beyond galleries; a lack of motivation to seek potential buyers; a lack of market for mid-tier artwork transactions; and limited digital means to display and sell mid-tier art. It also addresses two issues faced by customers: middle income families do not have sufficient income to purchase high end artworks; and many potential customers are unaware of the range of offerings of the art market. Artale is a subscription-based online store of luxury art derivative products. The website showcases artists’ stories of their art through videos. It also advises young artists on their artwork through Artale’s networks with collectors. In contrast to much of the online art market, Artale targets Chinese classical works at Western customers, and 21st Century contemporary works at Chinese customers.

THE TEAM Lucy Li: BA Economics and Management, University of Oxford. She is a figurative realist painter and has had 2 solo exhibitions and published 3 portfolios. In addition, she founded the Oxford Art Club. Helen Chan: British and European studies, Continued Education Department. She is a classical Chinese painter and studied under Master Mok-E-Den. She has extensive experience in Art Curation and is the founder of the Hi Workshop. Lena Ma: MBA, Saïd Business School. She has 4 years of work experience in venture capital, and has worked for PwC Hong Kong.

NEXT STEPS The Artale team continued to work on their start-up after OX1 Incubator. They already have partnerships with over 30 art institutions, exhibitions and societies, including the Portrait Society of America, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Chinese Academy of Oil Painting and the Lagua College of Art-Design), and with over 20 emerging artists. Artale’s business model has three stages: an online shop and internet subscription model (September 2019, 10,000 customers); a mobile app, a physical shop in Hong Kong and B2B sales (date tbc, 50,000 target customers); and international expansion (date tbc, 100,000 customers). The Artale team is currently searching for suppliers for low-end art products in Shenzhen or Beijing, and already has a partnership with a factory producing high-quality products (Chinavre). 24

OX1 Incubator Cohort: 2018-19


“A fresh-pasta-making robot” Ceres tackles the ‘hungry person’s trilemma’: when choosing between convenient, affordable and healthy food, you can generally have at most two of the three. This trilemma is most noteworthy during the lunchtime rush, which presents a lucrative opportunity: the lunchtime market in the UK is £5 billion per annum and growing. Ceres is creating a high-end pasta making robot that can deliver a fresh pasta meal from order to service in less than 3 minutes. To achieve this, Ceres developed ‘particle pasta’: a form of couscous-like pasta. The dough production time is less than 30 seconds, and the pasta takes less than 1 minute to cook. Particle pasta is a convenient, fresh, nutritious and affordable pasta fit for the 21st Century.

THE TEAM Walter Huang: MSc Financial Economics, University of Oxford. He has extensive experience in finance.

Daniel Wells: DPhil Genomics, University of Oxford. He has extensive experience in robotics.

Neil Wang: MSc Engineering, University of Oxford. He has extensive experience in food biochemistry.

NEXT STEPS The Ceres team continued to work on their start-up after OX1 Incubator. Ceres plans to roll-out its machines at colleges and universities, as students are particularly affected by the ‘hungry person’s trilemma’. Later, Ceres plans to deploy its machines in office areas, such as WeWork spaces. The Ceres team’s biggest challenge is creating the mechanics of the machines: the prototyping process and path to product launch is more challenging and time-consuming than expected. Additionally, in order to meet their next milestone (launching Ceres machines in office spaces), the Ceres team face the challenge of acquiring licensing and compliance on food regulation, especially given the fresh food used in the vending machines. They are investigating whether Ceres could meet food safety regulations. If not, Ceres will pursue a traditional restaurant-based model. To this end, the Ceres team have contacted chefs and restaurant managers for advice and feedback on their robotics and logistics. Once Ceres has financing, it will finalise its working prototype and create a deployable pasta station. OX1 Incubator Cohort: 2018-19


GP Assist

“Medical services at home” Many routine medical services that currently need a visit to the hospital could instead be performed at home, arranged through a local GP, saving time and hassle for everyone. Unfortunately, GPs are severely overworked. This means that they prefer sending patients to the hospital to home-visits. To solve this problem, GP Assist is building a cost-effective way to provide medical services at home, which can be provided by a GP via a simple prescription. GP Assist provides a postal diagnostic kit paired with a smartphone app, powered by oximetry and AI. It is user-friendly for patients, provides AI-powered insights for clinicians, and is cheaper for the NHS than current alternatives. GP Assist is initially developing a sleep apnoea home-screening service, which can later easily be extended to other areas of healthcare.

