A course designed to help you establish, launch and scale your business.

Developed in conjunction with accountancy firm James Cowper Kreston and Oxford University Innovation, the Structuring for Success programme is aimed at tech-focused early-stage companies within the Oxfordshire ecosystem to help them establish, launch and scale their business.

The programme is centred around three cluster topics and delivered through a mix of virtual training sessions and in-person workshops. Supported by materials, resources, and optional one-to-one ‘ask the expert’ sessions, Structuring for Success guides new business leaders through the fundamentals of setting up and running an organisation in those key foundation years.

Drawing from real-life scenarios, the modules uniquely bring together the legal and financial aspects companies should consider.

Topic Cluster 1 // Foundations for Success

During three virtual sessions, we’ll cover the foundations you need to help you drive success:

  • The board: composition: executives and non-executive directors, EDI considerations
  • Board purpose & reporting requirements
  • The role of advisory boards
  • Director duties
  • Director vs shareholder roles
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Shareholder agreements and articles of association
  • An introduction to grant, equity, and other types of funding and valuations

Virtual sessions: 1pm-2:30pm on 28 April, 11 May & 25 May

In-person workshop and networking: 4-6pm on 9 June


Topic Cluster 2 // Recruiting for Success

Over three virtual sessions, we’ll explore how to establish a team and retain a high-performing workforce:

Session 1: Building a Team

  • The difference between roles in teams: Consultants, directors, employees, workers
  • Talent Strategy & Successful Recruitment
  • Overseas hires
  • IR35

Session 2: Retaining a Team

  • Becoming an employer of choice
  • Benefits in kind and other incentives
  • Using Equity as an incentive – Option Schemes and Growth Shares
  • Considerations for hybrid or remote working

Session 3: What to do if things don’t work out

  • Importance of process and policies
  • Inter-relationship between employment role and shareholder status
  • Impact on options
  • Top tips for avoiding things going wrong

Virtual sessions: 1pm-2:30pm on 29 September, 13 October and 3 November

In-person workshop and networking: TBC


Topic Cluster 3 // Optimising IP & Commercial Contracts

Over two virtual sessions, we’ll focus on protecting your IP and key considerations when dealing with commercial contracts:

Session 1: Optimising IP 

  • Protecting IP
  • IP strategy
  • Disclosure Policy
  • Patents
  • Patent Box
  • R&D

Session 2: Considerations for Commercial Contracts

  • What type of contracts: sponsored research, collaborations, purchase agreements, supply agreements
  • Who is going to do what and when
  • Who owns what  –  IP
  • Limitations of liability
  • Termination terms and Change of Control
  • Non-compete/non-poaching
  • Jurisdiction, arbitration
  • Financial terms
  • Revenue models
  • Payment terms and cashflow
  • Any required capex
  • International pricing or tax considerations.


Virtual sessions: 1pm-2:30pm on 12 January 2023 and 26 January 2023

In-person workshop and networking: TBC


To be eligible to participate in the Structuring for Success programme, you must be an early-stage founder or part of the C-Suite team of a tech-centric business.

About the course

Each topic cluster consists of three online sessions of coordinated conversation with Q&As, followed by an in-person workshop with investors and peer-to-peer networking. Participants in the course can apply to join individual topic clusters or register for the entire course. For more information on the Structuring for Success Course content, download the Course Programme here.

On completion of the program, alumni are eligible to participate in an ‘advanced’ program of four workshops, covering issues for later-stage companies and founders.

To register your interest, please complete the form below and we will review your application.

Key Facilitators:

Oxford University Innovation LogoJames Cowper Kreston Logo