The OU Tom Love Innovation Hub (I-Hub) announced the launch of a new entrepreneurial support program for students, designed to aid them in future projects.
According to a press release from I-Hub, the new program — called Start-Hub — is the “point of entry” for all OU students interested in or actively pursuing a project, prototype or business model.
According to the release, Start-Hub is tailored to support an entrepreneurial idea at its particular stage of development.
“Entrepreneurial endeavors are unique, and so are the resources and expertise needed to see them flourish,” Interim Assistant Director of Startup Programs Drew Hendricks said in the release. “Entrepreneurial ideas often struggle to find those with the necessary skills to carry them through. Start-Hub exists to help that entrepreneurial idea find the team it needs to transition it into a good company.”
Dayten Israel, the student marketing director at I-Hub, said in an interview with The OU Daily that Start-Hub functions as a “startup pipeline.”
“The pipeline moves entrepreneurial ideas from initial ideation through each stage of development, potentially transitioning to a good company,” Israel said. “The pipeline also connects students and other users to other Tom Love Innovation Hub programs and resources, as well as partners in the greater Oklahoma entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Israel also said that Start-Hub is an adaptive program that responds to its fellows' individual and group needs.
“The program is not and does not seek to be a competitive program like JC Penney Leadership or the Irani Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth (I-CCEW),” Israel said. “Start-Hub exists to provide a space and support for students to test their wildest ideas.”
The release read Start-Hub allows participants to form a team and work on their own entrepreneurial idea, or join a team and employ their skills in support of their peers, exiting as an OU startup fellow.
“Being an OU startup fellow signals to the Oklahoma entrepreneurial ecosystem this person is committed to something real, not just chasing another daydream,” Hendricks said in the release.
The release also said fellows receive skills training and guided mentorship and are offered “unprecedented access” to the I-Hub and its programs, including its new in-house production studio, Innovation Studios.
“If you have a great idea or the skills to support a great idea, Start-Hub hopes to receive your application,” the release said.
Applications close on Sept. 23, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. and can be accessed from the I-Hub’s website, according to the release.