THE TEAM Niclas Palmius: DPhil Biomedical Engineering, University of Oxford.

Vira Ameli: DPhil Public Health, University of Oxford.

Aditya Agarwal: MSc Computer Science, University of Oxford.

Tommy Gorgy: MBA, University of Oxford. Tommy is a Medical Doctor.

NEXT STEPS The GP Assist team continued to work on their start-up after OX1 Incubator. The long-term aim of GP Assist is to develop a network of GP practices (and potentially secondary care clinics) using its service for postal medical diagnostics, initially as first-line screening for sleep apnoea, then expanding to other conditions. In its first year, it established a relationship with a clinical partner at Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust to run a clinical study. This enabled GP Assist to gain approval and evidence for their core software solution for sleep apnoea diagnosis. GP Assist’s main objective for the next year is to further develop its software and to run a trial to evaluate the service solution. In order to achieve this objective and receive funding, GP Assist needs support for software development and academic support for a trial.


OX1 Incubator Cohort: 2018-19


“Intelligent digital news subscription” 67% of people read the news online for free and are increasingly looking to access a highly curated selection of news stories on their smartphones. Through its digital news subscription platform, Rebndl integrates the emerging trends in news consumption behaviour with the changing business demands of newspapers to shape the future of news publishing.

THE TEAM Roman Rothaermel: DPhil Neuroscience, University of Oxford. Roman has experience in development and data science. Tom Kent: DPhil Medical Science, University of Oxford. Tom has experience in web development.

NEXT STEPS After having been equipped with the skills needed to found a start-up in the OX1 Incubator, the original Rebndl team moved on to a new idea: Neurolytic Healthcare Ltd. They have already received funding from two sources and have a headcount of 10 dedicated team members, including a prominent advisory board. Neurolytic Healthcare Ltd. delivers AI-driven, real-time event prediction and pharmacogenomic testing for neurological disorders to improve patients’ quality of life and to help clinicians optimise prescription decisions. It draws on recent advances and successes in personalised medicine and pharmacogenomics, supported by NHS England's aim to embed personalised healthcare across the NHS. Given the current suboptimal management of neurological disorders and lack of specialised healthcare staff in the UK, there remains a significant unmet need for digital healthcare providers who can deliver effective neurological event prediction tools and a systematic optimisation of pharmacological treatment. By covering and personalising the complete treatment pathway, Neurolytic Healthcare ensures improved quality of life and optimised clinical decision-making, whilst reducing the significant costs to the economy and healthcare system.

OX1 Incubator Cohort: 2018-19



“Using CBT to overcome the fear of needles” 30% of the population suffer from a fear of needles, which impedes their lives in multiple ways. In 2012, £213 million was spent on an NHS programme delivering Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), while £172 million was spent on all other forms of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. The current solutions to a fear of needles (talking therapies, distraction and relaxation) are either ineffective, or expensive and inconvenient. Intrepidus provides convenient, low-cost, therapy-quality care to help people overcome their fear of needles. It does so via an app powered by AI and CBT which identifies and challenges patients’ fears and unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.

THE TEAM Zaki Krag Nielsen: DPhil Medical Sciences, University of Oxford.

Vlad Moldoveanu: MSc Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Oxford.


While the Intrepidus team did not continue to work on this start-up after OX1 Incubator, the team intend to continue on an entrepreneurial path in the near future.


