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OxDeg: Helping founders grow: ethnographic potential between investors and startups in the UK

Date & Time:
16.30 - 18.00,
Wednesday 7 March, 2018


The UK is the epicentre of startups in Europe. While its tech economy continues to grow at double digits in terms of capital and volume, most UK startups are unable to “scale-up” into larger companies and lag behind their US counterparts on measures of success such as growth rate, ROI and exit. For the UK government, there is a growing and urgent shift to support successful “scaleups” rather than early stage startups, identifying the companies that have the greatest potential to really grow. Yet investors (whether private or public) often see “growth” very differently from businesses aiming to scale up, despite an abundance of data, grant programmes, accelerators, incubators, university enterprise offices and private investment. This talk discusses some ways ethnography can help shape the user experience of investor funds, corporates and government to find the ‘needle in the haystack’ to make more effective investment decisions and enable startups around the world to scale up.

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  • Name: Dr Heloise Finch-Boyer
  • Affiliation: F6S
  • Role:
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  • Bio: Dr Heloise Finch-Boyer is co-founder and Head of Grants at, the world’s largest platform for start-up founders. She is an expert in the UX of investor pitches for cutting-edge science and technology startups. She completed a PhD in Anthropology & History from the University of Michigan in 2010 and was curator of science and technology at the National Maritime Museum until 2015. Previous academic interests centred around STS and ethnographies of the state in the Indian Ocean.