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Oklahoma Catalyst Program teaches graduate students about integrating business, science

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Oklahoma Catalyst Programs

The Oklahoma Catalyst Programs are an office of the Tom Love Innovation Hub.

An Oklahoma Catalyst Program taught 29 graduate students from OU, OU Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma State University and the University of Tulsa how to launch a business over the summer, according to a press release from OU research.

The Oklahoma Catalyst Programs are an office of the Tom Love Innovation Hub, which held the program. The programs are partially funded through a cooperative agreement with the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The program was 10 weeks long and taught students, who were selected from more than 90 applications, about entrepreneurship, property issues, identifying target markets, defining a product and startup financing. A guest speaker was also brought in each week to give students a more in-depth look at people with experience in business and entrepreneurship.

“After this program, I feel better equipped to recognize, investigate and improve the startup potential of technologies I may research,” said OU graduate student Andrew Byrd in the press release. “In particular, I have a better understanding of the process of identifying customers and incorporating their feedback into product development.”

Only about 5 percent of the students had seriously thought about starting a business at the beginning of the program, but by the end of the program, more than 71 percent of the students felt that they were now very likely to launch a business based on their research.

“The program has broadened my view of the integration of business and science and sparked my interest in entrepreneurship,” said OU Health Sciences Center graduate student Christina Crowder in the press release.

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