OX1 Incubator Cohort: 2018-19



Emerging Technologies Party (2019 and 2020) The Emerging Technologies (‘EmTech’) Party is a popular annual event which brings together Oxford’s main student societies with a passion for emerging technologies. Co-hosted by OX1 Incubator in 2019 and 2020, this event provided an opportunity for students to better understand the emerging technologies scene at Oxford in a relaxed environment, with networking, music, food and drinks. It also offered societies a chance to collaborate with each other and explore potential partnerships. At the EmTech Party, OX1 Incubator and the other organising societies had a chance to engage with enthusiastic students. Societies could explain what they do and how they can help students. Students were able to meet like-minded people, find out which technological advances will define the coming decade, and eat a whole lot of pizza. OX1 Incubator was proud to co-host this event with Oxford Artificial Intelligence Society, Oxford University CompSoc, CapitOx, Oxford Fintech & Legaltech Society, Oxford Women in Business, Oxford African & Caribbean Society, Enterprising Oxford and Oxford Women in Computer Science, among others. The EmTech Party marked an important coming-together of like-minded students who are passionate about emerging technologies, and it proved a hit among students.


Magdalen Means Business (2019-20) OX1 Incubator proudly supported The Oxford Science Park (‘TOSP’) and Magdalen College in running an exhibition and lecture series exploring the relationship between academia and the entrepreneurial world. The events of the ‘Magdalen Means Business: From Inspiration to Enterprise’ series ranged from formal lectures tracing the biographies of individuals and their companies, indepth discussions between academics and entrepreneurs, and provocative debates between various sectors. Topics included: • The challenges and opportunities of academic entrepreneurship • The search for ground truth in risk management • Entrepreneurship during Covid-19 and beyond • The process of inventing and developing a ventilator in rapid response to Covid-19 As part of the ‘Magdalen Means Business: From Inspiration to Enterprise’ series, OX1 Incubator was invited to take part in a panel discussion on the question ”Is Oxford good for entrepreneurship?”. Gemma Timmons, co-founder of OX1 Incubator, participated in a lively discussion with students, investors and serial entrepreneurs about the strengths of Oxford’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, as well as possible areas for improvement. Further information about the 2019-20 ‘Magdalen Means Business’ series can be found at www.magd.ox.ac.uk/magdalen-means-business

Panelists, ‘Is Oxford good for entrepreneurship’ event (L-R): Leah Thompson (Senior Knowledge Exchange Officer; Lead, Enterprising Oxford) Phil Clare (Deputy Director of Research Services, University of Oxford); Emma Palmer-Foster (Strategic Communications Consultant, TOSP) Beth Plant (Founder, SAFEBANGLE) Gemma Timmons (Co-Founder, OX1 Incubator) R.A. Williams (Business coach and strategy consultant) 31




Our partners (2018-20) Our programme advisors We benefit from an incredible group of programme advisors who help us shape the OX1 Incubator curriculum. Our advisors have a range of specialties and experiences relevant to the programme.

Matt Clifford Co-Founder and CEO, Entrepreneur First

Tim Flagg Founder and CEO, Advantagious

Tom Pocock Co-Founder and CEO, AZTEC Protocol

Anthony Beaumont Operations Director, Stake Zero Ventures

Our workshop partners During our 12-week programme, we hold 10 workshops to help teams develop from ideas to start-ups. The workshops are split into 3 blocks: ‘idea validation’, ‘build’ and ‘growth’. Every workshop is presented by one of our workshop partners, in the field of their expertise. These workshops are an exclusive opportunity for cohort members to discuss their ideas with our expert partners.


Matt Clifford Co-Founder and CEO, Entrepreneur First

Tim Flagg Founder and CEO, Advantagious

Edward Upton Founder, Technical Lead and Product Consultant, LittleData

Adnan Zaheer Founder and CEO, Seers Group

Paul Lindsell Founder and CEO, Thoughtspark

Irfan Mughal CEO, Cipher

Tom CarringtonSmith Product Lead, Entrepreneur First

Placi Espejo Pitching Trainer

Our workshop partners (continued)

Meri Beckwith Investment Manager, Oxford Capital

Rob McInerney Entrepreneur in Residence, Techstars

Calvin Benton Founder, Spill

Huw Thomas Founders of the Future

Our start-up mentors OX1 Incubator gives our start-ups access to a large network of mentors. Most mentors are confirmed after the selection process, with each one having relevant experience to the needs of individual teams. Every mentor will dedicate at least one hour per week to their team.

