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COHORT 4 LOOKBOOK

@oxfoundry www.oxfordfoundry.ox.ac.uk


OXFORD FOUNDRY

WELCOME, COHORT 4 Biz Stone, Co-founder, Twitter | Chair, Oxford Foundry Advisory Board “The OXFO Elevate accelerator is a place where entrepreneurs can leverage the incredible resources and networks university accelerators have to offer. Since 2017, OXFO ventures have consistently proven to be highly investable – I, myself, have personally invested in several of them – and have shown what is possible when we back early-stage ventures. There are some incredible start-ups in the Foundry’s portfolio - Infogrid, Nye Health, Oxwash, iLoF to name just a few. I’m looking forward to getting to know the new cohort and seeing the impact we can make together over the next six months and beyond.”


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OXFO OxfordELEVATE Foundry ACCELERATOR

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CTRL/CMD INTRODUCTION + SHIFT + CLICK

W

e launched the OXFO Elevate accelerator in 2018, fresh from the Oxford Foundry opening in mid-October 2017. We built it using global best practice frameworks, and in under three years we are proud to say it has gone from strength to strength and had exceptional demand, particularly amongst alumni – many of whom graduated ten or more years ago. The UK is a pivotal epicentre of entrepreneurial opportunity and technological innovation but there is still so much untapped potential. Universities have unique and unparalleled assets, talent, academic expertise and industry partnerships they can leverage to support ventures, so it’s imperative we do everything we can to support this new generation of founders and leaders and help them bring their ingenuity and talent to fruition.

OXFO ventures are proof that profit and social impact are not mutually exclusive, and technology can be used to address inequalities rather than widening them. We support ventures who are tackling some of the world’s toughest problems. Climate change, healthcare equity, cybersecurity - these are just some of the many challenges our ventures are committed to solving. And they’re committed to putting social inclusion and collective progress at the heart of their venture from day one. OXFO ventures are putting people and planet first, while helping us build back better, and are creating vital new jobs lost due to the pandemic. We’re looking forward to bringing people together across the Oxford community, our global entrepreneurial ecosystems, and the public and private sectors to support this new cohort. Thank you to everyone that makes OXFO Elevate possible - our incredible global network of dedicated advisors, experts and mentors who provide hands-on support to our ventures, our partners, supporters, and importantly my incredible OXFO team.

While the accelerator is six months long, our ventures are part of the OXFO community for life. They are part of an evergreen cycle of support that makes university entrepreneurship ecosystems so unique. It is testament to their passion, dedication and values, that 100% of OXFO ventures are either already supporting, or plan to support, this new cohort of exciting ventures to help them on their journeys. We have seen the demonstrable impact a university community can have in nurturing, scaling, and investing in high-potential start-ups and removing barriers to growth, so if you’re not already, we hope you will join our community and be part of supporting the next generation of ventures and leaders. With warm wishes,

Ana Bakshi Executive Director, Oxford Foundry

VENTURE PORTFOLIO 2021

Our unique position and approach has enabled the 32 ventures in cohorts 1-3 of OXFO Elevate to raise £43 million+ since joining the accelerator, create 170+ jobs and to be valued at over £150 million, growing every day.


Dean Peter Tufano Peter Moores Dean, Professor of Finance at Saïd Business School, Advisor to the Oxford Foundry and Vice-Chair of the OXFO

OXFO ELEVATE ACCELERATOR VENTURE PORTFOLIO 2021

Academic Steering Committee

“The past 18 months have shown how entrepreneurs rapidly rise to address pressing needs, providing ccreative and effective solutions in the fac face of unprecedented challenges. Working across many different sectors - public he health, education, the workplace, and mor more, our entrepreneurial students and alumn alumni inspire me with their dedication and creativ creativity. The Oxford Foundry provides the suppor support, space and resources these ventures need nee to thrive, and I am grateful to the Found Foundry team, our advisors, and supporters for all they do.”“

“Oxford University has produced more founders of billion-dollar start-ups than any other institution in Europe (Sage UK, 2017). With such a strong innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem here, it’s vital that as well as commercialising research-focused d spin spin-outs, outs, we continue to extend our support, and accelerate student and alumni ventures att their earliest stages. The Foundry accelerates es ventures at the start of their journeys incredibly ibly well, and in working together across divisions, ns, disciplines, and centres, and embedding entrepreneurship ntrepreneurship and innovation right across the he University, there is phenomenal potential to substantially contribute towards solving complex mplex global problems and improving our society ociety and the economy.”

Professor Chas Bountra Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Innovation, University of Oxford, Chair of the OXFO Academic Steering Committee


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OXFO ELEVATE ACCELERATOR KEY STATS TO DATE

32 STARTUPS

OXFO ELEVATE PORTFOLIO VALUATION

70% OF VENTURES RAISED FOLLOWON FUNDING IN EUROPE AND THE US IN THE 6 TO 12 MONTHS FOLLOWING THE PROGRAMME

9.0 NET PROMOTER SCORE

CAPITAL RAISED BY THE VENTURES SINCE STARTING THE PROGRAMME

170+ JOBS CREATED GLOBALLY SINCE STARTING THE PROGRAMME

86% OF VENTURES ARE REVENUE GENERATING

100% OF OXFO ELEVATE ENTREPRENEURS WOULD RECOMMEND THE ACCELERATOR TO OTHERS

OXFO ELEVATE ACCELERATOR VENTURE PORTFOLIO 2021

£150m+

£43m+ £43m


Cohort 4 Ventures ammonite • Financial services • Accessibility • Advice

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Checkstep • AI • Content moderation • Trust & safety

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OXFO ELEVATE ACCELERATOR VENTURE PORTFOLIO 2021

DroneStream • Drones • Real-time communication • Remote working Page 4 HedgeFlows • Financial services • SME • Currency risk

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KindWorks.AI • AI • Mental well-being • Kindness chatbot

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Mitra bio • AI • Skin bio-markers • Beauty & healthcare

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Neumind • Application • Brain injury • Cognitive rehabilitation

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ngenius.ai • AI • Smart cities • Sustainability

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PIPRA • AI • Post-operative delirium • Risk prediction

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Vocsta • Application • Music talent • Social media

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Thank you to our donors and partners

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Get involved

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ammonite

Fintech

ammonitewealth.com

2

High-quality and affordable financial advice.

Co-founding team: Caroline Duff, Co-founder, Physics and Philosophy, Exeter College, University of Oxford Robert Harradine, Cofounder

Stage Pre-seed to Seed

Team size 5 team members

Financial services Accessibility Advice

ammonite Problem Most employees are not going to be able to retire when they want to, and are increasingly going to miss out on life goals, because they did not have a financial plan in place. The “advice gap” in the UK is growing at an alarming pace and individuals with less than £100,000 in investible assets are struggling to find affordable, personal, financial advice. Pensions, Personal Protection, wills, and so many other areas, are very poorly understood. The link between poor financial health, and poor mental health, has never been so clear - a problem exacerbated by Covid-19. The financial planning and advice industry has tried to solve this problem, but tech alone (robo-advice) is not working. With dwindling numbers of qualified financial advisers, and IFA minimum asset levels increasing each year, it is time for a new approach. Solution ammonite is a hybrid of robo-advice and traditional IFA. Often, when it comes to people’s money and life goals, a personal touch is needed. Co-founders Caroline and Rob have created a Financial Coaching Academy and a web-based app to engage, educate and ultimately encourage everyday, ‘normal’ (mass affluent) consumers to

take financial advice. ammonite’s coaches offer financial guidance, followed by expert advice from the adviser hub, using proprietary tech to semiautomate customer reports and recommendations. Online only, it enables significant cost savings, which are passed on to the consumer. Traction Financial well-being in the workplace is quickly becoming a key pillar of overall employee wellbeing. ammonite is sole provider for financial well-being to a national employee benefits firm, supporting 100,000 employees, and is in talks with several other employee benefits firms and corporates. ammonite has built, and is running, three MVPs - a front-end goal-setting app, a customer management system, and a semi-automated report builder, and it has been accepted for feedback from the Financial Conduct Authority’s Advice Unit - part of the FCA’s Innovation Hub. ammonite has been trading since August 2019 and has ~£12.5m assets under management. It has £136,000 SEIS raised from angel investors, and has annual revenue of circa £100,000. The co-founding team has 25+ years experience in the financial advice industry. Co-founder Caroline Duff was a finalist in the Entrepreneur category of the ‘Women of the Future’ awards 2020. Co-founder Rob Harradine is a Chartered Member of the CISI with over 16 years industry experience, including with Barclays Wealth and Bloomberg LLP. Its advisory board includes Gary Dolman, ex Co-founder of Monzo bank.


