OU Startup Programs launched its application for the Startup Incubator on Monday, a program designed with the purpose of growing community members’ entrepreneurial endeavors.
The six-month program is the newest initiative developed as a part of The Tom Love Innovation Hub’s “Startup Programs.”
Funded by the Economic Development Administration with support from the Price College of Business, the Norman Economic Development Coalition, Startup 405 and the OU Vice President of Research and Partnerships, the program was created for supporting technology commercialization, venture management and startup growth.
Cassandra Rigsby, OU Startup Programs director, said anyone within the OU community umbrella can apply.
“The incubator program is open to all OU community members, [which] includes students, alumni, faculty, staff and even someone who is just licensing through the university without any other affiliation,” Rigsby said. “Startup Incubator is looking for passionate entrepreneurs and teams ready to grow their businesses through a self-paced and supportive program.”
The mentorship and support provided to participants at first will vary depending on their industry and the type of business they hope to launch.
“We are offering some tailored curriculum based on their needs, interests, what phase they are at, whether that be guidance through the [U.S Food and Drug Administration] process or other regulatory processes; we want to help them through that,” Rigsby said.
Rigsby said the biggest value for participants is the free designated office space in the Innovation Hub on the OU Research Campus.
According to a news release, incubator participants will work alongside Start-Hub Fellows, a group of over 30 students with expertise in the fields of technology, design and business.
Rigsby said many of the businesses they are looking to partner with are more established with a need to better tell their story in an effective way and continue to validate their ideas.
“We will be inviting — whether that be in person or virtual — community members, potential funders, partners and others in order to help them present their ideas to the world and hopefully get them ready for the next step, which should be revenue generation,” Rigsby said.
In the news release, Tom Wavering, Tom Love Innovation Hub executive director, said they look forward to hosting, supporting and scaling early stage startups in the region.