The entrepreneurs will explore ideas for new software programs and telemedicine advances, among other ideas.
Ten Oklahoma City entrepreneurs will enter a national idea accelerator program to help them develop action plans for their business ideas, including:
- a software solution optimizing airport operations,
- telemedicine for treating musculoskeletal injuries,
- a training program for BIPOC political campaign staff,
- a software solution optimizing water usage by farmers
- and an app that promotes seamless search and visibility across social media platforms.
The participants from Oklahoma City will join builders from nine other cities including Helena, Pine Bluff, and the Northwest Arkansas region, Arkansas; Duluth, Minnesota; Joplin, Missouri; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Iowa City, Iowa; Clarksdale, Mississippi; and Fort Worth, Texas.
The three-month program kicked off June 16. The program is a partnership between Heartland Forward, Builders + Backers, the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and Inasmuch Foundation. The cohort of 10 participants in Oklahoma City is part of Heartland Forward’s commitment to support 1,000 builders across the heartland by 2023.
The Oklahoma City cohort will also include a software solution helping parents choose the right video game consoles for kids; an app increasing the sales capacity for home-based bakery businesses; testing a healthier alternative to sugar; a suite of tools to learn about hair care products; and a unique party supplies for everyday occasions.
“Thriving small businesses and an entrepreneurial spirit are key to developing local economics and spurring economic revitalization in cities and towns across the heartland,” said Ross DeVol, president and CEO of Heartland Forward. “After a successful first cohort, we are excited to welcome this new cohort of Oklahoma City builders to the program and look forward to seeing what incredible ideas they bring to the community. Heartland Forward is excited to work with entrepreneurs across the region and to expand this impactful program across the heartland as part of our commitment to support 1,000 builders by 2023.”
The program was piloted in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Oxford, Mississippi, with 15 Builders solving problems in their communities related to workforce development, volunteerism, increasing food awareness and more. CGPT secured 100% retention from builders and the majority were women and people of color.