Women in Science
Building spin-off companies and collaborating with industry
We talked to four women who had started their own spin-off companies, as a result of the research they had conducted at Oxford, or had conducted research with industry partners. We asked them to tell us about how they went about starting a spin-off company, what work it required and what support they had.
If you are interested in starting a spin-off company, finding ways to collaborate with industry partners, or develop commercial aspects of your research then you should contact Oxford University Innovation (OUI) at the earliest opportunity.
What is a spin-off Company?
Spin-off (sometimes referred to as ‘spin-out’) companies can take many forms. Part of the development is working out what form best suits the product or venture the entrepreneur is looking to develop.
The benefits and costs of developing a spin-off company
Developing a spin-off company brought exciting new opportunities and possibilities for the women we spoke to. This included having an impact on their field beyond the usual routes of papers and conferences, as well as opening up avenues for future research projects they may not have previously considered. However, starting a spin-off company is not always easy. It involved a lot of hard work and often took many years.
Spin-offs offer the opportunity to translate research into patient benefit, which Angela is immensely proud to have achieved.
Becoming an entrepreneur
Starting a new spin-off company involved developing new skills and learning new ways of working. As well as formal skills, personal characteristics may need to adapt to the new challenges they faced. A mentor who was also familiar with the challenges of starting a new company could be particularly helpful.
Collaborating with industry
Some of the women we spoke to had worked with industry partners on research projects and ideas, or as providers of funding for studentships or fellowships.