Tom Pocock Co-Founder and CEO, AZTEC Protocol

Camille RougiĂŠ Co-Founder and CEO, Plural AI

Niamh Gavin EIR, Entrepreneur First

Edward Upton Bas De Vries Founder, Technical Lead Founder and CTO, and Product Consultant, Limbic LittleData

Huw Thomas Founders of the Future

Tom Bryan EIR, Entrepreneur First


Testimonials Matt Clifford: Co-Founder and CEO, Entrepreneur First Judge, Demo Day 2019 “I was extremely impressed by the caliber of talent on show at the OX1 Demo Day. It’s clear that the organisation is attracting great people and equipping them to succeed.”

“[OX1 Incubator] is attracting great people and equipping them to succeed.”

Rory Maw: Bursar, Magdalen College and Director, The Oxford Science Park Partner, Demo Day 2020 “Magdalen is delighted to continue its support for the OX1 incubator programme, through sponsorship from the College itself, as well as The Oxford Science Park, which the College owns and manages. This is part of Magdalen's wider strategy to encourage and foster innovation and entrepreneurship amongst its students, Fellows and alumni under the ground-breaking Magdalen Means Business programme. OX1 Incubator is an important element of that strategy. Founded by Magdalen undergraduates, it is unusual in being created and run entirely by students and, as such, is really in touch with the needs of student-led start-ups. The OX1 Incubator programme is impressively managed and the quality of applications consistently high. The start-ups included a wide range of creative and ingenious ideas, applying existing or new technology to customer needs, and the teams coped well with searching questions from the judging panel. It is also good to see the winners taking up the offer of free space and support at The Magdalen Centre, the innovation hub at The Oxford Science Park, which is home to over 50 early-stage and innovative businesses. We wish all the emerging entrepreneurs the best of luck!”

“The OX1 Incubator programme is impressively managed and the quality of applications is consistently high…[The start-ups] included a wide range of creative and ingenious ideas, applying existing or new technology to customer needs”


Shelley Meagher: Magdalen Means Business Coordinator and Senior Development Executive, Magdalen College Partner, Demo Day 2019 and 2020 "OX1 Incubator is an exciting development in an exciting sphere of activity in Magdalen and in Oxford. OX1 Incubator’s annual Demo Day is enormous fun. It gives an impressive demonstration of how creative, resourceful, innovative and energetic Oxford’s students are, their appetite for discovery, for practical applications of research, for collaboration between disciplines, between colleges, and increasingly, strikingly, for collaboration between undergraduates and postgraduates. The emphasis on solving problems and forming teams notable for their diversity of skills, training, knowledge and perspective, combined with the fact that OX1 Incubator does not take equity in its start-ups, generates teams which produce truly interesting, novel ideas. What’s more, both this year and last, each OX1 Incubator team found its own voice – a singular achievement by the participants and a tribute to OX1 Incubator, its mentors and advisors, and arguably, by extension, to the collegiate university and to the culture of Oxford’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Magdalen Means Business supports OX1 Incubator by providing access to our network of expert advisors, mentors, philanthropic support and sponsorship. We are proud that today, our fellows, members of our SCR, colleagues from The Oxford Science Park and a considerable number of our alumni comprise OX1 Incubator’s Board and feature among OX1 Incubator’s workshop advisors, workshop partners, and Demo Day judges. We are also most grateful to the alumni of Magdalen whose seed-funding for the Magdalen Means Business programme has helped OX1 Incubator develop. The Magdalen undergraduates who founded OX1 Incubator worked with the College to establish the strong degree of trust that now underpins the continuing partnership between Magdalen and OX1 Incubator. It has been a pleasure to get to know OX1 Incubator’s new President, Jack Chong (Christ Church), over the last six months. We look forward to supporting OX1 Incubator again this year as it takes its next steps in growth. We wish the OX1 Incubator alumni enterprises the best of luck. We can’t wait to see OX1 Incubator’s new entrepreneurs at Demo Day 2021."

