Innovation Hub closes gaps for Oklahoma entrepreneurs

Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 By: Jennifer Sharpe Source: The Journal Record
Oklahoma City Thunder.

“I-Hub’s SBIR program enables entrepreneurs to work on their ideas with capital that they don’t have to dilute their companies to access, nor do they have to pay it back,” Lukas said.

Xcelerate Oklahoma is a new I-Hub concept that launches to partners in April and to companies in May 2019.

As Wavering explains, “The idea behind it is, ‘If I’m an innovator or an entrepreneur somewhere in Oklahoma, what do I do? Where do I start?’ So we are in the process of partnering with organizations across the state to come up with a common front door that says, ‘If you are an entrepreneur or innovator in Oklahoma, and you want to be guided through the best resources you should be taking advantage of right now, then participate in the Xcelerate OK program.’ Along with our partners, the I-Hub will be a concierge to give them a road map.”

Participants will apply, and those selected will receive coaching, connection to startup resource information, and peer relationship building through programming and events.

The strength of partnerships is what enables the I-Hub to flourish.

“The collaborations are just as important to driving innovation and entrepreneurship as the actual programs themselves,” Wavering said. “There are all these things that are already happening or that are already available in the state, they just haven’t been lined up. The better we can leverage the great work all these organizations are already doing around the state, the better it will be for Oklahoma.”

Wheedn connected with the I-Hub through StitchCrew and the Thunder Launchpad accelerator program.

“Our partnership has been incredible,” Lukas said. “University R&D and entrepreneurship programs are critical for the continuous growth of the innovation ecosystem, and the I-Hub is a great example.”

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