A.C.E. Saturdays 2019 – The BioEscalator Business Toolkit

Dr Mira Kassouf Written by Mira Kassouf
Published on 29 May 2019
4 min. read

Innovation Forum Oxford, in collaboration with the BioEscalator, brings back another instalment of the A.C.E. Saturdays program, a series of five workshops delivering the basic business skills through “learning by doing”. Designed to benefit the Oxford academic, clinical and start-up communities, the workshops tackle fundamental topics (as detailed below) whilst allowing exchange of participants’ unique experiences and perspectives.


Follow the links below to register for one or more events, depending on your interests and needs:


1- LEGO Serious Play (creativity and team work) – 8th June, 9.30am-2.30pm

A fun workshop that harnesses creativity and teamwork while playing LEGO. This professionally facilitated workshop will equip participants with tricks and tools that help in externalising and sharing new ideas in a safe space, with no judgement.


2- Pitching to Investors (Pitching)- 15th June, 9.30am-1.30pm

Participants will leave with a structured process for preparing a pitch, an understanding of the elements that make a great pitch, and insights into their own personal style. The session will close with opportunity to receive feedback on a personal pitch.


3- Idea Arc-Innovate (novel Value Proposition extraction canvas) – 22nd June, 9.30am-6pm

This workshop introduces the Idea Arc—a canvas-based innovation tool for facilitating team-based discussions, elaboration, and refinement of innovative ideas so that these can be understood and evaluated more easily.


4- Negotiation (diagnostic, role play, simulation, evaluation) – 6th July, 9.30am-6pm

This highly interactive and engaging workshop will offer insight into one of the most sought-after skill amongst start-up founders and science entrepreneurs: negotiation. Negotiation can make or break an early-stage venture. Successful negotiations require self-awareness and confidence as well as strategies and tools to deal with the wide array of stakeholders involved, tools only acquired through “Learning by doing”.


5- Strategy for Start-ups (Business Strategy) – 13th July, 9.30am-6pm

In this round-up workshop participants will: (1) understand and apply key strategy tools for developing their business; (2) familiarize themselves with the main risks for start-ups and understand mitigation approaches; (3) better understand the expectations and language of investors and buyers.

The A.C.E. 2019 format, diversity of participants, and bespoke tools developed by seasoned experts will bring fresh perspectives to familiar topics in the Oxford innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.


About A.C.E Saturdays

Innovation Forum Oxford (IFO) initiated the A.C.E. (Awareness, Connectivity, Exchange) Saturdays project in 2018. It was a series of four workshops aimed at nurturing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship amongst academic and clinical researchers at the University of Oxford. In 2018, the series focused on the human-centric Design Thinking process. The session placed particular emphasis on the interaction and knowledge exchange between the University of Oxford research community and “the outside world”. The series attracted more than 120 participants, was delivered by seven experts, and was supported by an industry partner (Triteq), a charity (Thinking of Oscar) and financed by the University of Oxford Knowledge Exchange Seed Fund, the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and the Oxford University Careers Service. The feedback on all workshops was excellent. The appreciation for a platform that invites academic and clinical researchers to interact with participants from outside of the University (industry, consultants, NHS staff, innovators and entrepreneurs) was enthusiastically welcomed.


IFO will continue to offer the A.C.E. Saturdays projects with topics and formats that suit the time, place, and needs of participants. The quality of the workshops we are offering contributes to building a tractable and recognizable brand within our ecosystem; we intend to harness it to collaborate with innovation and entrepreneurship stakeholders to deliver exciting and valuable projects locally and beyond.


This 2019 series is supported by the Oxford BioEscalator, the University of Oxford KE Seed Fund, MRC Proximity to Discovery fund, and the University of Oxford Medical Sciences Division.


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