University of Oklahoma


Norman, OK

Project Name 

Modern Frontier Studio

Award Amount

Federal Share: $1.9 million
Local Match: $1.9 million

This EDA investment will support the Tom Love Innovation Hub (I-Hub) to scale the impact of Startup OU through the Modern Frontier Studio by:

  1. Expanding participation and connect regional ecosystems. Startup OU’s pre-accelerator and accelerator programs will expand to engage startups across Central and South-Central Oklahoma;
  2. Launching affinity programs to support international founders as well as other historically marginalized groups. An adaptive mix of social and educational programming will explore specific obstacles and common barriers to access;
  3. Building teams to support founders and commercialize university innovation. Multidisciplinary founding teams will be sourced to either support an existing founder or create new founding teams focused on university innovations; and
  4. Leveraging OU’s alumni network to build the Modern Frontier Mentor Network. Startup OU’s existing local mentor network will be dramatically scaled through OU’s alumni networks as mentors, early adopters, corporate partners, and/or investors.
  5. Researching and evaluating program performance to identify best practices and share lessons learned. Students from OU’s highly ranked Entrepreneurship Program will research and assess the proposed effort to inform the global entrepreneurship community.

I-Hub seeks to inspire, teach, launch, and support founders, workforce, startups, and ecosystems across Oklahoma and beyond. In 2021, the I-Hub launched Startup OU to build community, train founders and accelerate OU-affiliated startups. In two years, Startup OU has trained 100+ founders and transitioned 60+ concepts into about 30 active startups.