The failure rate for small business startups nationwide is just over 50 percent in the first four years. More than two-thirds of the companies funded by i2E are still in operation past the four-year mark. More than 90 percent of these clients come from nontraditional industries — primarily life sciences and information technology.
This is what occurs when a state commits to putting taxpayer dollars toward building an innovation economy. We gain high-paying jobs, revenue from other states, and economic diversification.
If you ever question the value of Oklahoma's investment of public dollars in startup technology-based businesses, ask an entrepreneur from one of these young firms. They'll tell you, as they have us, that access to capital plus our diversified advisory service is the difference maker on their business growth and development.
Oklahoma is on the right path and needs to stay the course.
Scott Meacham is president and CEO of i2E Inc., a nonprofit corporation that mentors many of the state's technology-based startup companies. i2E receives state appropriations from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology. Contact Meacham at i2E_Comments@i2E.org.