Oklahoma Farm Bureau recently selected 12 rural Oklahoma businesses for the organization’s new Oklahoma Grassroots Rural and Ag Business Accelerators program.
The accelerators program is a collaborative rural development initiative from Oklahoma Farm Bureau along with national and state-level partners that develops Oklahoma-based innovators creating ideas, technologies and products creating economic opportunities in rural Oklahoma.
The 12 startups, all based in Oklahoma communities with populations of 50,000 or less, were selected from a robust pool of applicants in early June and recently completed a multi-day business bootcamp at the OKFB home office in Oklahoma City as well as their local CareerTechs, where they learned business basics and best practices from national and statewide partners.
Each company was assigned to one of two program track cohorts based on their business innovation.
The Cultivate Oklahoma pipeline, powered by OKFB’s national partner AgLaunch – working with Ag Ventures Alliance, a farmer cooperative that invests in ag tech startups – focuses on innovations and technologies that have an on-farm or production agriculture application to diversify opportunities for farmers with a farmer-focused and farmer-led development program. The Cultivate Oklahoma track prepares businesses to apply for the AgLaunch365 national accelerator program, which offers assistance with on-farm innovation testing and more.
The six members chosen for the 2023 Cultivate Oklahoma cohort include Michael Mouser, Mousey Consulting LLC, Stigler; Barbara Bonner-Stephens, Hog Shield, Coalgate; Bill Seitter, Black Coyote Manufacturing LLC, Watonga; Conrad Young, Ouachita Getaways LLC, Hochatown; Jorge Celis, American Prime Sustainable Solutions, Noble; and Tammy James, Solar Interchangeable Panels Inc., Broken Bow.
The Activate Oklahoma pipeline connects innovative rural Oklahoma businesses with numerous resources and assistance with curriculum provided by Oklahoma Small Business Development Centers. The Activate Oklahoma track is designed for any rural-based business with an innovation or product that will bring economic opportunities to Oklahoma’s rural communities.
The six members of the 2023 Activate Oklahoma cohort are Joe Buchanan, Fast Foam Suppression, Altus; Wilma Schilling and Christopher Middleton, ElectromagnetiX LLC, Shawnee; Troy Ormonde, TrailerButler.com LLC, Ponca City; Jeffrey Cole, Okie Malt, Guthrie; Charles Thuo, ApexLoads, Hinton; and Nathan Kuykendall, Eyedeal Innovations, Claremore.
With the bootcamps complete, these individuals and their companies will move on to the next phase of their respective track. The Cultivate Oklahoma cohort will begin their applications to the AgLaunch365 national accelerator while the Activate Oklahoma cohort will complete Oklahoma i2E’s E3 program and prepare to attend a trade show or industry gathering with their products.
The Oklahoma Grassroots Rural and Ag Business Accelerators program partners include Oklahoma Farm Bureau, AgLaunch, Oklahoma CareerTech, Oklahoma SBDC, Oklahoma i2E, Oklahoma State University’s Food and Agricultural Products Center, Noble Research Institute, the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology and Cortado Ventures.
For more information on the accelerators program, visit okfb.news/Accelerator.