Southeastern Oklahoma State University and The University of Oklahoma will receive cash awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)to benefit programs to encourage the innovation economy in Oklahoma.
Southeastern was named recently among the winners in a nationwide Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC), and will receive an award of $50,000.
According to an SBA release, GAFC winners were business incubators and accelerators who target assistance to advance research and development in engineering and technology. The SBA also recognized initiatives that may benefit entrepreneurs in underrepresented groups, including veterans, people of color, women or those who have invested in rural areas.
Dozens of competitors in both categories were required to submit materials demonstrating initiatives and plans for how they would utilize awards to further benefit entrepreneurs, early-stage investment in ventures, startups and other local economic development efforts.
Nationwide, 92 programs were selected to share in cash awards totaling $5.4 million.
“The Growth Accelerator prize funds will ensure a wide range of startups and innovators working on cutting-edge STEM and R&D ideas have access to technical support and capital,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “The success of the first-ever SBIR Catalyst track will ensure newly piloted regional collaboratives represent the diverse potential of the U.S. innovation ecosystem.”