As a board member of the Oxford Foundry (OXFO), the entrepreneurship center at Oxford University, Mohamed was invited to join the judging panels for the Covid-19 Rapid Solutions Builder. Mohamed chaired the Healthcare Panel. Other judges included Lord Darzi, Sir Terrence Stephenson and Dr. June Raine. Mohamed was also a judge on the Social Engagement & Mobility Panel, chaired by Biz Stone.
Established in 2017 by The Saïd Business School, The Foundry is designed to offer guidance, mentorship, grant funding and access to the University of Oxford’s networks of faculty alumni and students to new start-ups. To date, OXFO has supported 32 start-ups, with 13 nascent mission-led start-ups engaging in tackling the multi-dimensional challenges presented by Covid-19.
In April this year, with Covid-19 placing the UK in lockdown, OXFO swiftly identified an opportunity to make a difference. The Oxford Foundry Covid-19 Rapid Solutions Builder, is a new programme to identify, support, and scale innovative ideas that can tackle the multi-layered challenges we collectively face as a result of this global pandemic.
The two-month programme of guidance and support is offered to current Oxford students and alumni who have innovative solutions within four critical areas: Healthcare, Education, Inclusive Social Engagement and Mobility, and Operations, Logistics and Supply Chains.
The applications received were shortlisted through a virtual pitch day and selection process, where the applicants pitched their ideas to a panel of judges.
The caliber of ideas and teams was impressive, and testament to the commitment from Oxford University students and alumni to focus on problem-solving, and The Foundry’s ability to harness the collective wisdom from across the university network to nurture and grow these new ideas.
Mohamed will continue to mentor and advise the finalists. Three of the finalists include Oblivious AI, Spare Hand and My110, each of which is outlined below.
Oblivious AI provides an Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution (IaaS) that allows enterprises with private user information such as location data from GPS or mobile phones to securely interact with government contact tracing services.
Spare Hand is a non-profit that helps food banks and community organisations respond to Covid-19, through volunteer identification and management. With an established safeguarding process in place, Spare Hand ensures the safety of the volunteers and the organisations.Over the last few weeks, Spare Hand has been collaborating with the UK Government and already supported to secure 20k volunteers.
My110 has filed a patent for a novel alternative rapid antigen swab test that can identify the COVID-19 virus. The key difference is that this test can detect the presence of COVID-19 in a patient’s saliva sample in seconds. Saliva is a stronger sampling method than the current throat swab test, offering a superior in-home option that is non-invasive. The intention is for this affordable, and efficient new test to unlock the opportunity for ubiquitous regular daily screening. Further information can be found here.