Oxford Innovation launches competition to celebrate 30th anniversary

(c) Oxford Innovation

(c) Oxford Innovation - Credit: Archant

Innovation Centres run by Oxford Innovation have joined forces to launch the Scale-up Stars of the Future competition to mark their 30th anniversary of supporting ambitious businesses across the UK

The nationwide Scale-up Stars of the Future has been created to identify the next generation of high-growth businesses. The winners can choose a tailored package in-line with their requirements and what support is needed. The unique offering is worth up to £10,000 and will include, but not limited to, private/shared/lab/virtual workspace up to the value of £5,000, professional business coaching which will be delivered locally by specialist business advisers who are part of the Oxford Innovation network, and the opportunity to pitch to investors. Any SME registered in the UK is eligible to apply no matter what stage they are at.

Tom Hanney, Regional Manager North Oxfordshire, Oxford Innovation, said: “There are a number of exciting small businesses across Oxfordshire with growth potential and it really would be fantastic to see home-grown talent in the top three of the Scale-up Stars of the Future competition. I’d strongly urge people who are looking to scale-up their business to enter to benefit from professional support and Oxford Innovation’s 30 years of supporting business growth.”

Oxford Innovation has helped over 10,000 SMEs to become sustainable businesses since renowned entrepreneurs, Martin and Audrey Wood, founded the company in 1987. The husband and wife team also co-founded Oxford Instruments and The Oxford Trust.

Scale-up businesses helped by Oxford Innovation include Stockopedia, an online service which empowers investors to beat the stock markets. Following a consistent flow of positive exposure in mainstream media such as the Financial Times and Daily Telegraph, Stockopedia is increasingly becoming the ‘go to’ product for ‘DIY investors’ who are looking to gain more from their hard-earned savings.

Edward Page Croft, co-founder and CEO of Stockopedia.com, set up the investment business nearly five years ago, with former Oxford University friend Dave Brickell. Ed’s background as a broker co-running $2bn of private client assets for Goldman Sachs and Brickell’s investment roles for Candover, Morgan Stanley and CSFB, led to them identifying a gap in the market for Stockopedia.

The software enables users to discover trading and investment ideas, to analyse company financial health, improve their decision-making processes and to track their portfolio against the market.

Stockopedia decided to set-up their business in Oxford as they found it an appealing base to cultivate an attractive working environment. They searched for a flexible solution with competitive rates and required good links to London. They discovered that Oxford Centre for Innovation (OCFI), managed by Oxford Innovation, provides all that they were looking for and more.

According to a report* from innovation foundation, NESTA, just 6% of high growth companies generated over half of the UK’s employment growth.

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Tom Hanney added: “We’re excited to discover the next generation of scale-up stars who will create jobs and help to strengthen Oxfordshire’s economy in addition to ensuring the UK is at the forefront of innovation.”

To enter the Scale-up Stars of the Future competition, businesses are required to complete an online application form and submit a short three-minute video summarising the business, innovation, growth plans and how you could benefit from Oxford Innovation’s support. The deadline for entry is Monday August 14 2017. To enter or find out more, visit oxin.co.uk.

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