Checkstep

AI and SafetyTech

checkstep.com

Empowering online communities and ensuring safe user experiences.

Co-founding team: Guillaume Bouchard, Cofounder and CEO

Checkstep Problem We have seen a huge rise in social start-ups such as Pinduoduo, TikTok, Clubhouse, and streaming platforms such as Twitch, and more recently Caffeine, DAZN and Powder. However, as with other social networks, they are subject to the perils of misinformation and hate speech. In 2020, we saw an infodemic of viral health misinformation and historic highs of hate speech across advanced economies. Emerging generative technologies such as Deepfakes and GPT-3 are fuelling the rise of this malicious content. For some social startups this can be an existential crisis - failure to uphold community standards can ultimately result in deplatforming. Whilst the very largest social networks are making progress, historically, this has been a human problem with a manual solution. Figures suggest that the largest social networks are dedicating between 1-2% of their revenue towards fighting the problem and this is increasing. At medium sized companies, the investment required to grow a healthy online community can extend to 10-20% of the cost of goods and services, as they lack the resources to develop automated systems in house.

Solution Through AI and flexible workflows, Checkstep are developing a full stack content moderation solution - a tool for automating detection, interventions, transparency reporting, and the appeal process. The solution is B2B, targeting companies’ Trust and Safety teams, and focuses specifically on features for the UK Online Harms Bill and EU DSA, which specify that if content is removed, a “statement of reason” must be provided. Traction Checkstep software runs in production with a leading European forum and has analysed over a million pieces of content. It is being tested by five leading online platforms in education, sport, finance, e-commerce and event organisation. Checkstep has 20 employees spread over three continents, a world-class leadership team with previous experience at Facebook, Microsoft, and Xerox, and an exceptional technical team able to constantly innovate in the fast-changing domain of SafetyTech. Checkstep has raised two rounds: $500,000 in September 2020 and $1.8 million in March 2021.

Jonathan Manfield, Cofounder and CTO, Artificial Intelligence for Business diploma, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Stage Seed Team size 22 team members

AI Content moderation Trust & Safety


DroneStream

Aerospace and Defence

dronestream.io

Live stream, communicate with, and control drones safely.

Co-founding team: Sergio Montes De Oca, COO, MBA, Saïd Business School, St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford Harry Howe, CEO Dennis Babych, CTO

Stage Pre-seed to Seed Team size 10 team members

Drones Real-time communication Remote working

DroneStream Problem Drone use cases have multiplied over the course of the pandemic, and drone related initiatives have increased dramatically across different industries including construction, mining, public safety, and most recently, healthcare, due to financial, environmental, and time savings. However drone workflows are still very disjointed and cumbersome, and a multitude of actions need to be completed before a commercial drone pilot can get a simple video and supporting data to a client or team member. New ways need to be found to collaborate remotely, while socially distanced, and to perform critical ‘in the field’ tasks. Solution DroneStream is a software company that provides a cutting-edge platform to control drones for a variety of critical missions and industry applications. The technology delivers a real-time data feed from a drone with no additional hardware requirements. The platform allows teams that work with drone operations to live stream, communicate, and control drones in a safe manner. It allows workers to tackle remote

operational and fieldwork challenges on their day-to-day jobs and enables organisations to perform better - saving financial, human, and environmental resources and optimising team workflow. Traction DroneStream is part of a BT-led consortia to build a nationwide network of drones that can be deployed for infrastructure inspections and public safety incidents - this is an 18-month POC that will see follow-on funding if successful. DroneStream has been operating since 2018 and went through the Sony accelerator in late 2019. DroneStream has raised a pre-seed round with Sony and a convertible note of £50,000. It has also received an Innovate UK grant of £80,000. It is revenue generating. DroneStream’s MVP has had over 1,300 users and the system has been a success within the construction industry, with large multinational firms currently operating and trialing the system.

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HedgeFlows

Fintech

hedgeflows.com

Accessible, frictionless, and low risk foreign trade for SMEs.

