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Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

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Oklahoma Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

The Oklahoma entrepreneurial ecosystem comprises several public and private organizations working to conserve and promote entrepreneurship across the state. The Tom Love Innovation Hub is an integral part of this ecosystem, providing important resources at the University of Oklahoma and statewide.

EDA University Centers

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center Program has played a critical role in furthering the Tom Love Innovation Hub’s more than $300M economic impact. EDA University Center funding launched the Innovation Hub’s regional Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (INTENT) Programs to inspire, encourage and nurture Oklahoma’s startup culture. 

Representative INTENT Programs include 201 Talks, How Do I workshops and Founders & Failures panels. 

  • 201 Talks are interactive discussions with innovators, entrepreneurs and industry leaders who share their path to entrepreneurship, revealing the full breadth and diversity of the field. Future speakers include Jamie Siminoff of Ring. 
  • How Do I workshops are engaging, high-level training sessions that introduce technical skills, product development, personal development and business concepts. 
  • Founders & Failures are panel discussions with founders sharing their experiences around failure. These discussions attempt to build an ecosystem with a cultural acceptance of failure and how to move beyond it. 

Thousands of OU students and community members have participated in INTENT Programs, and the businesses that originated from INTENT have gone on to generate millions in revenue and hundreds of jobs.

INTENT Programs also supports workforce development and critical skills training, such as coding. Hundreds of University of Oklahoma (OU) students and community members have learned coding and how these skills impact careers in marketing, design, research, manufacturing, project management and more. The impact of INTENT across Norman, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and across the state would not be possible without the EDA University Center Program.

Based on INTENT’s success in inspiring Oklahoma’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance funding enabled the Innovation Hub to launch OU Startup Programs – a collection of programs designed to foster and grow entrepreneurial development at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. OU Startup Programs is a holistic pipeline for accelerating technology commercialization, venture creation and startup growth. 

Launched in 2020, OU Startup Programs is the central resource for anyone in the OU community interested in launching a business. OU Startup Programs fosters community among local entrepreneurs, provides key resources, and connects aspiring entrepreneurs to partners and programs across the Oklahoma entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

OU Startup Programs include:

  • Start-Hub connects individuals from across the OU community to create, explore, launch and join entrepreneurial ideas.
  • Startup Accelerator is an industry-agnostic 12-week program for OU-affiliated founders to rapidly assess business and founder viability through Lean Startup.
  • Startup Incubator is a one-year program that provides continued mentoring, access to key resources, and dedicated Innovation Hub office and co-working space to mature, promising startups.
  • Annual Startup Demo Days where Startup Accelerator and Startup Incubator members present their startups to the community. 
  • I-Pub is a pop-up networking event for OU Startup Programs members to engage with the Norman and greater Oklahoma City entrepreneurial ecosystems.

In less than two years, OU Startup Programs has already supported and helped launch more than 30 different startup concepts and welcomed hundreds of participants into OU’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Based on the success of OU Startup Programs in Norman, the Innovation Hub is poised to expand OU Startup Programs to support the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City as well as OU-Tulsa.

Our Ecosystem Guide

The Tom Love Innovation Hub is one of several organizations committed to growing the Oklahoma entrepreneurial ecosystem. Check out our quarterly ecosystem guide for more information about critical resources and supportive programming.

Connect to the OKC Metro Ecosystem

In spring 2020, we came together as an ecosystem to create a single site to bring together business and startup resources for the Oklahoma City Metro area. Just a few short months later, the ecosystem launched the Startup Space platform in August 2020.

With Startup Space, you'll get the next generation of community-building tools. Create meaningful connections, navigate local resources, measure impact, and more. Click here or on the icon to download the app.

Our Partners

Institutional Partners 
Michael F. Price College of BusinessPrice College's numerous programs and initiatives ensure the enduring global competitiveness of Oklahoma and the nation. In fulfillment of that mission, Price College has been the Innovation Hub's primary contributor and steward since the its founding. Under Price College, the Innovation Hub has become a leader in the Oklahoma entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Gallogly College of EngineeringGallogly College's relationship with the Innovation Hub has created new opportunities for engineering students, from joining engineering projects coming out of theFabrication Lab to accessing technology and tools for coursework. Since our founding, Gallogly College has made the Innovation Hub a part of its engineering curriculum.
Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass CommunicationGaylord College supports the Innovation Hub through its students, creating new opportunities for them to connect and explore at the Innovation Hub. Its programs have attracted students from advertising, creative media production and public relations. The Innovation Hub has also pursued projects with Lindsey + Asp, Gaylord College's student-run advertising and public relations agency.
Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine ArtsWeitzenhoffer College supports the Innovation Hub through its students, who have helped carry and revitalize the Innovation Hub's creative programs. The Innovation Hub's programs have drawn students from music, drama and visual arts.
University Partners 
Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC)Assists with the perfection, conveyance and commercialization of OU intellectual property. OTC strives to be recognized as a driving force for OU's economic impact through education, expertise and efficiency. 
Ronnie K. Irani Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth (I-CCEW)Leads high-impact projects focused on: technology commercialization; social entrepreneurship and innovation; software and web development; agile product design; and entrepreneurial support.
Tom Love Center for EntrepreneurshipSupports OU students interested in entrepreneurship and innovation through funding, programs, classes and other resources. Specific programs include Sooner LaunchpadThe Tom Love Center for Entrepreneurship is globally recognized and is highly ranked by Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine.
External Partners 
Devon Energy In 2018, the Innovation Hub partnered with Devon Energy to launch the Design + Do challenge, giving children a hands-on opportunity to have fun while solving a problem and building STEM skills. Design + Do gives these children the opportunity to tackle innovation challenges using real-world technology, working alongside staff from Devon Energy and the Innovation Hub.
Francis Tuttle Technology CenterThe Francis Tuttle Technology Center strives to be the premiere choice for programs and services related to careers and technology education. Francis Tuttle offers a broad range of programs and services in support of developing and maintaining a quality workforce for the region.
Norman Economic Development Coalition (NEDC)The Norman Economic Development Coalition is dedicated to improving the quality of life of Norman residents through the creation and retention of jobs. Established in 1996, NEDC is a joint effort of the University of Oklahoma, the City of Norman, the Moore Norman Technology Center, and the Sooner Centurions, a committee of the Norman Chamber of Commerce.
Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST)OCAST is a key organization that bridges the gap between research activities and business needs. Through its network of strategic partnerships, OCAST creates a continuum of services that enables and accelerates the transition of ideas from the laboratory to the market.