Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click on 'Find out more' to see our Cookie statement.
Mpls enterprise development programme



Course Title



Scientific Entrepreneurship: part 2 ( for those who have completed the previous course)

14.00 -16.30
16/01/19 Innovation and Entrepreneurship: bringing Oxford Ideas to Life 9.30 - 13.00
23/01/19 What did I miss? Visualising your whole research project 9.30 -13.00
05-06/02/19 How to be an Enterprising Researcher (2 days) 09.00 - 17.00


Enterprising Women: lunch and learn  (lunch provided)

12.00 - 14.00 


Pitching for Funding

9.30 - 14.00


Marketing your Research to the Outside World

9.30 - 13.00


Being part of an Effective and Enterprising Team

9.30 - 13.00


How do we Fund Sustainable Energy?

09.00 - 17.00

Pitching yourself: how to get people interested in you and your research

9.30 - 13.00

Making an Impact: innovation, enterprise and developing your ideas for funding

09.00 - 17.00


Core Enterprise Programme (half day courses and Lunchtime sessions)

Scientific Entrepreneurship, delivered by Dr Alan D Roth.

The course is open to all MPLS and MSD graduates, post-docs and academics interested in learning about start-up companies, spin-outs, and how to commercialise their research.
The topics covered, over the course of eight lectures, will include introductions to:
o             Innovation and R&D/operations
o             Start-up finance, valuation and funding
o             Strategy fundamentals
o             Marketing and commercialisation
o             Team building and organisation
The sessions will contain theoretical concepts, practical guidelines and case studies based on the lecturer’s experiences.
Lectures and Seminars will take place every Wednesday starting at 14:00, in Week 1 (10th October) in the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory Lecture Theatre. NB there are no lectures in Weeks 2 or 7 and the course ends on 12th December
Dr Roth is an organic chemist who has combined his academic career with pharma R&D, investment management/capital markets, strategic consultancy and start-up executive management. 
Starting as a research chemist at Merck & Co., Inc. in the New Lead Discovery Department, after his academic career he joined management consultancy McKinsey serving leading companies globally. He subsequently became Director at Commerzbank Asset Management in charge of global healthcare investments as well as overall investment research.  He co-founded, took public and was first CEO and CFO of Chiral Quest, Inc., a biotech start-up in the area of chiral pharmaceuticals. He is currently Director at Fitzroy Partners in London developing new life sciences ventures in emerging areas. Dr Roth earned his BA (Hons) from Cornell University, DPhil in organic chemistry from Columbia University (under G Stork) , and Postdoctoral Fellowship in medicinal chemistry at Oxford under Sir Jack Baldwin. While at Oxford he was the recipient of the Magdalen College Edward Chapman Research Prize. Dr Roth is an author of numerous publications and has been Guest Professor at the University of Cologne (Germany), the University of Tianjin (China), and the US Military Academy, West Point (USA).


An introduction to enterprise and the researcher: how does this fit into my research and career development?  

This interactive lunchtime workshop will examine the attributes of an enterprising researcher and explore how these could can be enhanced during research activities and and signpost the opportunities for developing these further.

 Participants will explore:

  • what it take to be an enterprising researcher and of an entrepreneur
  • the opportunities to develop these skills
  • their own enterprising behaviour
  • recognising enterprising behaviour in their own research environment
  • how they can be enterprising in developing their career  (Fits with D3 of RDF)

The idea generator: creativity and evaluation for research and tech transfer.  

Generating ideas is key to being a researcher: whether those ideas are what to research next, how to tackle a tricky research question or thinking about the impact of your discoveries. Knowing how to evaluate these ideas is the obvious next important step. These skills are also part of the entrepreneur’s toolkit. We will use creativity and evaluation tools from a variety of sources to get beyond the “blank page” and find the gems in the ideas generated. The course will be interactive and use your research project as a starting point.

 This course will cover:

  • Tools for evaluation, thinking in both research and commercial terms
  • Demand pull ideas
  • Technology push products
  • The potential impact of ideas
  • The next step for ideas (funding, spin-outs etc.)

 (RDF areas: A2, A3)

 How to be an Enterprising ResearcherUsing an action-based approach you will learn about the essential transferable skills and knowledge for setting up a small business, becoming self-employed and understanding more about creative problem solving and idea generation. As well as providing the essential knowledge and skills for setting up a business, this course will give you the opportunity to reflect on the personal aspects involved in transforming an innovative idea into an entrepreneurial product. You will identify potential entrepreneurial opportunities from either your own research work, or your research-related skills and the tools and techniques experienced can also be usefully applied in meeting the challenges in your current research career. 

 Enterprising Women: Ask someone in the street to name an entrepreneur and more often than not they name a man. But women are out there in research, corporate settings and start ups being successful – and many of them are in Oxford!  Come along and join us as we hear from an inspiring woman scientist and entrepreneur, then network over lunch.

We will also be joined by people from  Enterprising Oxford, Student Hubs, TechTonic, Oxford University Innovation,Innovation Forum and Science Innovation Union ready to tell you about what they offer and how they can support you in developing your ideas and skills as a budding entrepreneur.

