Momentum continues for OKC entrepreneurs – The Journal Record
Next week, Oklahoma City will launch another resource for local entrepreneurs. gBeta Oklahoma City to launch a seven-week mentoring program to help five startups identify and secure resources for fundraising, business organization, marketing, e-commerce and other acquisition plans of customers. The free program is created by the national startup accelerator gener8tor. Participating entrepreneurs will be mentored and coached by investors, seasoned founders and subject matter experts who will provide programming for the learning sessions and pitch development. The program has generated great interest, with a number of startups applying.
gBeta joins the growing list of local support for startups and entrepreneurs. Other entrepreneur mentoring programs and resources, many of which have been launched over the past 10 years, include Stitch Crew, Creative Oklahoma’s Entrepreneurship Mentoring Program, Progress OKC Business Advisory Services, 1 Million Cups, Tom Love Innovation Hub, SCORE, Launch Pad at Francis Tuttle, Community Action Agency, SBA Small Business Centers and many more. Finance and finance has been an area identified for growth, and there are many new resources for private equity or low interest loans through i2E, the KIVA OKC loan program, OCAST, the SBA and more. Together, these programs expand our ability to foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in Oklahoma City, a key component of our economic development strategy.
The adoption of MAPS 4 was key to the further development of the Innovation District which will include a new Innovation Hall that will serve as a central location where activities aimed at developing our city’s innovation economy can be facilitated. Activities such as coding training for all ages; versatile space for meetings and events related to innovation and entrepreneurship; and pop-up spaces for entrepreneurs to present new ideas and make connections. The redevelopment of the Henrietta B. Foster Center into a center for small businesses and minority entrepreneurship will provide support services to entrepreneurs while giving new life to this historic building. The district will continue its public consultation sessions to gather opinions on what is needed to help entrepreneurship and innovation thrive.
The Oklahoma City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to consider adopting the Innovation District Land Use Plan as an amendment to the Comprehensive City Plan on Thursday, September 23 at 1:30 p.m. in City Council Chamber, 200 N. Walker Ave, 3rd Floor. The meeting is open to the public. View the meeting agenda at https://www.okc.gov/departments/city-clerk/meetings.
Cathy O’Connor is president of the Oklahoma City Economic Development Alliance.