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Oxford Innovation: Nurturing your Business to Reach it’s Full Potential

In a recent interview, Artur, our resident Business Support Innovation Director at Salford Innovation Forum which is based in Salford, UK, sat down with Neil Griffin, the Business Support Director at Oxford Innovation Space .

This enlightening discussion shed light on the diverse range of services and support that Oxford Innovation offers to businesses. In this article, we’ll delve into the key takeaways from their conversation, highlighting the vital aspects of Oxford Innovation’s role in nurturing businesses and fostering innovation.

Meet Neil Griffin: A Driving Force Behind Oxford Innovation Business Support

Before we dive into the intricacies of Oxford Innovation’s services, let’s get to know Neil Griffin a little better. Neil serves as the Business Support Director at Oxford Innovation and plays a pivotal role in helping businesses achieve their goals. His background is both diverse and extensive, encompassing academia, consultancy, management, and retail. Neil’s experience across these domains equips him with a unique perspective and an array of skills that he brings to his role.

Oxford Innovation's Unique Approach

“We do it in a bespoke way that’s more natural. And I don’t think you can replicate that easily.”

So one of the standout aspects of Oxford Innovation is its bespoke approach to business support. Rather than offering one-size-fits-all solutions, Oxford Innovation focuses on providing tailored assistance when businesses need it most. This approach sets them apart in a crowded field of business support providers. Let’s explore some key aspects of their approach:

  • Bespoke Guidance: Oxford Innovation doesn’t believe in generic solutions. They offer personalised coaching and mentoring, recognizing that each business is unique.
  • Access to Resources: Oxford Innovation leverages its extensive network to connect businesses with the right resources at the right time, whether it’s grants, investment opportunities, or workshops.
  • Meaningful Connections: Their upcoming platform, “The Wire,” is designed to facilitate meaningful connections among businesses within their network, fostering collaboration and growth.

“Here, your office is right by reception and if someone’s got a problem, they could come and knock on the door. That’s our USP. No one else is really doing that. When a founder is in trouble and they need support, we’ve got that network to be able to help them.”

Benefits of joining our OI Network

Access to AWS Credits

“As for the Amazon Activate program. There’s not that many organisations in the world that have access to it. Only around 160 organisations. What that does is, it means that we can sit down with a founder and if they need access to AWS credits, we can give them $5,000 worth of AWS credits.”

Another valuable resource offered by Oxford Innovation is access to AWS (Amazon Web Services) credits. This partnership with AWS allows businesses to tap into cloud computing, CRM, and hosting services without the financial burden. Oxford Innovation can provide up to $5,000 worth of AWS credits to eligible businesses, offering a substantial boost to their technical capabilities.

Leveraging Beauhurst for Strategic Insights

Beauhurst, a powerful tool, is a valuable asset within Oxford Innovation’s toolkit. It helps businesses access strategic insights and data that can drive growth. Here’s how Beauhurst is making a difference:

  • Investment Opportunities: Beauhurst tracks investment news and grants, allowing businesses to identify potential sources of funding.
  • Benchmarking: Businesses can use Beauhurst to benchmark their valuation against similar companies, helping them attract investors with confidence.
  • Targeted Outreach: Oxford Innovation utilises Beauhurst to create highly targeted lists of potential customers or partners, enabling businesses to tailor their outreach efforts effectively.

Oxford Innovation's Rich History and Vision

Oxford Innovation’s roots trace back approximately 35 years when it emerged as a spin-off from Oxford University. Its core principles revolve around three pillars: access to finance, providing expert advice, and offering flexible, affordable workspace. Over the years, Oxford Innovation has evolved and expanded its services to become a vital resource for businesses seeking to thrive and grow.

“What is the goal of what we do? We want businesses to come into our centres. We help them to scale up, grow, reach their full potential, whatever that might be. Then, yes, some might move out of the centre. A lot stay with us. A lot grow with us. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Oxford Innovation’s vision is clear—to help businesses scale, grow, and reach their full potential. By offering a diverse range of services, access to valuable resources, and an exclusive platform for collaboration, they are not just keeping businesses alive but propelling them toward success.

The Network Effect

“We’ve got 31 centres, there’s 19 business support specialists now across the UK. Innovation directors, business growth managers, they’ve all got a specific USP and discipline and we can triage that across our network now. So, if you need someone who has been in SaaS businesses, we would go to you. If someone needs help with internationalisation, we’ve got Gary in Haverhill. If someone is looking at bioscience and life sciences, we’ve got Wendy in Oxford. We’ve built that network up with really kind of high quality professionals. So, we’ve got the network now and we can virtually put those businesses in front of the right expert within a short period of time”.

With over 30 centres and a network that continues to expand, Oxford Innovation has created a powerful ecosystem for businesses. Each centre is more than just a workspace; it’s a hub of collaboration, support, and innovation. The network effect is in full swing, with businesses benefiting from the expertise and connections offered within the Oxford Innovation community.

Wrapping It Up

In conclusion, Oxford Innovation stands as a beacon of support and opportunity for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. Their commitment to fostering innovation, providing tailored guidance, and creating meaningful connections through “The Wire” platform is commendable. With partners like AWS and tools like Beauhurst, they equip businesses with the resources they need to thrive. As they continue to expand their network and services, Oxford Innovation remains dedicated to nurturing businesses and helping them realise their full potential in an ever-evolving business landscape.

The future looks promising for businesses within the Oxford Innovation ecosystem, and the support they receive from this dynamic organisation is a testament to their commitment to innovation and growth.

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Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Have your questions answered
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  • Secure your choice of meeting or conference space

info@salfordinnovationforum.co.uk  |  
0161 743 3500

Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Have your questions answered
  • Get more information on workspace sizes, pricing & availability
  • Secure your choice of meeting or conference space

info@salfordinnovationforum.co.uk  |  
0161 743 3500

Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Have your questions answered
  • Get more information on workspace sizes, pricing & availability
  • Secure your choice of meeting or conference space

info@salfordinnovationforum.co.uk  |  
0161 743 3500

Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Have your questions answered
  • Get more information on workspace sizes, pricing & availability
  • Secure your choice of meeting or conference space

info@salfordinnovationforum.co.uk  |  
0161 743 3500

Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Have your questions answered
  • Get more information on workspace sizes, pricing & availability
  • Secure your choice of meeting or conference space

info@salfordinnovationforum.co.uk  |  
0161 743 3500

Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Have your questions answered
  • Get more information on workspace sizes, pricing & availability
  • Secure your choice of meeting or conference space

info@salfordinnovationforum.co.uk  |  
0161 743 3500

Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Have your questions answered
  • Get more information on workspace sizes, pricing & availability
  • Secure your choice of meeting or conference space

info@salfordinnovationforum.co.uk  |  
0161 743 3500

Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Have your questions answered
  • Get more information on workspace sizes, pricing & availability
  • Secure your choice of meeting or conference space

info@salfordinnovationforum.co.uk  |  
0161 743 3500

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Relocate to a well-established business community of innovators and entrepreneurs:

  • Book a tour of Salford Innovation Forum
  • Get more information on workspace sizes, pricing & availability
  • Have your questions answered
  • Secure your choice of office or meeting space

info@salfordinnovationforum.co.uk  |  
0161 743 3500

Covid-19 Statement

Update – 11 August 2022

Our Innovation Centres remain operational and accessible, and provide a safe environment for our staff and customers. We continue to assess the risk of COVID-19 alongside the latest guidance from government. In the meantime our Innovation Centre remains COVID-19 Secure and fully open for business. Our detailed risk assessment can be found here.