 Innovation & entrepreneurship – bringing Oxford ideas to life    

This half day event offers a whistle-stop tour of how to be enterprising with your research, where established academics share their stories of being innovative and enterprising, Oxford University Innovation explain how to make the most of your work whilst protecting your ideas and CEOs of recent start-ups offer case studies of how to create successful ventures. A great opportunity to understand what lies behind the jargon of' Enterprise and Entrepreneurship', and how much more interesting and varied the outcomes can be beyond 'spinning out' a profitable company.   

Developing your ideas: planning with room for opportunity.  

Possession of a ‘thunderbolt’ idea is not enough to guarantee success in research or business. Planning the practicalities and routes to an end ‘product’ (publications, further funding, marketable items) are a necessary step. Often this planning process brings opportunities and threats to light. This half-day interactive course will use the popular business model canvas combined with your research project as a starting point to develop your ideas further.

Aims: To explore the use tools from the world of the business to plan and develop your research project. These tools will help identify stakeholders, map out the possible impact of a project and identify possible road blocks.  (RDF areas: B2, C2)


What did I miss? Visualising your whole research project

Got a great idea? Then it will take careful planning of all the details to bring it into reality. Planning the practicalities and routes to an end 'product' (publications, further funding, marketable items) are a necessary step. Often this planning process brings opportunities and threats to light. This half day interactive course will use the popular business model canvas combined with your research project as a starting point to develop your ideas further.          (RDF areas: B2, C2)

Protecting your Intellectual Property.  

Inventions come at the beginning of the Innovation process, when a new idea is developed and eventually turned into a new product or business. It is important to know how to protect ideas and understand the whole process of patenting. This half-day course will take you through the process.

It will include

  • Discoveries versus Inventions.
  • Who the inventors are
  • Publications versus Patents
  • The patenting process and timelines
  • Searching the patent literature and understanding their structure.
  • Other forms of Intellectual Property  (RDF areas: C1, C2) 

Pitching for Funding

Those with funding need to know about you and why they should place their investment in you and your venture. This may be a pitch for research funds, a pitch in an enterprise competition or a presentation asking for an R & D budget. It is a skill that is much needed for the next career step. 
This interactive course will use your research as a starting point but feel free to come with a business venture idea too.

This course will cover:
• The structure and elements of a pitch
• What different funders are looking for in a pitch
• Opening and closing your pitch
• Team pitching 
• The use of props
• Making your message clear

Objectives: by the end of this session participants will have:
• Practised a variety of pitch elements
• Thought about the audience and meeting their needs
• Explored the structure and elements of a pitch
• Received feedback


Marketing your Research to the Outside World   Science seldom exists in a vacuum - working with other groups, institutions, charities and commercial enterprises brings many benefits not to mention funding. This half day course will explore how to investigate potential ‘markets’ and offer tips and tools for successful delivery and implementation. (RDF areas: B3, D3 )

 Being part of an effective and enterprising team.  Contributing to your discipline or building a team to take a venture forward? Understanding your contribution to a team setting and how to work successfully with others are essential to moving forward in your career. This half day interactive course uses the Belbin team roles inventory as a starting point to explore the makings of a great team. (RDF areas: D1 )

Pitching Yourself.

Make the most of every opportunity” is often stated as key to a successful career but how can we make the most of those opportunities? 
Using your research as a starting point this interactive course will have you practising a series of pitches with your peers, interspersed with tips and tricks. The aim is to hook the audience in, whether it is about your research or a new business venture.

This course will cover:
• Spoken pitches in variety of settings
• Written short pitches 
• Networking tips
• Thinking about your audience

Objectives: by the end of this session participants will have:
• Looked at networking tips and tricks to meet the audience
• Worked on a variety of short pitches – written and verbal
• Pitched for a variety of audiences 
• Received feedback on their pitches


How to be an Enterprising Researcher (2 days)

This 2-day course explores how the two worlds of research and entrepreneurship overlap and how - through the application of a creative problem solving framework - business opportunities in research activity can be identified and progressed. This framework (which is also useful for streamlining the research activity itself) includes a number of tools and techniques that can help nurture a more creative mind-set that may be applied to both business development and research.

Areas covered: 
-What is an entrepreneur?
-What do we mean by creativity and innovation?
-The research cycle and how it maps on to the practice of Entrepreneurship
-Drivers for innovation
-The Entrepreneurial skill set and the elements of business planning
-Creative problem solving and the generation of ideas
-A simulation on setting up a new business 

Attendees will gain:
-Experience in exploring the business potential of their research in its widest sense (ie the research itself, the tools and techniques of the research, and their own tacit skills & knowledge) 
-Experience in applying an idea-generation tool to a research field in order to identify new research and business opportunities
-Greater understanding of the skills of entrepreneurship and how these relate to research skills
-An understanding of the essential aspects of business development
-An understanding of visual business planning, including product definition, marketing, intellectual property rights and finance.

 Making an Impact: innovation, enterprise and developing your ideas for funding   

4 day long course offering participants: 

• greater understanding of how to communicate the impacts of their research and expertise 
• develop their skills in problem solving, team working, and project management 
• understanding of the significance of Intellectual Property and Patents 
• understanding of how to research the needs and requirements of funders, stakeholders and industry partners 
• tools for working confidently and productively with business/industry and other partners 
• learning how to pitch successfully to fund projects 

Led by a highly experienced consultant with a strong industry background in commercial development, this interactive course uses context and problem based learning, games and group work to further develop the skills that industry employers and collaborators are looking for in communicating, working in teams and problem solving.