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OU Startup Programs

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OU Startup Programs

Purposed with creating good companies and exceptional founders, OU Startup Programs is designed to foster and grow entrepreneurial development at the University of Oklahoma.

Startup Programs supports entrepreneurs at critical stages of development, providing guidance and resources to carry entrepreneurs from ideation to testing to funding.

Each of our three (3) programs is industry-agnostic, meaning any business idea, from consumer products to high-growth technologies, could be a fit. Our programs are also adaptive to an entrepreneur's individual needs and remain a viable option for businesses at any size or stage.

All programs are open to University of Oklahoma students (undergraduate and graduate), faculty, staff, alumni and affiliates (e.g., faculty or staff spouses or children (older than 18), university vendors and partners, and other similar individuals).

Our Programs

Overview

Startup Community is the point of entry for all University of Oklahoma students and University affiliates actively pursuing a business idea or interested in exploring entrepreneurial ecosystem opportunities. This program connects individuals from multidisciplinary backgrounds to create, design, explore and support entrepreneurial ideas.

Startup Community offers two (2) options: a Pre-Accelerator for founders ready to explore their idea and a Workforce program for those interested in lending their skills to support a startup or small business.

Pre-Accelerator

The Pre-Accelerator offers a 12-week on-ramp to entrepreneurship for individuals actively pursuing any idea. Pre-Accelerator members engage in structured curriculum focused on ideation, effective market sizing, concept validation, customer identification and more. 

Workforce

The Workforce program offers rolling, skills-matching opportunities for individuals interested in exploring the entrepreneurial ecosystem and lending their unique skill sets to support emerging startups and small businesses participating in Startup Pre-Accelerator and our other programs.

Pre-Accelerator Offerings

Startup Community Pre-Accelerator offers structured curriculum that leads program members through the early but critical stages of business development. Pre-Accelerator members are offered:

  • skills training in market discovery and consumer insight research
  • weekly one-on-one coaching sessions with program staff
  • pop-up seminars, workshops and community building events dedicated to critical issues
  • potential seed funding through Startup Innovation Fund (if eligible)
  • 24-7 access to dedicated coworking spaces
  • access to critical prototyping services and equipment (if applicable)
  • use of in-house production equipment (as applicable)

Pre-Accelerator Cohorts

The Pre-Accelerator Fall Cohort (August 29 - November 18) runs concurrently with the Startup Accelerator Fall Cohort. Likewise, the Pre-Accelerator Spring Cohort (January 23 - April 21) runs concurrently with the Startup Accelerator Spring Cohort.

Program Overview & Schedule (Pre-Accelerator Fall Cohort)

For more information about Startup Community Pre-Accelerator and the program schedule for our fall cohort, we invite prospective applicants to review our current Startup Community Program Overview & Schedule.

Startup Community Membership Policy

For more information about how Startup Community operates and program member requirements, we invite prospective and current program members to review our Startup Community Membership Policy.

Apply to Startup Community

Startup Community Pre-Accelerator is not accepting applications at this time.

The Workforce program offers rolling admission; if you are interested in applying, please complete the Workforce Program Skills Assessment. If you are interested in learning more about Startup Community for later enrollment or any of our other programs, we encourage you to contact OU Startup Programs with any questions. 

Overview

Startup Accelerator is an industry-agnostic, 12-week program designed to help program members conduct rapid market testing, concept validation and business modeling for their early-stage business concepts.

Its curriculum is intended to quickly get program members to the point of a minimum viable product (MVP) suitable for testing in relevant markets and establishing an applicable business model to support advancement. 