Co-founding team: Neh Thaker, Co-CEO, Chemistry, Merton College, University of Oxford

HedgeFlows Problem Small businesses (SMEs) make up more than half of the UK economy by turnover and drive global trade. However 95% of SMEs that are active in cross border trade, do not manage the associated currency risk. Most are excluded because of a variety of factors: a lack of knowledge, being too small to qualify for relevant financial services, or the lack of a finance department to manage collateral requirements. As a result, two-thirds of SMEs lose money and their average loss from not managing the risk is £70,000. There are ~six million SMEs in the UK of which ~2.5 million are registered. 350,000 to 500,000 of these make cross border payments. Taking the lower estimate, this implies an annual loss to UK SMEs of ~£16 billion (350,000 x £70,000 x 2/3). Solution HedgeFlows removes the uncertainties associated with paying or collecting invoices in foreign currencies, minimising losses for SMEs. Its products allow small businesses to save time, have unparalleled flexibility at no increased cost, avoid financial losses and safely grow their

business with partners and customers in any country. It also removes the administrative burden placed on SMEs by competitors (banks, neo banks or fintechs). HedgeFlows releases the ~£16 billion of foreign currency risk losses, into working capital. Money which SMEs can better use to invest in improving the skills base of their employees, growing their business through investment and greater hiring. HedgeFlows believes it can contribute significantly to sustainable economic growth by allowing more small businesses to expand beyond their borders, improve their ability to compete, and thus foster innovation across the globe.

Alex Axentiev, Co-CEO

Traction With developments such as the Open Banking initiative, trade digitalisation, and the openness of SMEs to try non-bank financial service providers, HedgeFlows has validated its MVP and is due to launch the operational live Beta. It has received regulatory approval.

SME

Arnar Jonsson, CTO Daniel Lawson, Director of Business Development

Stage Pre-seed to Seed Team size 4 team members

Financial services

Currency risk


KindWorks.AI

Mental Well-being and AI

kindworks.ai

Improve your mental well-being through Acts of Kindness.

Co-founding team: Daniel Lozano, Founder and CEO, Software Engineering MSc, Kellogg College, University of Oxford Timothy Seabrook, CTO, DPhil, CDT Autonomous Intelligent Machines and Systems (AIMS), Pembroke College, University of Oxford Dr. Thea Bauer, CXO, MJur, Wadham College, University of Oxford

Stage Pre-seed Team size 11 team members

AI Mental well-being Kindness chatbot

KindWorks.AI Problem Mental health related costs surpass all other diseases’ costs. In 2019 in the UK, poor mental health cost employers up to £45 billion. Many companies offer employee benefit programmes intended to help employees improve their physical or mental health, but most are either self-assessmentbased, educational, or targeted only at stress management. Some programmes also support behavioural change, but none use a scalable tech-based approach using kindness and AI. Solution KindWorks.AI is a messaging service (e.g. Via Slack, WhatsApp or email) that encourages employees to improve their mental well-being by consistently taking Acts of Kindness. The suggested Acts of Kindness are small, easily doable tasks that will not only brighten up their day but also - backed by research - have the potential of causing lasting improvements to wellbeing through stimulating real-world human connections. For example: calling an old friend to see how they are doing, can result in increased well-being, leading to higher

employee satisfaction, improved performance, and lower employee turnover. The KindWorks.AI service is constantly learning from employee feedback after completing Acts of Kindness. Traction KindWorks.AI has built its cloud infrastructure and has a working end-toend alpha product that has been operating without a single interruption since February 2021. This cloud-based infrastructure has been interacting with early field trial users through more than 3,000 messages. The team is launching a #10DaysOfKindness Challenge campaign to introduce its beta product to the public.

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Mitra bio

Healthcare

mitra.bio

Powering the next generation of anti-ageing skincare & therapeutics.

