Enterprise support

    • Catalyst

    Grow your business using Artificial Intelligence

    The 2020 Catalyst Artificial Intelligence (AI) Accelerator at Oxford Brookes University is a launchpad for growing start-ups wanting to use the power of AI. To qualify for entry, the start-ups must be incorporated, owned and managed by either Brookes students, graduates or staff, and ready to trade or ideally having started trading. If you are interested in applying please complete the application form below. Applications are currently open and will close on April 6th at midday. 

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    Over a period of eight weeks starting in June 2020, the start-ups will work intensively on optimising their businesses to attract more sales as well as identifying how to deploy AI in their operations. The start-ups will attend meetings and workshops on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week.

    They will receive valuable mentorship and guidance from a network of established entrepreneurs and technology experts as well as Oxford Brookes University staff.

    Prior to the accelerator starting, each start-up will meet with the Catalyst team to create a personalised plan with key project milestones and deliverables so they can start the programme with a formalised set of actions. With the support on offer, the start-ups will learn how to grow into an AI-enhanced viable and sustainable business.

    Towards the end of the Accelerator, the participants will attend a Showcase event where they will share their achievements and plans for the future with key stakeholders including some investors. With the help of the Catalyst team, they will identify next steps to continue growing their business.

    Important dates

    • Date 9th March 2020, 12 noon Applications open
    • Date Week of 16th March 2020, Application clinic 1 (Headington and Wheatley)
    • Date Week of 30th March 2020 , Application clinic 2 (Headington and Wheatley)
    • Date 6th April 2020, Catalyst Application Deadline - Midday
    • Date 8th April 2020, Selection committee application review completed and team contacted for interviews
    • Date 24th April 2020, Team offers (22nd April 2020, Shortlisting)
    • Date 1st May 2020, Programme Contract signed and returned. Throughout May, create a plan of action for each start-up.
    • Date 8th June 2020, Launch dinner
    • Date 9th June 2020 – Programme Kick-Off
      • Session 1a - 09th June 2020: 09:00-17:00 (BeHive)
      • Session 1b -10th June 2020: 09:00-17:00 (BeHive)
      • Session 2a -16th June 2020: 09:00-17:00 (BeHive)
      • Session 2b -17th June 2020: 09:00-17:00 (BeHive)
      • Session 3a - 23rd June 2020: 09:00-17:00 (Ice Qube)
      • Session 3b - 24th June 2020: 09:00-17:00 (Ice Qube)
      • Session 4a - 30th June 2020: 09:00-17:00 (Ice Qube)
      • Session 4b - 01st July 2020: 09:00-17:00 (Ice Qube)
    • Date July - August 2020 - 8 weeks of testing your AI-enhanced MVP with your customer base. With access to a team of tech experts and weekly mentoring meetings to track progress.
    • Date 2nd September 2020, Presentation pitch for further funding and business impact report with Catalyst team.
    • Date 30 September 2020: Catalyst showcase and awards in Oxford.

    Funding Timeline

    In order to provide support to the start-ups, funding will be released in stages.

    • Stage 1, £2000: 09th June 2020 - 01st July 2020
    • Stage 2, £3000: 07th July 2020 - 29th July 2020
    • Stage 3, up to £3000*: 02nd September 2020

    * The full amount may vary and will only be awarded to best performing teams based on the quality of their presentation pitch and impact report.

    Beyond Catalyst

    Start-ups participating in Catalyst are highly encouraged to continue using the co-working spaces available for entrepreneurs at the Headington and Wheatley campuses. In these spaces, they will continue to receive support and guidance from mentors and they will be part of a collaborative network of entrepreneurs.

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