Gener8torís gBeta program will foster growth for Oklahoma Cityís startups

Published: Monday, June 21, 2021 By: Perrin Clore Duncan Source: VeloCity

Starting with its first cohort this fall, the gener8tor startup accelerator program, gBeta, will bring more opportunities to innovative early-stage companies in Oklahoma City. An intentional collaboration between the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, Inasmuch Foundation, American Fidelity, Square Deal Capital, Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, and Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores helped bring this program to our city.

After a 2020 startup census provided meaningful insight from 126 regional companies, a need surfaced for the presence of an accelerator program with a history of national-scale success. Jeff Seymour, Executive vice president of economic development, and Evan Fay, program manager of innovation and entrepreneurship, began researching organizations throughout the country to determine a good match for the needs and goals of Oklahoma City. The census highlighted some gaps within our startup ecosystem; Fay and Seymour were determined to fill them. They identified the importance of learning about how successful programs operate in our peer cities while preserving a sense of authenticity and strategy unique to Oklahoma City.

Because Oklahoma City has several existing organizations that fuel the startup community in impactful ways, it was crucial to find a complementary program. After visiting a gBeta program in Wisconsin, Fay and Seymour knew it was what Oklahoma needed. They were impressed by the highly collaborative approach of the program, which encouraged stakeholders of every part of the community to get involved and provide specialized support for entrepreneurs through different points of their trajectory.

“We’ve had a lot of success in the market with existing players and we support their continued success. The introduction of the gBeta program in Oklahoma City means more options available in the market for startups. It will bridge gaps and build relationships,” said Jeff Seymour. “We’re looking to build a larger infrastructure that has more capacity within it to support more ideas. Because someone goes through a gBeta program does not mean they may not also work with Stitch Crew, Creative Oklahoma’s Entrepreneurship Mentoring Program, participate in 1 Million Cups or get funding from i2E.”

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