Mapping the assets of the Innovation District Ecosystem: Entrepreneurship

The startup scene in OKC is vibrant and making national waves. The low cost of living and labor, central location in middle America, good schools and low taxes and regulations have turned OKC into an entrepreneurial paradise.

Throughout OKC’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, there are tools to help your small business succeed, including business intelligence, evaluation tools, small business health insurance, and demographic reports.

The District is using The Nucleus, its Cognitive City from the Exaptive Studio platform, to create complex networks of the industries, organizations, services and professionals that make up the District’s ecosystem and how each of those resources and assets are connected. 

The Innovation District’s ecosystem is made up of thousands of professionals, more than 100 organizations and several key industries, each with its own specialty or expertise. It’s impossible to network with each professional and organization or to even know which ones to connect with, but with the industry-specific asset maps the District is building, connecting the dots between the ecosystem’s industry assets moves from impossible to easy. 

One of our newest asset maps is the entrepreneurship asset map. Entrepreneurship and venture capital are some of the most upcoming industries in Oklahoma, and the OKC Metro specifically has demonstrated a willful and strategic focus on growing the region’s start-up presence. Plentiful funding opportunities are available through organizations like i2E, where they invest in entrepreneurs, and OCAST, advancing technology-based economic development. The sense of community support extends to accelerators like StitchCrew and Thunder Launchpad, growing the innovation economy right here in Oklahoma City. A cornerstone of business and entrepreneurial life in Oklahoma City is the connectivity in the professional community. Organizations like the Greater OKC Chamber and Starspace 46 bring professionals and industries together on a regular basis, making connections and resources that much easier to access.

The entrepreneurship asset map was built with a simple, mental-model schema geared to pull the data needed for the project, along with each data sets’ connecting points.

The known industries, services/resources and organizations affiliated with our ecosystem’s entrepreneurial and venture capital sectors were pulled from the Innovation District’s Nucleus database (a small sample of Oklahoma’s large entrepreneurship sector), and the schema reflects the relationship organizations have with one another, the services/resources they provide and the industries they are associated with or related to. Most importantly, the schema is also built to reflect the shared services, resources and industries that each organization may have in relation to another.

For example, Education is a shared service/resource among several of the Innovation District’s entrepreneurship assets.

As the Innovation District’s entrepreneurship asset map stands now, it is a network of ~60 services/resources provided by ~40 organizations across two similar industries, and the map will only continue to grow as data is entered by the professionals working daily in these industries.

If you are in any entrepreneurial or VC ventures, we invite you to engage with this asset map by signing up for The Nucleus where you can begin virtually connecting with other innovators. The asset map and other views can only grow as users onboard and engage, so invite your co-workers and other professionals to join and get connected. Think of it like growing your Facebook friend group, only based on industry and innovative ideas. 

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