“…both this year and last, each OX1 Incubator team found its own voice – a singular achievement by the participants and a tribute to OX1 Incubator, its mentors and advisors, and arguably, by extension, to the collegiate university and to the culture of Oxford’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”


Meri Beckwith: Investment Manager, Oxford Capital Judge, Demo Day 2019 “The quality of the start-ups presenting at Demo Day was extremely high and the students involved were clearly very dedicated. This is all the more impressive considering that the teams were studying full time and the companies had only existed for a few months. It was also great to see this kind of initiative started by students from my old college; Magdalen is already an outstanding college in so many ways, but I hope that it will continue to be known for its outstanding support for entrepreneurship.”

“The quality of the start-ups…was extremely high…all the more impressive considering that the teams were studying full time. ”

Sven Kirkerup: Managing Director, Nidobirds Ventures Judge, Demo Day 2020 “We have tremendously enjoyed working with the teams on selecting eco-friendly transport, developing security services, venturing into legaltech, applying neuroscience and data-driven gamification to educational problems and scaling meditation courses. It has been truly inspiring to see the breadth of ideas that go beyond academic research programmes, as well as the ability to identify real problems. While some of the ideas might require further testing before taking their minimum viable product to market, it is the readiness to experiment and stretch existing boundaries which most excites me. The OX1 Incubator team has done a great job providing a framework that has guided the teams throughout the initial period of forming a start-up, right up to the Demo Day. The quality of start-ups has risen throughout the programme and we hope to stay in contact with many of these young entrepreneurs for the years to come. Early stage support encourages experimentation at idea-level and foments the design-thinking necessary to discover viable solutions and ways to monetise ideas, as well as forming effective teams that can deliver on their ideas.”

“It has been truly inspiring to see the breadth of ideas that go beyond academic research programmes, as well as the ability to identify real problems…it is the readiness to experiment and stretch existing boundaries which most excites me.” 38

Emma Palmer Foster: Strategic Communications Consultant, The Oxford Science Park Judge, Demo Day 2019 "The Oxford Science Park was delighted to be a supporter of OX1 Incubator. Entrepreneurial activity is an important driver of economic growth, and the earlier in their careers students can engage with it, the better the outcomes. The skills learned through OX1 Incubator will help participants become The Oxford Science Park’s occupiers of the future: leading, innovative and valuable companies."

“The skills learned through OX1 Incubator will help participants become…leading, innovative and valuable companies.”

Dr Barbara Domayne-Hayman: Entrepreneur in Residence, Francis Crick Institute Judge, Demo Day 2019 "I was very impressed by the standard of pitching at the OX1 Demo Day. There were some great ideas, the presentations were generally well structured and the enthusiasm for entrepreneurship from the participants was very energising. I hope that OX1 Incubator will become an established part of Oxford students' annual calendar, to stimulate further entrepreneurship in the University."

“I hope that OX1 Incubator will become an established part of the Oxford students' annual calendar.”

Mina Elisha Bekheet: CEO and Founder, Panacea Innovation Partner, Demo Day 2019 and 2020 "We are proud to support OX1 Incubator and their vision to encourage entrepreneurial thinking in students by providing structured support through their start-up journey. We highly value the arising class of convergence ventures, much alike companies on our own portfolio. Over the past years, we have seen graduates from the OX1 Incubator joining our Panacea Stars Develop programme and advancing to thrive in fundraising and navigating through the uncertain, highly-regulated climate. It is exactly these founders and the associated training that help our society progress."

“It is exactly these founders and the associated training that help our society progress.” 39

