GUV Personality of the Year awardee Mark Mann has launched his own consultancy after having overseen Oxford’s social enterprises portfolio.

Mark Mann, social venture lead at University of Oxford’s tech transfer subsidiary Oxford University Innovation (OUI), announced today that he is leaving the office to run his own consultancy.

Mann had been with the office since June 2015, initially joining as a technology transfer manager, before taking over responsibility for Oxford’s humanities and social sciences spinouts.

In January this year, he became social venture lead, building a portfolio of social enterprises and he was instrumental in the launch of impact investment fund Impact 12 in June that brought together a dozen institutions led by Oxford to provide seed funding to social ventures.

Global University Venturing recognised Mann for his many contributions to social enterprises with its Personality of the Year award in 2019.

In a LinkedIn post discussing his departure from Oxford, Mann said the aim for his consultancy firm – named Mark Mann – was to help design systems that would allow academics to generate as much impact as possible from their ideas.

He wrote: “Ideas should die because they are not sustainable, not because they have been killed in process. My approach to helping academics with their ideas in Oxford has been to help them deliver the maximum impact from their ideas, wherever it comes from, even if it does not fit into existing processes. A good idea is a good idea.

“Structure, form, process, tradition, and so on, should never constrain a good idea from getting out and making a difference in the world. However, you do need to design a system where as many of the good ideas can come out as possible.

“So, that is what I want to do now. I have often said that if anything can work it will probably be easiest to try it out in Oxford or Cambridge first, and I feel like I have given things a great go at Oxford. Now to see about whether I can help you to grow the impact your good ideas make in your ecosystem.”

– Photograph credit: John Cairns