Oxford Logos
Step Ignite Logo

Calling all Oxford University students!

If you would like to explore what it takes to be an entrepreneur, then this is your chance.

Summer 2022 Programme (4-29 July)

Applications are closed

What is StEP?

StEP Ignite is a Student Entrepreneurship Programme that brings teams of entrepreneurial students together to develop innovative business ideas based upon University of Oxford research. At the end of the programme, all teams will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges who will select a winner.  

The winning team receives a cash prize of £25,000 to support the creation of a new company, a generous portion of the founding equity and a roadmap to pitch for further investment. Other teams who wish to continue with their business idea after the programme has ended will be supported by the OUI incubator programme.

Success Stories

Winners of StEP 2019. You can find further information on their website:

Runner-up StEP 2020. You can find further information on their website:

Is StEP right for you?

You have the spark; let's ignite it together!

StEP Ignite is for any student who wants to see if they have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. We’ll give you the opportunity to develop your skills with real technologies, ideas and IP and train and support you with loads of input from people who have been there and done it for real. There’s no need to be an expert in anything, no prior training needed, and no minimum experience level required. It’s a unique chance to give it a try. No risks and lots of rewards. When you finish the programme you’ll have a load of expertise, a ton of training and a bucket load of experience to add to your CV. And who knows – you might even have created the next exciting new start-up!

And in case you’re wondering what it costs? It doesn’t! It’s fully funded and, better still, there is a stipend of £1,500 to cover living costs.

StEP Ignite is brought to you through a collaboration between Oxford University Innovation (OUI), Oxford Science Enterprises and The Oxford Foundry.

Programme Timeline

Summer Timeline
Summer Timeline Mobile

Which technologies can we choose from?

You can choose any technology from the OUI website here:

Each suitable project is based upon Intellectual Property (IP) that was developed by a group of University researchers (“the Originating Team”) as part of their University research work. There’s something for everyone regardless of your subject.

Application Process

Number 1 Icon

Fill in the online application form by 25 October 2021.

You can apply as an individual looking to form a team or as part of a team.

Number 2 Icon

Build your team

Number 3 Icon

Once you have found a suitable team, you will choose a technology from the OUI portfolio to work towards creating a new company based upon that technology.

4 Icon

Each team will submit a 3-minute pitch video. The best pitches will be invited to join the full programme. 


Learning Icon

Entrepreneurial learning

We offer a number of educational opportunities that we have developed for remote learning as well as face-to-face.
Workshops Icon


Starting with a bootcamp, we run a series of masterclasses throughout each programme – covering topics such as intellectual property, regulatory strategy to market access and funding.
Prize Icon

Competition prize

A prize of  £25k will be awarded by Oxford Science Enterprises to the best team on pitch day

Network Icon

Expert and mentor network

As a programme participant, you’ll have access to domain experts, industry-specific support, mentors and networking opportunities.
Stipend Icon


A stipend of £1,500 is available for applicants who can commit to the full-time programme totalling 160 hours approx. (4-29 July 2022).

Person at a podium logo

Pitch day

At the end of the program, teams will pitch their business ideas to Oxford Science Enterprises, early-stage investors and members of the University innovation community.


Prize Icon

Competition Winner

The winning team will get the Oxford Science Enterprises funding of £25k to help start their new business. 


Venture Rocket Logo

After StEP

For all teams that wish to continue, OUI will help incorporate the new company and arrange an option for the technology. And in most cases, 90% of the founding equity will remain with the student team.

OUI Icon

OUI Incubator

All teams that wish to continue with their business idea will join the OUI Incubator.

If you would like to explore what it takes to be an entrepreneur, then this is your chance.