Nicholas Jin: BA Jurisprudence, Merton College. Co-Founder, LevelUp, 2019-20 Cohort My passion lies in entrepreneurship, with LevelUp being the second company that I founded after MBF, which was a B2B fashion tech-company based in Singapore. Coming into Oxford as a foreign student who spent a year at Yale-NUS College, I was an unlikely Oxonian. The environment in Oxford can be very academic, and OX1 Incubator was a great way for me to meet other entrepreneurial students, spitball ideas, and eventually form a team. As a company, LevelUp has successfully transitioned from the idea stage to gaining traction through tuition centres and volunteer initiatives partnering with us as our first adopters. Thanks to OX1 Incubator, I have learned a lot about growing and managing a venture. LevelUp currently employs 33 people across 5 departments. In terms of the programme, the stand-out moments were the first and last days. OX1 Incubator gives you a platform to find some of the most entrepreneurial minds in the University and work on a start-up together. After the formation of the team, the most transformative moment is when you pitch. As an entrepreneur, one of the key goals is to be concise, engaging, and persuasive about your idea, and there are few opportunities to practice this at this stage of our lives. OX1 Incubator gave us a golden opportunity to do so. Entrepreneurship is not a well-structured subject - its nature is to be fluid. That said, OX1 Incubator does very well in giving founders the opportunity to speak to people in the industry in order to refine their idea, and to learn about the key skills required for success. The workshop preceding the Demo Day was very important for learning how we should deliver a pitch, and how to grow the venture after OX1 Incubator in terms of seeking out angel investors and VCs. As a founder, you have 2 key responsibilities: building a product and talking to your users. Thanks to OX1 Incubator, I have learned to build fast, fail fast, and learn fast. Keep doing that until you succeed. That’s what I’m currently working on!

“OX1 Incubator gives you a platform to find some of the most entrepreneurial minds in the University and work on a start-up together…thanks to OX1 Incubator, I have learned to build fast, fail fast, and learn fast.”


Reza Rohani: DPhil Engineering Science, St Hugh’s College. Co-Founder, Operon (formerly Coli), 2018-19 Cohort I joined with a desire to solve a problem I had noticed in lab workflows, but only a vague idea of how to do so. 12 weeks later I gained not only two fantastic cofounders with a viable product and business, but also newly-acquired skills in product development, business strategy, team management and pitching (among others). None of this would have happened without OX1 Incubator, which provided the environment and support needed to develop entrepreneurial but inexperienced students into early-stage start-up teams. The programme of workshops delivered by start-up founders, investors and advisors was excellent in its content and structure. The workshops covered all the main entrepreneurship topics, from product market fit to pitching and incorporation, and allowed teams to receive tailored feedback through interactive components. Personal favourite workshops included those by Matt Clifford on Customer Development, and by Tom Carrington-Smith on Product Development. The order and timing of the workshops mapped closely to our own progression; we often had workshops on dealing with certain challenges which coincided with when we faced these challenges. Beyond the formal workshops, OX1 Incubator provided excellent value through its network. The broad engagement of OX1 Incubator with a diverse cohort provided a range of opinions which were willing to challenge and complement our own. Also, every workshop leader we approached for help generously offered their time and expertise. We were very lucky to be mentored by Niamh Gavin, who has helped us with various aspects of our product, business and pitch. The network of potential co-founders and mentors may be OX1 Incubator’s most lasting valueadd. The £5,000 Grand Prize will help us take our start-up to the next step and to develop our MVP. But we are far from the only team who will continue work on their startup after OX1 Incubator: in fact, every other team I have spoken to is also intent to keep on going to create their venture. Without a doubt, OX1 Incubator has been one of my most instructive experiences at either Oxford or Cambridge!

“OX1 Incubator…provided the environment and support needed to develop entrepreneurial but inexperienced students into early-stage start-up teams…Without a doubt, this has been one of my most instructive experiences at either Oxford or Cambridge!”


Carlo Quadrio Curzio: BA Human Sciences, Magdalen College. Co-founder, AllGood, 2018-19 Cohort I joined OX1 Incubator because I wanted to be part of something new but didn’t know where to begin. At OX1 Incubator, you don’t need a team or a clear idea for a start-up – you just need to be motivated to collaborate to solve challenges. I was hooked by the diversity and exciting ideas of the cohort and the engaging workshops which introduced us to how start-ups can thrive. My fellow cohort members were impressive, experienced and highly motivated, and the ideas were diverse and exciting and inspired me to stay with OX1 Incubator. I was (and still am) constantly excited to work alongside my co-founders. My main takeaway from the programme was the importance of focusing on the problem you are trying to solve and the feasibility of solving it – we pivoted to a more promising idea early on, which ultimately let to our success. The milestone presentations were an important way to see how other start-ups are getting on, and the feedback gave us clear areas to work on. Throughout the program, OX1 Incubator has provided the opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals from other teams. This network of bright and motivated individuals will be invaluable in the future. We were delighted to win the ‘Audience’s Choice’ Second Prize, which will enable us to build and market our product. Highly recommend OX1!