Co-founding team: Dr. Shakiba Kaveh, CEO

Mitra bio Problem The global anti-ageing market was worth $60 billion in 2020. However for the past 50 years, skincare and anti-ageing products have targeted the signs of ageing - such as eliminating wrinkles - rather than stopping cellular ageing itself. This is because it has not been clear what causes cellular ageing, and invasive skin sampling i.e. biopsies, has limited fundamental research in this field. Solution Mitra bio is developing a longevity tool for skincare companies. The longevity tool, based on DNA methylation signatures is associated with skin quality and age. This will differentiate skin conditions (old vs young; UV-damaged vs healthy) and lead to analysis and interpretation of the signatures, in response to anti-ageing ingredients. Traction Mitra bio has spoken to five of the largest skincare companies - who control more than half the market share - who have confirmed the need for ageing biomarkers and skin

patches, and it has two support letters from major brands, indicating the willingness to licence the technology. Mitra bio has been through Entrepreneur First and the Illumina Accelerator. CEO Shakiba has a PhD in Materials Science from Cambridge, over five years’ experience in management consultancy, and is a former scientist at L’Oréal. CSO Christiana is a molecular biologist with a PhD in epigenetics. She contributed to the development of a non-invasive test for cervical cancer screening to replace pap-smears and is translating this knowledge to make non-invasive skin tests. Christiana is an Oxford University and Princeton alumna. Mitra bio has receied £80,000 for a 10% convertible from Entrepreneur First, $100,000 convertible from First-in Ventures, and £100,000 convertible from Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority.

Dr. Cristiana Banila, CSO, MBiochem, University of Oxford, St John’s College, Oxford University

Stage Pre-seed to Seed Team size 2 team members

AI Skin bio-markers Beauty & healthcare


Neumind

HealthTech

neumind.co.uk

Life-changing therapies at your fingertips.

Co-founding team: Dr. Ellis Parry, CEO, PhD Engineering Science, St John’s College, University of Oxford Dr. Claudia Hill, COO, PhD Biomedical Engineering, University of Oxford Rufus Russell, CTO

Stage Pre-seed Team size 4 team members

Application Brain injury Cognitive rehabilitation

Neumind Problem Acquired brain injury (ABI) can result from stroke, trauma or illness, and manifests in cognitive, emotional, and physical symptoms equivalent to those resulting from neurological conditions such as dementia. In English speaking countries, there are 100 million people living with ABI or neurological conditions, forcing over 150 million people to become impromptu caregivers. In the UK, ABI and dementia costs the economy £67 billion annually with similar costs reported in other European countries. There is inadequate neurorehabilitation for people with neurological injuries and conditions, and a lack of long-term care. Current solutions lack technological features, are expensive and don’t fulfil the practical and therapeutic requirements of users. Solution ‘Alfred’ is Neumind’s smartphone app that; compensates and improves cognitive functions - using the full extent of smartphone technologies; empowers all caregivers to not only care for the individual, but rehabilitate them; and delivers evidence based neurorehabilitation exercises. ‘Alfred’ takes the most effective strategies used

in neurorehabilitation and behavioural science and distills them into personalised, actionable therapeutic prompts. These are delivered straight to the user’s phone, or smartwatch, when and where they are needed, with no requirement to navigate menus or set aside time in the day. Traction Neumind’s beta is available via limited access on the Play and App store. It has 50+ daily users and is used on trial in three Neurorehabilitation units in the UK and the US. Over 4,500 smart prompts have been delivered and 300 people are signed-up to the waiting list. Preliminary results show that adherence rate of therapies delivered on ‘Alfred’ is ~80%, significantly higher than the average in complex conditions of 35-40%. Neumind has been through the Aspect Student Accelerator Programme ($7,000 grant received), and the EIT Health e-boat accelerator ($27,000, (<$1,400 of bankable funding). It received the Mike Barnes Award for Innovation in brain injury from the United Kingdom Brain Injury Forum who are partnered with the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). CEO, Ellis, received the ‘Young Innovators Award’ from Innovate UK ($20,000 grant), and Neumind has received a grant of $25,000 from Plug and Play. CTO Rufus worked as a Senior Developer at IBM and ConsenSys.

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ngenius.ai

Smart Cities

ngenius.ai

Transforming CCTV systems to provide data for smart cities.

