Three past and present students of Saïd Business School have secured a place on the Oxford Foundry’s second L.E.V8 Women pre-accelerator programme.
Sophie Adams, who has a Diploma in Strategy & Innovation (2017-2019), has been selected for her venture, Ceratina Enterprises, which creates products and services that enhance biodiversity and protect insect pollinators from threat of extinction. It is pioneering a brand of vegan, bee-less honey that is less likely to put honeybees and other pollinators at risk.
Puja Balachander is a current MBA student (2018-2019). Her business, Devie, aims to be a trusted coach supporting parents to be their child's best first teacher. It does this through an AI-powered virtual coach that has daily instant-message conversations with parents that support them in achieving their wellbeing and parenting goals. She hopes to overcome the isolation felt by many parents as well as the feeling of being judged by peers and existing providers, and in the process improve their children’s outcomes.
Neha Singh (MBA, 2013) has founded Palate Genie which is using AI to transform the eating out experience. Rather than sift through general, often mixed-quality restaurant information, Palate Genie uses a simple AI-powered chat bot to give people tailored restaurant recommendations based on their individual preferences.
They will join six other female founders for an immersive learning programme designed to support their personal development – giving them confidence as leaders – but also to develop key business skills such as pitching for investment.
Over two months, they will attend a series of masterclasses and workshops and have access to e-learning resources and guidance from industry experts. They will also have one-to-one mentoring sessions with notable, high profile women entrepreneurs – the L.E.V8 Women Ambassadors. This year, this group includes the likes of Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of UK Business Angels and Arlan Hamilton, Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital.