Supportive community awaits bio startups in Oklahoma

Oklahoma entrepreneurs in the bioscience field have a variety of organizations backing their efforts.
Published: December 30, 2012
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Other organizations lending various kinds of support to budding bioscience companies include the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST), the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Blueprint for Business, the Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park, VentureSpur, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, and, of course, the Oklahoma Bioscience Association.

Currently there is no state-supported venture funding in Oklahoma for technology startups. However, proof of concept, angel and seed funding — available through i2E — and private venture capital funding, are available to qualifying companies.

The Oklahoma Life Sciences Fund (OLSF), based in Tulsa, has been a reliable source of funding for some of the state's most successful bioscience companies. Selexys Pharmaceuticals, Ekips Technologies and Inoveon all received critical early financial assistance from OLSF.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. In Oklahoma, it takes a strong community of public and private partners to help raise a bioscience startup to success. In our next column, we'll look at how OCAST is helping Oklahoma bioscience companies garner elusive federal funding that can make a huge difference to startup success.

Sheri Stickley is president and CEO of the Oklahoma Bioscience Association, www.okbio.org