Co-founding team: Linford Bacon, CEO, MMath Mathematics & Statistics, University College, University of Oxford

ngenius.ai Problem It is clear that our cities have an essential role in combating climate change and supporting environmentally sustainable economic growth. However, at present, they lack the insight to create genuinely tailored services and interventions that stimulate sustainable behavioural change. To ensure that these interventions are meaningful and effective, smart cities must be driven by data generated in their physical spaces. The collection and transformation of this data is a significant challenge for even the “smartest”of cities. The current approach of deploying vast bespoke sensor networks does not scale effectively, owing to the substantial upfront capital expenditure, significant ongoing maintenance cost, and narrow range of data that these sensors can collect. Solution ngenius.ai provides an integrated cloud platform to underpin smart city operations and strategic sustainability planning, called ‘Data-enabled Smart Cities’ (DeSC). It collects the real-world data that will underpin the smart city of the future by deploying cutting-edge deep

learning technology to transform existing CCTV systems into a network of smart sensors. These ‘smart sensors’ will be capable of automatically capturing data related to anything that can be identified visually and allow the capture of a rich stream of highly contextual, real-time data without the need for any additional hardware, installation or maintenance costs. ngenius.ai gives a significant cost benefit against current solutions that require numerous bespoke sensors or specific cameras. Traction ngenius.ai was incorporated in early 2019 and began trading in 2020. It has received £110,000 from two Innovate UK grants, and is generating an annual revenue of £300,000. ngenius has conducted feasibility testing with Croydon Council and was awarded a Phase 1 grant from Innovate UK as part of their Sustainable Innovation Fund, and is on track to be awarded funding for Phase 2. ngenius.ai is currently running a project with Norfolk County Council to test its prototype on a number of use cases related to cycling and improving the efficiency of public transport.

Kieran Bacon, CTO John Chapman, Commercial Director Eliza Moyse, Head of Operations

Stage Pre-seed to Seed Team size 4 team members

AI Smart cities Sustainability


PIPRA

Healthcare

pipra.ch

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Reducing medical complications through pre-surgery identification.

Co-founding team: Dr. Benjamin Dodsworth, CTO, DPhil Pathology, Lincoln College, University of Oxford John Klepper, CEO Nayeli Schmutz, Chief Medical Officer

Stage Pre-seed to Seed Team size 6 team members

AI Post-operative delirium Risk prediction

PIPRA Problem Disorientation, memory loss, difficulties in speech; if you are over sixty and about to undergo surgery, you could be at risk of developing these symptoms. Post-operative delirium (POD) is an enormous problem occurring in 20% of surgical patients aged 60+. POD leads to adverse outcomes such as a 25% increased risk of mortality within one month, double the risk of nursing home admission, and 38% of the affected end up suffering long-term cognitive decline and dementia. Costs can also be greatly affected (e.g. 1-2 billion Euros to health insurers in Germany alone). There are no treatments available once symptoms arise. Instead, the focus is on prevention. Many highly effective prophylactic treatments (with 40% reduction of POD) have been developed. These measures are much cheaper in comparison to a patient with delirium but are too costly to deploy for every patient. Solution PIPRA has developed a novel, AI-based pre-operative risk prediction software that highlights patients at risk before they undergo surgery. Patients at risk can then benefit from targeted prophylactic

intervention. By shifting to preventative measures, enabled by PIPRA’s technology, hospitals can significantly improve patient outcomes while also saving £1.8 million annually (example, a mid-sized public hospital in Switzerland). PIPRA’s software does not require any nonroutinely collected data which ensures the software fits into the clinical pathway and will be used by clinicians. PIPRA owns the largest, richest, most diverse database on postoperative delirium, with over 20,000 patients (curated research-grade, patient-level data with exclusivity). Traction PIPRA has received pre-seed funding of over £1 million from EIT Health. It has honed in and validated the idea with over 200 stakeholder interviews with anesthesiologists, surgeons, patients, hospital administrators, hospital IT managers and GPs. Eight hospitals have agreed to pilot the software, and it has 17 Letters of Intent signed by clinicians who want to purchase the tool. PIPRA has won three Innosuisse grants, the EIT Health Wild Card New Ventures’ competition (2019), the Brain Innovation Days award (2020), and the Oxford OSEFx pitching award (2021). It has successfully completed the Samsung for Impact accelerator, the CIMIT accelerator, and will be certified as a medical device in May 2021.


Vocsta

Arts and Entertainment

vocsta.com

Democratising the discovery of new music talent.

