Accelerating solutions to Africa's health challenges

Africa Oxford Health Innovation Platform

A multi-disciplinary programme to support outstanding African innovators as they build high growth start-ups with real impact to address health inequality in Africa, improving livelihoods and safeguarding our future. 


Applications for the AfOx Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scheme 2024 now CLOSED! 


What is on offer?

AfOx-HIP works with African innovators to equip participants with key skills to successfully navigate their own entrepreneurial journey.  

Virtual programme in innovation & entrepreneurship in health
  • In each cohort, up to 50 successful applicants benefit from a relevant and robust teaching course on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Health for Africa. The training including systems thinking, making financial projections, writing and delivering a pitch, and navigating intellectual property and regulatory hurdles. 
  • The training is delivered through a series of web-based sessions over 16 weeks. The self-paced interactive programme and weekly workshops requires 8–10 hours/week in total. The programme is designed for optimal accessibility and ease of use for busy innovator-entrepreneurs. 

  • Personalised mentorship and support is provided to help fellows develop their ventures. 

  • The programme integrates the use of virtual workrooms for small group engagement and co-creation, so the whole cohort of African innovators learns together, creating an interactive network of peers. 

As a health care expert with limited business background, AfOx has given me the opportunity to learn new concepts and apply new skills. Throughout this journey, I have learned to explore business opportunities, develop entrepreneurial ideas and solutions, test them in the real world, adapt them and enter the market. These competencies are the stepping-stones I needed to advance my business idea.
Kahabi, Tanzania, AfOx Health Innovation Fellow
Oxford-based fellowships for personalised technical support

We offer AfOx Innovation fellowships to up to 15 innovators who have completed the virtual programme in innovation & entrepreneurship in health, and whose projects offer the greatest potential for successful venture development and significant health impact. They receive personalised, technical support from collaborators in Oxford. Over 300 researchers across all Divisions of the University have expressed interest in sharing ideas, knowledge and expertise with African colleagues. 

During this second phase of training, the cohort is also invited to a week-long boot camp in Oxford. The boot camp offers them an opportunity to participate in hands-on workshops and engage with their peers from their cohort and at Oxford. 

The boot camp covers essential topics for deep science start-ups including intellectual property rights, regulatory considerations, business valuation, fundraising strategies, negotiating deals, building the team and how to run an effective board.  It is an invaluable opportunity for the cohort to stress test their projects and integrate critical technical and business strategy feedback. 

The week concludes with a Demo Day during which participants present their start-ups to the wider AfOx networks for investment or other offers of support. 

In Summer 2023, 25 innovators were invited to the event held at Saïd Business School and Keble College.  

My meeting and interaction with the AfOx health innovation fellows was exhilarating. Seeing so much talent and youth ready to contribute with creative solutions to Africa’s health challenges re-ignited my hope for a brighter future
Professor Caesar Atuire (Ethics Lead for the MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine at the University of Oxford and Associate Professor of Applied Philosophy at the University of Ghana)

Previous Fellow

In this interview, Innovation Fellowships Manager Rachel Abernethy speaks to Philip Lugoloobi who was part of the very first cohort of Africa-Oxford Health Innovation Fellows back in autumn of 2021. When he applied, Philip was a final year medical student, at Makerere University in Uganda. She asks him about his project, Blood Alarm System, and how the Africa-Oxford Health Innovators Programme has helped him to develop it.

Inspiring stories shared at The Africa Oxford Health Innovation platform programme

The BioEscalator community had the opportunity to meet and share entrepreneurial stories with participants of The Africa Oxford Health Innovation Platform (AfOx-HIP) programme. The African innovators had gathered at Oxford University's Said Business School for a week-long boot camp to develop new solutions to Africa's health challenges. The boot camp was designed for exceptionally talented young African innovators who had been awarded Innovation Visiting Fellowships at Oxford University. The fellows are all based in Africa, building ventures within their local contexts, characterised by embryonic innovation ecosystems. 

It was a humbling experience to observe the passion with which the African fellows pitched their start-ups, all of which tackle critical unmet needs in African healthcare. It was great to see so many women entrepreneurs on front and centre stage pursuing transformative health delivery
Claire Shingler, Business Manager at the BioEscalator

Fireside innovation chat

In this fireside chat, Watu Wamae and Meredith Ettridge discuss innovation in Africa and the Africa Health Innovation Platform call for 2022.