Offerings

Startup Accelerator’s structured curriculum leads participants toward the rapid creation of an MVP suitable for market and product testing, as well as the development of applicable business models to take that MVP to market. Program members are offered:

  • skills training in customer validation, market testing and business modeling
  • weekly one-on-one coaching sessions with program staff
  • weekly cohort strategy sessions
  • biweekly mentor support sessions with external partners
  • 24-7 access to dedicated coworking spaces
  • $5,000 in AWS Activate Credits valid for two (2) years (if eligible)
  • one (1) year of AWS Business Support (up to $1,500) (if eligible)
  • access to critical prototyping services and equipment (if applicable)
  • use of in-house production equipment and services (as applicable)

Cohorts

One-on-one coaching sessions, cohort strategy sessions, mentor support sessions, and community building events are primarily held in Norman during the fall.

One-on-one coaching sessions, cohort strategy sessions, mentor support sessions, and community building events are held primarily in Oklahoma City during the spring. 

Each cohort culminates in Startup Demo Day, a biannual pitch and expo event featuring companies from Startup Accelerator and other entrepreneurship-focused programs at the University of Oklahoma.

Program Overview & Schedule (Fall Cohort)

For more information about Startup Accelerator and the program schedule for our fall cohort, we invite prospective applicants to review our current Startup Accelerator Program Overview & Schedule.

Startup Accelerator Membership Policy

For more information about how Startup Accelerator operates and program member requirements, we invite prospective and current program members to review our Startup Accelerator Membership Policy.

Apply to Startup Accelerator

Startup Accelerator is not accepting applications at this time.

If you are interested in learning more about Startup Accelerator for later enrollment or any of our other programs, we encourage you to contact OU Startup Programs with any questions. 

Overview

Startup Incubator is a one-year program designed to grow program members’ companies by creating an adaptive curriculum to support business management and overall growth. 

Startup Incubator supports emerging companies that have launched within the last two years through later-stage business development, focusing heavily on operations, revenue generation and funding paths.

Offerings

While Startup Incubator is adaptive to program members' individual needs, our program places significant focus on business modeling, revenue generation and securing other funding opportunities. Program members are offered:

  • skills training in business management and revenue generation
  • biweekly one-on-one coaching sessions
  • reserved, furnished offices
  • registered business mailing addresses
  • 24-7 access to dedicated coworking spaces
  • access to University mentor and partner networks
  • $5,000 in AWS Activate Credits valid for two (2) years (if eligible)
  • one (1) year of AWS Business Support (up to $1,500) (if eligible)
  • access to critical prototyping services and equipment (if applicable)
  • use of in-house production equipment and services (as applicable)

Requested Membership Donations

Program members are asked to provide a monthly donation to OU Startup Programs in the amount of $200.00 for the duration of their membership in Startup Incubator or by lump sum for the total membership term.

Program donations are utilized to cover the cost of programming and other engagement activities which support all of OU Startup Programs' initiatives.

Startup Incubator Membership Policy

For more information about how Startup Incubator operates and program member requirements, we invite prospective and current program members to review our Startup Incubator Membership Policy.

Apply to Startup Incubator

If interested in space availability in Startup Incubator, please email OU Startup Programs.

Startup Incubator offers rolling admission; however, the program holds dedicated application periods in summer and winter. If you are interested in learning more about Startup Incubator for later enrollment or any of our other programs, we encourage you to contact OU Startup Programs with any questions. 

Which Program Is Right for Me?

All of our programs are structured to support businesses at particular stages of development. Download our Business Stages Overview document to discover which stage may best define your business idea. From there, we can work together to determine which Startup Program is the best fit for you and your business idea.

Consultations

Our program staff currently hold office hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. for one-hour consultations. This service is available to anyone regardless of their affiliation with the University of Oklahoma or our programs.

Individuals can schedule as appointment to ask questions about available ecosystem resources, discuss innovative ideas with potential for business growth, receive feedback on business concept viability, and more. We ask that individuals provide a donation in the amount $50.00 for each consultation, though this request is waived for students current enrolled at the University of Oklahoma. 

Questions About OU Startup Programs

If you have any questions about OU Startup Programs or any of our programming, you can contact us via email by clicking the button below, by calling us at (405) 325-7808 or by reaching us on social media @OUStartups.

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