An Oklahoma success story: i2E celebrates 20 years of boosting innovation

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 By: Scott Meacham Source: NewsOK

The status quo is always hard to overcome. I've been saying that a lot lately as our state battles through the budgetary issues that are dragging us down the rabbit hole. It's a frustrating, dangerous time, that has left many of us shaking our heads.

Our work at i2E has been a much-needed breath of fresh air. We mark our 20th year in operation this fall and are planning a big celebration. This week, planning for that milestone was a natural impetus for reminiscing about how, in 1998 in what I like to call a rare moment of clarity of vision, collaboration and optimism for Oklahoma, i2E came to be.

The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) had been operating as the state's technology-based economic development agency for about 10 years. People had faith in its state-funded charter to help homegrown technology businesses in Oklahoma get started and grow.

Sheri Stickley, then an executive at OCAST, and Bill Hagstrom, who became the founding chair of i2E's board and a nationally recognized serial entrepreneur in biotech, identified a roadblock.

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