Startup heaven - this is only was to describe the fantastic event hosted by Enterprising Oxford last Wednesday which I was lucky enough to attend.
The evening was all about celebrating startups that have 'started in Oxford' and wow, what an impressive lineup. The room was filled with stalls covering everything from apps, to technology, student sharing platforms, food products, games, clothing brands and charitable causes.
I spoke to the founders of this vast array of startups and with each and every one, I saw their enthusiasm and passion shine through.
The aim of the evening was to do your research and then to invest pretend money in your favourite startup which gave the event that competitive edge; every startup wanted to prove that theirs was most deserving of the prize.
The room was absolutely buzzing, with over 250 guests in attendance, volunteers supporting the event and a number of Oxford based sponsors, including the Oxford Foundry, Zegami and Oxford University Innovation.
There were 27 startups in attendance, so let me give you the lowdown on ones which particularly caught my eye:
This social enterprise creates snacks which reflects a local culture to feed a global one. So for instance, all profits from the Indian samosas that they are currently selling, go towards helping pregant women in Indian slums.
A Fit Bit for your car...need I say anymore? This technology warns you of problems with your car and helps you to keep it in top notch condition.
This is a note taking app which allows you to organise your notes in a structured manner to connect your thinking.
With Britain now turning into more of a cashless society, the homeless are suffering. Greater Change have a web platform whereby people can donate to a specific homeless person in Oxford, in order to raise money for a particular item that they have told support workers that they need. The item will then be purchased and given to them.
You want to learn Spanish and there are young people in Latin America looking to earn money. The social enterprise, Language Amigo connects the two of you; one learns and one earns.
Now this caught my eye because when I walked up to the stall I was presented with a gluten free, vegan free cookie; 'what's new about that?' I hear you ask, well this cookie was made out of crickets, yes you heard me right, as in the insects. This startup are capitalising on insect farming, producing high protein cookies.
This is a great service sharing website, aimed at Oxford students. If, for instance, you can speak Japanese and another student wishes to learn it, Pinboard's platform allows you to purchase a service at a reduced price, student-to-student.
The Curiosity Box
The Curiosity Box is the first STEM subscription box for children in the UK, inspiring them to
think and create, disrupting perceptions of who scientists are and getting discussion of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) into every home.
These are just a few of the brilliant startups at the event. The winners of the evening being Greater Change, followed by The Curiosity Box in 2nd place and Fairfull in 3rd.
Most importantly though, what the evening illustrated was just what an entrepreneurial place Oxford is to be. Whilst it may still hold onto its history and tradition, it certainly remains to be a hub of exciting, innovative ideas covering a breadth of different areas. So, if you're a student interested in the entrepreneurial world, then get involved! Enterprising Oxford is a great place to start: https://www.eship.ox.ac.uk/
For more info on all of the startups featured at the event check out: https://eship.ox.ac.uk/startedinoxford-demo-night-meet-startups