Oklahoma innovators have until Friday, May 19, to apply for an opportunity to receive business support and resources as part of the inaugural Oklahoma Grassroots Rural & Ag Business Accelerators cohorts.
The program is coordinated by Oklahoma Farm Bureau along with state and national partners and consists of two unique business development pipelines that will connect rural Oklahoma innovators and ventures with business support and potential investment.
The Cultivate Oklahoma agricultural innovation pipeline – powered by national partner AgLaunch Initiative working with Ag Ventures Alliance, a farmer cooperative that invests in ag tech startups – will focus on innovations and technologies that have on-farm or production agriculture applications to provide new opportunities for Oklahoma farmers.
The Activate Oklahoma rural innovation pipeline connects rural entrepreneurs with Oklahoma-based resources through curriculum provided by Oklahoma Small Business Development Centers created to help innovators navigate the business landscape to bring their ideas and technologies to market.
Each pipeline starts with a bootcamp-style program featuring a diverse curriculum that provides businesses with business resources, input from business development experts and mentorship connections. Cultivate Oklahoma programming runs from June to September, and Activate Oklahoma programming is planned to run from June through November, but is subject to change based on programming needs.
Graduates of the Activate Oklahoma pipeline qualify for an opportunity to pitch their innovation, technology or venture to a panel of investment capital partners for a chance to receive equity investment in their enterprise. Ventures that complete Cultivate Oklahoma have the opportunity to be selected by a panel of Oklahoma farmers and their peers in the farmer network to participate in the national AgLaunch365 accelerator, where they could receive pre-seed-stage equity investment.
To apply, companies must have operations, investment or impact in Oklahoma and must be located in a community with a population of 50,000 or less.
The application to apply for either pipeline is available on the Oklahoma Farm Bureau website at okfarmbureau.org/accelerator. Applications must be completed by Friday, May 19, and successful applicants will be notified no later than June 9.
There will be no cost for successful applicants to participate in either the Cultivate Oklahoma or Activate Oklahoma pipelines. However, travel, lodging and other costs must be paid by participants for their involvement, and any product or innovation development costs resulting from participation in either track is the responsibility of program participants.
The program is a collaborative effort coordinated by Oklahoma Farm Bureau along with national and state-level partners including AgLaunch Initiative, Oklahoma CareerTech, Oklahoma SBDC, Oklahoma i2E, Oklahoma State University’s Food and Agricultural Products Center, Noble Research Institute and Cortado Ventures.