Business Roundtable Grants

Special Statewide Projects 2017-2018

The Roundtable has approved grant funding of $335,500 for 17 statewide economic development projects. Funding is being enhanced with more than $1.6 million in partner funding for the one-time grants. Additional projects for FY 2017 may be considered by the Roundtable Exec committee and staff as they are identified.


  1. Creative Oklahoma - MIT Mentorship Program (Business Start-Up)


The grant will help launch the MIT Venture Mentoring system in Oklahoma. This successful program is designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and will help match Oklahoma mentors (business executives, entrepreneurs) with early start-up companies. Goal is to provide a minimum of five company mentoring efforts in the first year and grow the effort statewide. Funds will be used to help train the initial leadership team who will essentially identify and train the new mentors and organize the program – which is scaleable and replicable.


  1. Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team – Marketing & Professional Development
    (Business Recruitment & Development )


Working with over 35 Oklahoma community economic developers to market, recruit and grow Oklahoma business investment and jobs – in tandem with work of Commerce Department, Governor and Lt. Governor. The group markets Oklahoma domestically to site consultants, companies and investors. The group will host promotion and recruitment events in Dallas, Atlanta and California, visit and host a targeted group of national site location consultants and business prospects throughout the year and hold an annual professional development conference.


  1. Governor’s International Team – Marketing (Global Business Development & Exporting)


A 48-member group of companies, communities, law firms, education institutions and economic development organizations supporting Governor, Lt. Governor, Commerce, Secretary of State with protocol, export and foreign direct investment activities. Funding will include hosting a September 2017 Oklahoma Consular Summit, which will bring 5-8 consular and diplomatic officials from the state’s closest international government partners to Oklahoma to foster governmental ties, deepen relationships between their nations and connect Oklahoma businesses. The remainder will assist in funding the OKGIT-OK Department of Commerce Offshore Technology Summit Reception and other events and receptions for honoring our international relationships.


  1. i2E - Love’s Cup Competition (Entrepreneurship, Business and Technology Workforce Development )


A statewide collegiate business plan competition that simulates the real world process of researching a market, writing a business plan and making a presentation to potential investors. The program awards scholarships and fellowships and has helped start-up dozens of new companies. The program is supported by signature sponsor Love’s Corporation and dozens of other companies and organizations.

Roundtable funding is directed to event support and $15,000 in student scholarships in the name of long-time Roundtable President, Don Paulsen.


  1. Northeast Oklahoma Regional Alliance – NE Regional Summit & Employ NE OK (Strategic Planning, Workforce Development)


The Northeast Oklahoma Regional Alliance (NORA) is a 14 -county economic development organization helping prepare and grow communities. Funding will support two of the organization’s flagship efforts that revolve around health as an economic development driver and workforce development. The first effort is the “Northeast Oklahoma Regional Summit: Healthy Communities, Strong Region” to be held October 24, 2017 in Tahlequah, OK. Funding will assist NORA in attracting a national speaker and promote the event. The second effort will support “Employ NE OK” projects – as a result of the NORA Regional Workforce plan (set to be released in June 2017). This plan studied the three growth sectors in NE OK: manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality. The plan was contracted by the Cherokee Nation as means to better align northeast Oklahoma workforce partners and to understand employer’s workforce needs.


  1. Oklahoma Bioscience Association – Networking and BIO Trade Show
    (Marketing and Promotion, Business Development )


Supporting the mission of the Oklahoma Bioscience Association to promote the growth of biosciences in Oklahoma through partnership building, education and outreach, networking, policy development and publicity. Funds will be used to support promotional and education activities of the statewide Association and Oklahoma’s trade efforts in support of dozens of exhibiting companies at the annual BIO convention in Boston in 2018. Last year Oklahoma hosted a major networking reception for 400 targeted corporate guests. Oklahoma bio companies conduct hundreds of one/one meetings with clients.


  1. OCAST - Manufacturing Networking Project – Statewide (Business Expansion )


In an effort to retain and grow existing Oklahoma companies, this project aims to hold 7 Manufacturing Networking events across the state in FY 2018. Locations include: SWOK (Duncan), NWOK (Enid), NEOK (Owasso), SEOK (Durant or McAlester), Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Broken Arrow.

The primary goal is to increase manufacturing (and capability) awareness between industries in the region with the purpose of increasing business between them.


  1. OCAST & OU IHUB - SBIRx (Entrepreneurship, New Business Start-Up )


In an effort to direct more federal SBIRx (Small Business Innovative Research) funding support for OK start-up companies through a new partnership between the Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) and the University of Oklahoma’s new IHub entrepreneur development facility in Norman. Oklahoma has received a disproportionately low amount of funding as compared to the rest of the nation for successful SBIR awards. This program, to be matched by up to $50,000 in OCAST funding, will provide mentorship and training for several SBIR Phase One companies seeking SBIR Phase Two funding status.


