Located in the Tom Love Innovation Hub, OU Startup Programs fosters and grows the entrepreneurial spirit on the OU campus and beyond. There are three ways for any OU student to become involved — Startup Community, Startup Accelerator, and Startup Incubator. Through these individualized programs, OU students are supported through the beginning stages of ideation to testing and eventually, funding.
Each Startup opportunity comes with unique benefits, like 24/7 access to dedicated co-working spaces in the Innovation Hub, biweekly one-on-one coaching sessions with staff, and use of in-house production equipment through the Fabrication Lab. The Innovation Hub also serves as home to the Content Lab, where student creators complete contracted projects and earn experience through exposure to production and clients.
Students are supported through the Startup Ecosystem Team. The Startup Ecosystem team is an in-house student-consulting group that meets biweekly to support startup projects. The team is made up of representatives from the OU Content Lab and Fabrication Lab, as well as in-house experts. This team gives students advice on the feasibility of a project, consumer insight, and branding and design strategies.
The Fabrication Lab houses equipment and workspace critical to design, prototyping, woodworking, metalworking, electronic component fabrication, painting, and more.
Housed in the OU Content Lab, Startup Productions provides access to equipment and production services to assist emerging companies with content creation. This team is made up of OU students who work as artists, actors, stage technicians, graphic designers, and media production specialists.
Entrepreneurial Law Center
The Entrepreneurial Law Center provides legal support and later-stage business and financial support services to emerging companies across the state.
Startup Community is for anyone who wants to pursue a business idea or is interested in learning more about entrepreneurial opportunities at OU. This program is open to any major and encourages students to create, design, and explore ideation through forming or joining a team to create a product or service.
Startup Accelerator is a 12-week program designed to push program members into rapid market testing, concept validation, and business modeling. At the end of each 12-week program, participants are invited to Startup Demo Day, a biannual pitch and expo event where OU students and community members pitch their ideas and have the chance to earn funding.
Startup Incubator is a one-year program that supports emerging companies that have launched within the last two years through later-stage business development and focuses heavily on operations, revenue generation, and funding paths.
OU Startup Programs offers opportunities for students to gain experience and insight through annual special events like Startup Expo, Startup Demo Day, and Startup Venture Competition.
Startup Expo happens at the end of the fall semester and features companies from the Startup Accelerator’s fall cohort. This gives students the opportunity to showcase their business projects to a larger audience. Startup Demo Day is an expo and pitch event for fall and spring cohort members to present their companies. The Startup Venture Competition coincides with Demo Day and gives students the chance to win a financial prize of $50,000 in funding.
Yes! The Startup Innovation Fund provides eligible students access to grants from $500 up to $5,000 to test new or early-stage startup ideas. These funds allow students to dive into prototype development and market testing.