Oxford Seed Fund Invests in Medtech and Image Licensing

The Oxford Seed Fund at Saïd Business School, Oxford is pleased to announce two new investments made in August 2016. 

The Seed Fund team has chosen to invest in BioMe Oxford and in UPROSA. Both companies have at least one Oxford University alum on their founding teams, and each has secured an investment of £25k to enable them to develop and advance their businesses.

BioMe Oxford’s founding team is made up of six scientists, five of whom are DPhil students at the University of Oxford. They are developing a small ingestible gut sampling device, created to solve a previously unmet clinical need: being able to sample targeted locations within the human gut. 

Managing Director and DPhil candidate Søren Thomsen explains:
“Friendly and unfriendly bacteria in the human gut form the gut microbiome, and variations in this have been linked to bowel diseases, cancers and even mental health. The gut is widely heralded as the next frontier in medicine and biotech and our device can be used by medical and research doctors to monitor and fully understand the impact that specific populations of gut bacteria have on our health and well-being.”

Thomsen continues: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been selected for investment by the Oxford Seed Fund. This funding will enable us to undertake critical prototype development of the technology. Ultimately, this could address a serious unmet medical need by enabling routine and convenient access to targeted regions within the gut”

The Seed Fund’s second investment for 2016 is in UPROSA, producer of UPROSAimages, an image licensing platform which aims to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for scientific imagery by consolidating, connecting and commercialising thousands of loosely managed image banks which are currently held by private individuals and academic institutions. UPROSA’s founding team is made up of Dominique Piché, Creative Director and DPhil candidate at Oxford University, and CEO Nikolaus Wenzl, who has a MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise from Cambridge University.

Wenzl explains:
“Following the success of UPROSA’s premium consumer goods business, which produces phone and macbook covers that feature scientific imagery, our aim is to grow UPROSAimages to be the world's leading scientific image database and licensing platform – an intelligent ‘Getty Images’ for science. The platform will enable scientists, research organisations and funding bodies to commercialise a byproduct of their work (images) without entirely forfeiting their intellectual property.”

Wenzl continues, “We’re very pleased to have been selected for investment by the Oxford Seed Fund. The investment will enable us to develop UPROSAimages into the leading rights management platform for visual scientific content. On the back of this we will naturally operate as a place for scientists to gain exposure for their work, regardless of which stage of their career they are at, while continuing to grow our consumer goods brand.”

UPROSAimages is set to launch at the BLE 2016 expo in London on October 11-13.

Andrea Lo, co-chair of the Oxford Seed Fund for 2016 said:
“Once again, the Oxford Seed Fund received a record number of applications for funding this year, and our 10-person team worked hard to do the due diligence and to close these investments. Biome Oxford and UPROSA were the standouts. We were blown away by each team’s vision and their ability to execute. We're thrilled to support entrepreneurs coming out of Oxford, and can't wait follow their progress closely in coming years.”

About the Oxford Seed Fund

Founded and run by the Entrepreneurship Centre at Saïd Business School, the Oxford Seed Fund is a student-led educational programme and fund that invests £15-25k in selected early-stage ventures founded by Oxford students and alumni. Seed Fund team members are drawn from the MBA student cohort, and each year the team decides which of the many applicants for funding will receive investment to help their business grow and scale.