The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) announced the companies that will manage the new State of Oklahoma Business Accelerator Program.
The program, which is a priority for Governor Kevin Stitt and was included in 2021 appropriations from the State Legislature, is designed to create a business accelerator program which will create jobs and help grow Oklahoma companies. A total of three accelerators will be established; one in Oklahoma City will be administered by gener8tor, one for rural areas of the state driven by Oklahoma Farm Bureau and a third in Tulsa. The Tulsa accelerator partner is still under review and will be announced soon.
A nationally ranked venture capital firm and accelerator, gener8tor brings together startup founders, investors, corporations, job seekers, universities, musicians and artists. The gener8tor platform includes more than 75 programs spanning startup accelerators, corporate programming, speaker series, conferences, skills accelerators and fellowships.
“Oklahoma City’s startups are driving job creation and economic growth throughout the region. We are thrilled to partner with the State of Oklahoma and community organizations to expand our presence in Oklahoma City,” said gener8tor Co-Founders Joe Kirgues and Troy Vosseller. “Together, we will ensure that the region’s best and brightest startups have access to the supports, mentorship, education and investments they need to become pillars of Oklahoma’s economy.”
Oklahoma Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization that gives a voice to Oklahoma’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities. Oklahoma Farm Bureau advocates for Oklahoma agriculturalists. As Oklahoma’s largest general farm organization with members in all 77 counties represented by 77 county Farm Bureaus, their work and efforts span all of agriculture as they work to ensure Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers can focus on what they do best: growing and raising the most affordable, safe and abundant food in the world.
“As Oklahomans we understand the role that main-street businesses play in our small towns and rural communities. Our goal is to spur the growth of Oklahoma agricultural businesses involving food processing and value-added businesses that utilize Oklahoma agricultural products,” said Rodd Moesel, Oklahoma Farm Bureau. “Through this program and strategic partnership with the AgLaunch farmer centric network, we hope to help expand and support new agricultural production technologies, equipment and services to address needs in fertilizer and crop inputs, drones and crop scouting, record keeping and management. Additionally, we hope to encourage and support new or expanding manufacturing and service businesses across Oklahoma to help produce jobs and income to stimulate growth in our rural communities.”
OCAST will be the state partner and is responsible for oversight and review of the program in conjunction with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. In 2021, the State Legislature appropriated a total of 15 million dollars towards the program. All money expended require matching funds and create a public/private partnership worth a total of $30 Million.
“We are striving to keep Oklahoma moving forward in technology and economic development. These accelerators and partnerships with gener8tor and Oklahoma Farm Bureau are a significant investment in our state’s business ecosystem. It is a tremendous step in fostering new innovation, creating jobs for Oklahomans, and diversifying our economy, not just in the metro areas, but across the state,” said Elizabeth Hutt Pollard, Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Innovation.
The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology is a state agency tasked with leading Oklahoma’s technology–based economic development efforts, supporting startups and entrepreneurs to transform promising innovations from concepts into commercial products.