Co-founding team: Oliver Csendes, Co-founder and CFO, Executive EMBA ‘13, Pembroke College, University of Oxford

Vocsta Problem Singers across the world face challenges with exposure and funding, while labels are looking for more efficient ways to separate the great from the good. Auditions have been impacted by the pandemic, and inperson auditions disadvantage people in rural areas, parents without childcare, and often focus more on looks and personal background than real talent. In addition, most singers lack the funding to support their dreams, as 91% of all singers remain undiscovered. Solution Vocsta is an online music platform allowing social media to determine who the next big vocal star is. It democratises the discovery of talent by allowing the crowd to decide which artists receive funding for the development of their music career. Gamified competitions give talent more exposure and traction, build an engaged community, and create a self-reinforcing success model. Its solution is a multi-sided marketplace on a mobile music platform, connecting talented singers with an audience to increase the discovery of great talent.

Traction Vocsta had over 200 participants in its first competition, and the winner funded the recording of their first single with the Vocsta prize money. It has since developed an MVP for iOS and Android, and has over 10,000 followers across the UK, US, India, Latin America, and Africa. It has received a £105,000 convertible loan from angel investors. Vocsta has had over 40 pieces of press coverage including Forbes Mexico, and Reforma.

Carlos Bernardo Torres Diaz, COO, Executive EMBA ‘13, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford Mara Belen Munoz, Cofounder, Executive EMBA ‘13, Pembroke College, University of Oxford Lorraine Wright, CEO, Executive EMBA ‘13, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford

Stage Pre-seed Team size 5 team members

Application Music talent Social media


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OXFO ELEVATE VENTURES SCALE FAST, RAISE SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT, AND INNOVATE TO REINVENT AND REBUILD A BETTER WORLD.


OXFORD FOUNDRY

THANK YOU TO THE OXFORD FOUNDRY’S DONORS AND PARTNERS, INCLUDING: Reid Hoffman CBE, Co-founder, LinkedIn, Senior Advisor and Founding Donor, Oxford Foundry Biz Stone, Co-founder, Twitter, Medium, Jelly, and Chair of the Oxford Foundry Advisory Board Mohamed Amersi, Chair, The Amersi Foundation Jeff Wong, Global Chief Innovation Officer, EY Mark Evans, Partner, Kindred Capital Toby Coppel, Co-founder and Partner, Mosaic Ventures Alexsis de Raadt St. James, Managing Partner, Merian Ventures Phil Libin, Co-founder, Evernote, CEO, All Turtles Pete Flint, Founder, Trulia, Managing Partner, NFX Brent Hoberman CBE, Executive Chairman, Founders Factory, Co-founder, Firstminute Capital Jørn Lyseggen, Founder and CEO, Meltwater

Reid Hoffman CBE, Co-founder, LinkedIn, Senior Advisor and Founding Donor, Oxford Foundry

University of Oxford Saïd Business School The Amersi Foundation EY Santander Universities Ripple OSI Meltwater Detao Education Group With thanks to The Amersi Foundation for The Amersi Foundation Accelerator space in Oxford.

“The Foundry is building on Oxford’s strong position as a world-leading university to harness the talent and the appetite for entrepreneurship amongst its students and alumni, enabling them to create purpose-focused ventures that will positively impact on the world and society. It is truly impressive to see how the Foundry is directly feeding into the start-up and scale-up culture in the UK and Europe. Now, more than ever before, it is crucial that we build this kind of entrepreneurial culture, embed it within the DNA of our future leaders, and support it through strong networks. I believe that all universities can – and indeed should – be doing such work, and I’m proud to be part of this important movement that will have a profound and far-reaching effect on all of us, and on our future generations.”“


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The Oxford Foundry is supported through philanthropic donations, partnerships, and our network of mentors. We would love to hear from investors and experts who may be interested in contributing time and knowledge as part of the OXFO Elevate accelerator. Please contact us to start a conversation.

Oxford Foundry, University of Oxford 3-5 Hythe Bridge Street Oxford OX1 2EW info@oxfordfoundry.ox.ac.uk

Twitter @oxfoundry

www.oxfordfoundry.ox.ac.uk

LinkedIn @oxford-foundry

OXFO ELEVATE ACCELERATOR VENTURE PORTFOLIO 2021

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OXFO Elevate accelerator Cohort 4 Lookbook  

The ten, high potential, high-impact ventures on Cohort 4 of the OXFO Elevate accelerator, run by the Oxford Foundry, entrepreneurship centr...

OXFO Elevate accelerator Cohort 4 Lookbook  

The ten, high potential, high-impact ventures on Cohort 4 of the OXFO Elevate accelerator, run by the Oxford Foundry, entrepreneurship centr...

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