“I was hooked by the diversity and exciting ideas of the cohort and the engaging workshops which introduced us to how start-ups can thrive...This network of bright and motivated individuals will be invaluable in the future.” Stefan Leape: MSc Biochemistry, New College. Co-founder, Operon, 2018-19 Cohort “This was a unique opportunity for me to meet passionate people who also cared about the problems I cared about, and to team up with them and try to solve them.”


Roman Rothaermel: DPhil Neuroscience, Balliol College. Co-founder, Rebndl, 2018-19 Cohort ”Through OX1 Incubator, we got all the necessary tools to put our venture on track and start moving ahead. Without OX1 Incubator, I would not be the entrepreneur that I am today.”



Our leadership team, governance, partners and collaborations We are grateful to our brilliant outgoing team, as well as our inspiring advisory board and strong partnerships. They help us to ensure that our work reflects the needs of students and the realities of entrepreneurship, so that we help our startups succeed and make the most of the talent that exists all around us. Our team (2019-20)

Gemma Timmons Co-Founder and Co-President (Magdalen College)

Adrian Kozhevnikov Co-Founder and Co-President (Magdalen College)

Benjamin Goh Treasurer (St Hilda’s College)

Tom Flatters Programme Director (Corpus Christi College)

Melody (Chi Yan) Lam Secretary (Oriel College)

Tom Schaffner Demo Day Director (University College)

Jules Desai Partnerships Co-Director (Merton College)

Ti Xu Partnerships Co-Director (Saïd Business School)

Pun Pun (Natcha) Yongphiphatwong Creative Director (St Peter’s College)


Pawit Kochakarn Technical Director (Magdalen College)

Daniel Hall Events Director (Oriel College)

Our advisory board

Peter Garratt IP specialist and former attorney, Mathys & Squire

Emma Palmer-Foster Strategic communications consultant, The Oxford Science Park (TOSP)

Alan Roth Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence, Oxford

Liam Dolan Non-Executive Director, MoA Technology and Sheridan Professor of Botany, Oxford

Our partners OX1 Incubator is proudly supported by:

Our collaborations Since 2018, OX1 Incubator has proudly collaborated with: CapitOx Effective Altruism Oxford Enterprising Oxford Oxford African & Caribbean Society Oxford Art Club Oxford Artificial Intelligence Society Oxford Drone Society Oxford Fintech & Legaltech Society Oxford Hub Oxford Robotics and Additive

Manufacturing Society Oxford University CompSoc Oxford University Rocketry Society Oxford Venture Capital Network Oxford VR/AR Society Oxford Women in Business Oxford Women in Computer Science OxWest Quantum Information Society


Our plans and how you can support us President’s plans for OX1 Incubator, 2020-21 “As we expect most of our programme to move online due to the ongoing pandemic, we plan to expand our cohort this year, especially targeting postgraduate students. We also plan to expand our connections and seek sponsorships from London-based early-stage ventures and angel investors. Our past cohorts' achievements have shown our value as an early-stage pipeline into other UK-based incubators and accelerators, and we will keep this momentum going.” (Jack Chong: President, OX1 Incubator, 2020-21) How you can support us OX1 Incubator was set up by students for all University of Oxford students. It is entirely funded through the generous philanthropy of our supporters and corporate partnerships. We are determined to provide talented students from all backgrounds with access to our networks, resources and opportunities that will help them to create solutions to the most pressing challenges that face this world. If you share our mission, and want to support us in building a new generation of start-ups, please contact us to start a conversation about funding our work: team@ox1incubator.com Join our mailing list Register to join our mailing list and receive updates from OX1 Incubator, our past cohorts, our team and entrepreneurship by following this link or scanning this QR code: shorturl.at/tEKW5


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