The Oxford Foundry has launched a £120,000 grant fund for start-ups responding to COVID-19 to boost the economic recovery from the pandemic.
Through the COVID-19 Start-up Grant Runway Fund, grants of £10,000 will be given to four solutions deemed critical to aiding the crisis by a judging panel of esteemed entrepreneurs and investors.
The start-ups were selected for the OXFO COVID-19 Rapid Solutions Builder, a programme to accelerate the innovations supporting society and creating jobs through the crisis and beyond
The OXFO COVID-19 Rapid Solutions Builder was announced on 15 April 2020. The COVID-19 Start-up Grant Runway Fund provides critical support for the ventures chosen.
In addition, ventures in the Foundry’s portfolio – half of whom are responding to COVID-19 – can apply for a £5,000 grant through the COVID-19 Start-up Grant Runway Fund.
Ana Bakshi, director of the Oxford Foundry said: “It’s entrepreneurs who are creating the next big innovations to address the challenges arising from COVID-19, and they’re creating new jobs in the process, boosting the post-pandemic economic recovery.
“Universities are home to incredible innovation and talent, and it’s critical that this is mobilised and leveraged.
“The Runway Fund provides crucial funding to ensure these start-ups can scale and have a greater positive impact on society. The ventures in our portfolio are already helping hospitals, care homes, parents, schools and many other sectors hit hard by coronavirus. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far.”
The OXFO COVID-19 Rapid Solutions Builder ventures are:
My110, a saliva test for COVID-19. It hopes to unlock the potential for more widespread daily screening, which is key to easing lockdown restrictions and rebooting the economy. My110 is in talks to trial the test, which can be combined with tracking software, in NHS hospitals this summer.
Oblivious AI, helps banks, telecoms and social media companies to share with governments and individuals location data on people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 without revealing any of their personal information. It does this by encrypting the personal data, protecting patient confidentiality. Oblivious has already helped to track and trace hundreds of thousands of people in India.
Devie: an AI-powered coaching app to support parents of babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. The personalised platform helps parents actively to engage in their child’s development, address parenting challenges and improve wellbeing.
Crowdless: an app which shows the extent of crowds in supermarkets and shops, to help people avoid crowds and queues and effectively social distance.
The OXFO COVID-19 venture portfolio includes:
Nye Health, who have scaled their GP-to-patient remote consultation platform in the last eight weeks to support 10 million patients.
Oxwash, who are laundering the PPE and scrubs of the NHS and the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trial.
myo, who have doubled the userbase of their communication platform in the last month to connect over 2000 families with their loved ones in care homes.
Novoic, who are using cough data to develop a test for COVID-19, and many more.