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What We Do

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What We Do

Problem Solving Process

The Ronnie K. Irani Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth Methodology involves an iterative and flexibly applied 4-step approach to technology commercialization, software business acceleration, startup ventures and product design.


1. Problem & Solution Analysis 

Interns familiarize themselves with the capabilities of the technology and identify specific pain points the technology addresses, with a clear understanding of the tech innovations and potential to solve major problems and add value to industry/consumers.


3. Value Chain & Business Model Analysis

Interns build a technology-specific business model and assess its optimal value chain. The teams take into account key stakeholders at each point in the value chain and analyze the potential for new IP generated by the technology.

 

 

 


2. Customer Discovery

Intern Teams identify key users of the technology through customer interviews, focus groups, and beta testing. They research and target key purchasing decision makers in primary markets, and also identify key secondary markets.
 


4. Financial Analysis and Implementation

I-CCEW Intern Teams develop key financial projections, taking into account past and future R&D for the technology. They also provide specific implementation steps necessary for handing off the technology to its owner.

How We Use the Process to Create Economic Wealth

Our roots lie in technology commercialization, or the process of analyzing a new technology’s commercial potential and determining its best path to market. Since 2006, I-CCEW has worked  with OU’s Office of Technology Development (OTD) to bring university-developed technologies to market. The technology commercialization program has led to multiple university licensing deals, company spinouts, and revenue generation. I-CCEW has multiple collaborations with national laboratories as well.

The Ronnie K. Irani Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth's success in technology commercialization is the result of our unique aggregation of the top intellectual capital on campus: OU professors and researchers who invent new technologies or processes, interdisciplinary I-CCEW Interns, and the expertise of OU's Office of Technology Development. A technology commercialization project begins when an OU researcher discloses a new technology to OTD. These technologies come from a variety of industries, ranging from biotechnologies to weather radar and infrared detection.

I-CCEW Interns work on a technology for one semester, during which they analyze the technology’s benefits, conduct extensive industry and market research, and ultimately recommend the path to market that will generate the largest financial return to OU and to the technology’s inventor.

Our Social Entrepreneurship Program launched in 2010, gives I-CCEW Interns the opportunity to apply business principles to create sustainable solutions for social problems. Since its inception, the program has grown to include intern projects, workshops and symposia, and influences much of our programming in Tulsa with The Mine and the Innovation and Sustainability Institute. Past I-CCEW SocEnt projects have had an impact on non-governmental organizations in developing countries, increased access to funding for international small- to medium-sized businesses and the launch of I-CCEW's Oklahoma Funding Accelerator.

Our programs, such as the SocEnt internship and The Mine Fellowship, take projects from NGOs and socially-focused organizations based in the U.S. and abroad and work to expand their social impact. Past projects have focused on creating sustainable affordable products that serve the poor, crafting expansion plans for NGOs looking to scale impact, and planning pilot programs for sustainable non-profits.

The Software Business Accelerator generates new tech startups in Oklahoma and bolsters the existing tech startup community with consulting projects. SoBA pairs groups of interdisciplinary interns and computer science interns on one team to create a new software or web application and build a business around that technology. Since its launch in 2010, in partnership with the College of Engineering's School of Computer Science and Director Sridhar Radharkrishnan, SoBA has developed more than 10 unique applications that have helped in-state startups grow their business or have grown into student-launched ventures. 

The Software Business Accelerator program focuses on all things tech-startup in the state and beyond. From hosting Startup Weekend OU each year, drawing in participants from other schools and even out-of-state, to using big data to create new software solutions that serves specific industries, the SoBA program has propelled the growth of the tech startup community in Oklahoma.

Conceived and launched with the College of Engineering and Dr. Sridhar Radhakrishnan, director of the School of Computer Science, SoBA has developed curricula focused on building specific software or web applications - complementing the broad theory taught in computer science core classes - that are used in the day-to-day work of startups. This has led to new extracurricular programming at the College of Engineering's Software Studio and the launch of Oklahoma's first developer boot camp, OK Coders.

We approach product design from a consumer-driven perspective, drawing from the innovation approaches of design consulting firms like IDEO while also incorporating aspects of the Lean Launchpad methodology. This approach encourages our interns and entrepreneurs to repeatedly test their product ideas with consumers during the design process, with the ultimate goal of creating products that are well-informed by user insights across both the functional and emotional aspects of the design. 

To more completely fulfill our economic development mission, we started building its expertise in product design in 2012. This program focus can be seen through the organization of internal, student-based projects in our Agile Product Development track and through product-focused venture strategy sessions where local entrepreneurs get advice on their ideas for new products.

We approach product design from a consumer-driven perspective, drawing from the innovation approaches of design consulting firms like IDEO while also incorporating aspects of Stanford’s Lean Launchpad curriculum. This approach encourages  student teams and entrepreneurs to repeatedly test their product ideas with consumers during the design process, aiming to create products that are well-informed by user insights across both the functional and emotional aspects of the design.

Our first Agile Product Design intern team took their idea, Levate Lift, to market after conducting more than 200 consumer interviews and more than 10 iterations of their product.

As a key component of our mission to foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem, we help local entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses. Associates in our student consulting organization, the Oklahoma Funding Accelerator, work one-on-one with entrepreneurs to help them build and execute specific strategies that get businesses closer to funding and implementation. OFA also hosts workshops and events for local entrepreneurs.

We also provide other services to local entrepreneurs, including roundtable strategy sessions with our Staff.

Through our consulting services, we are able to work directly with entrepreneurs to provide them the guidance, expertise and resources they need to advance their business or idea. We partner with the Price College of Business' Center for Entrepreneurship to offer Venture Strategy Sessions, and we are equipped to offer direct consulting services to entrepreneurs on a per-case basis. We train and mentor the student led Oklahoma Funding Accelerator to work with local entrepreneurs and small business owners, ultimately connecting them with the business expertise and funding necessary to make their dreams reality.

We engage with local entrepreneurs through our innovative work space. Community members can take advantage of the Land Ran, the only coworking space currently in Norman, to collaborate and share their work with others. We offer high quality programming as an additional resource to entrepreneurs, including the Startup Engineering course and  events such as Startup Weekend OU.