Charles Brecque

Charles Brecque


April 1, 2023

5 Startups to watch in Oxford

This article addresses the five key startups in the Oxford ecosystem that should be paid attention to for their great work.

5 Startups to watch in Oxford

Have you ever wanted to start a startup in Oxford? Oxford has a great startup community, a deep pool of talent and a thriving hub of knowledge and innovation! Oxford University has played a key part in laying the foundations for the start up ecosystem to thrive which in turn has attracted capital from investors and industrial partners. This article provides an overview of some of the key start ups and small businesses to watch in Oxford.

What are the key drivers behind the Oxford innovation?

Oxford University plays a key role in the innovation behind Oxford's start up ecosystem. The presence of venture capital investors such as Oxford Science Enterprises has provided fuel to the commercialisation of leading academic research. Whilst Oxford University has typically managed the commercialisation of research through Oxford University Innovation, the presence of investors like Oxford Science Enterprises has accelerated the creation of spin outs. Other active investors in the Oxford ecosystem include Parkwalk advisors, Oxford Capital and Oxford Investment Consultants.


Diffblue is a spin-out from the University of Oxford which was founded by Daniel Kroening and Peter Schrammel in 2016. The company automates the creation of unit test writing using AI. Automating traditional coding tasks frees up valuable time from developers and reduces the time spent on bug fixing. Goldman Sachs are both clients and investors in Diffblue.


Oxbotica is another spin-out from Oxford University which was founded by Paul Newman. The Oxford spin out has developed scalable, modular software platform enables the safe, secure and efficient autonomous operation of any vehicle, in any place, any time. Global customers including BP and Ocado are deploying more autonomous vehicle technology thanks to Oxbotica for a variety of applications including last-mile delivery.

Oblivious AI

Oblivious AI is a provider of privacy preserving technologies to businesses and organisations dealing with sensitive data. Oblivious was founded by Robert Pisarczyk and Jack Fitzsimons who combine the best of Cryptography and Data Science. Oblivious has raised $1.05m in total funding from Atlantic Bridge and ACT Venture Capital.

Oxford Quantum Circuits

Oxford Quantum Circuits most recently raised $47M in funding which is the biggest series A funding round for a UK quantum computing company. The company is delivering cloud based quantum computing and was founded by Ilana Wisby and Dr Peter Leek.

Mind Foundry

Mind Foundry is a spin-out from the University of Oxford founded by Professors Stephen Roberts and Michael Osborne. The company is developing machine learning software for high-stakes AI problems. Mind Foundry recently won the prestigious CogX award in the “Best Innovation in Explainable AI” category and have collaborated on a diverse range of AI projects including deployments with Riverlane and Palantir.

How is Oxford University supporting the start up ecosystem?

The Oxford University's innovation ecosystem has created a range of spinouts solving complex problems ranging from autonomous vehicles to drug design. The availability of cutting edge research ready to be deployed into new companies has  made the Oxford hub a great place to scout deep tech business ideas. If you are considering starting a small business or spin out in Oxford, engage with Oxford investors and the Oxford University Innovation team as they'll be able to explain their funding process and potentially match you with an academic co-founder.

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The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.

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