  1. OK2Grow/Dream It Do It Oklahoma – Expand Current Program (Workforce Development)


Dream It Do It facilitates the development of Oklahoma’s future workforce by creating awareness of careers and promoting pathways that build confidence and excitement for education and workplace success. This project will expand the current successful advanced manufacturing program to 2 additional high schools in the Tulsa region. Students in this program learn basic manufacturing standards such as safety, quality, production processes and maintenance awareness. Students earn certifications and also experience work-based learning through a spring internship at a local manufacturing company. The program has experienced a 50% hire rate over the past three years. Private sector and organization matching funds will be applied for this project.


  1. OK2Grow/Oklahoma Education and Industry Partnership (Workforce Development)


A three-day professional development project for over 200 Oklahoma (K-12) teachers in STEM fields to take information to students in the classroom. Goal is to grow relevance and interest in key student age groups further introducing them to aerospace, energy, IT, bio bio/ag and other key economic sectors. The project will support events in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Lawton.Goal is to provide relevance and rigor to STEM education/training and workforce development; expose STEM educators to high value STEM careers in Oklahoma; motivate students to develop and maintain a career pathway; and provide professional development for Oklahoma STEM educators. Annually the program is designed to reach as many as 15,000 students statewide.


  1. Oklahoma Educated Workforce Initiative (OEWI) – PolicyLab (Research/Workforce Development)


The Oklahoma Educated Workforce Initiative is the only statewide organization exclusively working to get the business community more engaged in education. Partnered with the State Chamber of Oklahoma, OEWI’s mission is two-fold - to build a bold network of business leaders working to improve our state’s workforce pipeline and to research and develop policy best practices that will truly move the needle for the kids of our state Grant funding will help create the PolicyLab in 2017, including hiring researchers to delve into reviewing current policy and development of new policy, travel to review best practices with legislators and stakeholders, promotion of the business community’s involvement in policy development and review, costs associated with printing and promoting reports, etc. OEWI intends to conduct at least three studies a year looking into these issues and any other pressing education matters.


  1. Oklahoma Quality Award Foundation – Quality Award Conference & Awards (Business Development/ Performance Management)


Supporting performance management training and development – through live sessions and webinars – and hosting an annual Quality Award Conference highlighting best practices of Oklahoma companies and organizations. The focus for 2017 is to target health care, K-12 public education, and small business, all sectors of our state's economic development picture that are in need of improved, sustained performance.


  1. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education – STEM, Research & Promise Day (Workforce Development)


Funds will be used for program support to three important initiatives:

  • An annual STEM conference hosted by Governor Fallin in October 2018. It is a collaborative “learning”
  • event targeted to several hundred educators and community leaders – with “how to” efforts to grow local STEM initiatives statewide;
  • Production of a needed research report assessing the economic development role played by the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education in the state economy; and
  • Oklahoma's Promise Day at the State Capitol. Showcasing the success of the Oklahoma's Promise program - one of America’s best college access programs.


  1. Potts Family Foundation – Early Childhood Conference (Workforce Development )


An annual education and awareness conference set for July 2017 in Oklahoma City. The event is targeted to business and community leaders. It will highlight the latest research and programs, from within and outside the State, which are making a positive impact on families with the earliest learners
(age 0-5). This age group is the first segment of Oklahoma’s workforce pipeline. Funds will be used for conference support, including hosting nationally recognized business speakers.


  1. Techlahoma Oklahoma - Global Entrepreneurship Week (Entrepreneurship/Business Start-Up )


Support for two major projects/activities during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November 2017 and throughout the year. Global Entrepreneurship Week is a campaign hosted in Oklahoma and 160 countries focused on promoting entrepreneurship.


Projects will include:

  • Open Beta, a creative conference and event that puts the spotlight on innovators and innovation in tech, pop culture, music, food, art, entrepreneurship, and social causes that are making an impact in Oklahoma and in
  • the region. This is 10-day showcase of Oklahoma’s exceptional talent in these fields; and
  • We Make Oklahoma, an initiative to connect and tell the story of creative and innovative individuals, contributors and companies who are building Oklahoma’s economic future. It aims to establish an online platform for storytelling that serves as a directory and index of creative talent in the state, especially in rural areas, plus create a documentary or video series telling these stories.


  1. University of Central Oklahoma Foundation - National Conference on Undergraduate Research

(Marketing/Workforce Development)


Funds will be used for program support for the April 2018 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at UCO in Edmond. The conference isn’t just any research conference – it is the Olympics of student research. UCO is the first university in Oklahoma to be awarded this conference – which will bring in as many as 5,000 students/guests to the state. NCUR is the premier forum showcasing undergraduate student research and innovation. Over $1 million in public/private support is being raised for the event.


  1. U.S. FIRST Robotics – Oklahoma Regional Program (Workforce Development)


Teams from across the country compete in an annual robotics competition designed to pair professionals and young people to solve an engineering design problem and compete. The Oklahoma Regional competition will be held in March 2018 in Oklahoma City. It will involve hundreds of students and approximately 60 school teams.