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Apple's Tim Cook to open Oxford University startup hub, participate in Q&A session on Wednesday

Apple CEO Tim Cook will be in the U.K. on Wednesday to open The Foundry, a University of Oxford facility dedicated to the cultivation of startups created by students, alumni and staff, as well as field a few questions from attendees.




According to an Eventbrite invitation, Cook will take part in a live Q&A facilitated by Dean Peter Tufano of Oxford's Saïd Business School. The session will take place following an introduction of by Prof. Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

A report from the Financial Times claims Cook is on hand to officially open The Foundry, which will serve as Oxford's first dedicated space for entrepreneurial endeavors. The building, formerly an ice factory, sits at the center of Oxford's college city and has been transformed into a modern entrepreneurial hub with meeting rooms, free Wi-Fi and desk space for budding business teams.

A student-led facility, The Foundry was funded by 3.2 million pounds in gifts, the report said. LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, who put 1 million pounds toward the effort, is credited as the first founding member. Other funding comes from a charitable foundation run by Emergent Telecom Ventures founder and CEO Mohamed Amersi, Ernst & Young, data analytics firm Meltwater and China's DeTao Education Group, the report said.

The facility was designed with input from an advisory group including Lastminute.com co-founder and Oxford alumnus Brent Hoberman, Evernote co-founder Phil Libin and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

On its official webpage, Oxford says The Foundry will provide students with access to support funds, host workshops, run competitions and hackathons, manage an e-library and more. Select startups can also take advantage of the Amersi Foundation Accelerator space. Importantly, any IP created by students remains in their control.

Unlike previous entrepreneurial efforts at Oxford, The Foundry will be open to all of the university's 23,000 students, as well as staff and alumni.