Calling all Oxford University students!

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

Summer Sprint: 1-26 July 2024

Applications are OPEN

What is StEP?

StEP Ignite is a Student Entrepreneurship Programme that brings teams of entrepreneurial students together to develop innovative business ideas. 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 will receive a cash prize to spend on taking the first steps in setting up the business they pitched. In addition you’ll receive a package of support from OUI and will be partnered with business & technology mentors to help make the dream a reality. We’ll help you get investor ready and support your bids to raise funds through our extensive network of investors who already invest millions into the ideas which come from Oxford; we’ve got a panel of investors ready and waiting to meet you!

All the teams who complete the programme will have the opportunity to continue with their business idea through the OUI incubator programme which comes with both financial & mentor support.

We’re inviting you to bring your own idea or if you don’t have an idea of your own, to come along and either work on an idea from our IP library or join a student idea led team.

Hear from past participants

Success Stories

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

Winner StEP 2023. 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 an idea and train and support you with loads of 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 – and probably make some great new friends along the way.

There’s no risk 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 we can offer a limited number of living support allowance of up to £1000 for any student who needs it to cover living costs for the month.

StEP Ignite Summer Sprint is brought to you by the Incubator Team at Oxford University Innovation in partnership with Enspire Oxford.

We have a limited amount of funding available to support the cost of living for students participating in the programme up to £1,000.

Programme Timeline

Summer Sprint: 1-26 July 2024

1st March
Applications Open

Applicants will be notified within 4 weeks of applying

27th May
project submission
7th June
for individual application submission
12th June
Announcement of projects

Join us for our informative drop-in sessions conveniently located at OUI Central on Little Clarendon Street. The Incubator team will be there to help answer any questions you may have about StEP.

Mark your calendars for our upcoming sessions

5th, 12th, 19th
Time: 1pm - 6pm
9th, 16th, 23rd
Time: 1pm - 4pm

Which ideas can we choose from?

Whether you have a groundbreaking idea or you're eager to contribute your skills to a team, StEP is the place for you. Here's how you can get involved:

  1. Bring Your Own Idea: Have a brilliant concept you’ve been itching to develop? StEP encourages students to bring their own ideas to the table. You can come along with an existing team or find teammates on the programme.
  2. Choose from Our IP Library: Not sure where to start? No problem! We’ve carefully curated a selection of intellectual property (IP) projects with promising potential waiting for creative minds like yours.
  3. Join an Existing Team: Collaboration is key to success. Joining an existing team allows you to contribute your skills and expertise to ongoing projects. Whether it’s coding, marketing, or design, there’s a place for you to make an impact.
  • We’ll let you know which student project and IP projects are available in June so that you can start to think about what you would like to work on and get a head start on team formation. We will have social events in June to let you meet up with prospective teammates.


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Entrepreneurial learning

StEP is all about giving it a go. You’ll get to try out the world of Entrepreneurship for real. We’ll help you take an idea, test it, build a business proposition out of it and pitch it to a panel of investors and experts.
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We will run our workshops in person BUT we also have access to a wealth of resources to support your skills development which are available to you online and on demand as well.

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Competition prize

There is a fabulous first prize including cash & mentoring to get you started in making your dream a reality. We’ll connect you to our investor network &
help you get ready for that first investor.

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Expert and mentor network

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

A living support allowance of up to £1000 to cover living expenses is available for those students who need it to attend (full-time) and can commit to the full-time programme (1st July – 26th July 2024)

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Pitch day

At the end of programme, teams will pitch their business ideas to a panel of enthusiastic early-stage investors and members of the University innovation community.


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Competition Winner

The winning team will get cash funding to help start their new business and a package of support to make the dream a reality.

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After StEP

For all teams that wish to continue, OUI will help incorporate the new company, in partnership with the same great legal & financial teams who have dealt with many of our spinouts. Then we’ll support you on the journey to making a real business out of your idea. And in most cases, 95% of the founding equity will remain with the student team.

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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.