Oxford opens new entrepreneurial hub

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The goal is to create an environment in which students experiment, learn from each other, and generate new ideas that address social and business problems.

The Oxford University has launched a new facility, the Oxford Foundry, that aims to build a community of innovation across the institution, developing students’ entrepreneurial skills and supporting their creative ventures.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, was invited to officially launch the center. In his speech, he said students should focus on making products that they want to use and embrace people that think different.

“Your focus group is yourself - you should make products that you want to use. You can bet if you love it, many other people out there will love it too,” said Cook. “Find people that are different than you, where the common thread is that they want to change the world.”

The Oxford Foundry will support students from all academic disciplines and backgrounds, from philosophy to engineering. The goal is to create an environment in which students experiment, learn from each other, and generate new ideas that address social and business problems.

“The Oxford Foundry will support the institution to continue to translate its academic research into innovative solutions with commercial and societal impact, on an international scale.”

The university informed that the new facility was built with the aid of key donors, among them Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn, who gave $1 million dollars; Amersi Foundation; EY; Barclays; Meltwater Fairhair.ai; and DeTao Education Group.

The Oxford Foundry will help students in three main ways:

Building a community. The center will bring renowned figures to speak to students, encouraging the exchange of ideas. Also, there will be a student advisory board.

Experiential learning. Students will participate in problem solving workshops that build resilience, leadership, and digital skills.

Start-up support programme. The Oxford Foundry will support a select number of student ventures, with a dedicated working space and access to networks and experts.