Establishing Tulsa's Tech Niche

Recognizing that the jobs of the future are rooted in a thriving innovation economy, Tulsa Innovation Labs LLC (TIL) was founded to develop a city-wide strategy that positions Tulsa as a tech hub and leader in the future of work.

Through a diverse coalition of public and private partners, led by George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF), TIL is creating economic development programs that seek to make Tulsa the nation’s most inclusive tech community.

Approach

Our mission is guided by a core set of principles.

Follow the Data

TIL was founded to bring strategic focus to Tulsa’s economic development activities with a data-driven approach. We have worked with global consulting firm McKinsey & Company to identify specific tech clusters with high-growth opportunities.

1

Align with Industry

Big things require a shared vision and collective action. We involve industry leaders in each phase of our work to ensure that programs meet business needs and match entrepreneurs, students, and jobseekers with opportunities to succeed.

2

Target Investments

To position Tulsa as a tech hub and leader in the future of work, TIL will deploy capital through high-impact economic development programs, targeted at specific industries.

3

Grow Organically

To create long-term and sustainable opportunities for Tulsans, TIL focuses on growing from the inside out by building local capacity and developing local talent.

4

Create Economic Mobility

We make the business case for inclusivity and diversity in our tech community. TIL’s programs build bridges to all of Tulsa’s neighborhoods, opening up new sources of talent and innovation that will benefit the entire ecosystem.

5

focus areas

We focus our efforts on five specific areas:

2 Cross-Industry Enablers

learn more about our focus areas →

The Work Ahead

We've set our course toward building a shared vision.

Company Launch
Tulsa's Tech Niche Established
Phase 1 Plan Released
Jan
2020
Mar
2020
May
2020
Jul
2020
Sep
2020
Nov
2020
Feb
2020
Apr
2020
Jun
2020
Aug
2020
Oct
2020
Dec
2020
JUN
2021
Industry Analyses
Program Development
Partnership Building

Programs

Our programmatic work has already begun.

Holberton School

Opened in January 2020, the Holberton School is an intensive two-year coding academy that, at scale, will graduate 500 software engineers each year at its Tulsa campus. Through income share agreements, students do not pay up-front tuition and are incentivized to work in Tulsa upon graduation.

Learn More

TU-Team8 Cyber Fellows

The fellowship is a collaboration between the University of Tulsa’s renowned cyber program and Team8, a Tel Aviv-based cyber venture creation firm. The fellowship supports 10 PhD students each year, with the aim of developing academic research into new cyber-related companies. The inaugural cohort begins September 2020.

Learn More

Why build here?

Tulsa has the building blocks needed to become a tech hub.

Tulsa is a blue sky of opportunity for anyone looking to start up a company or access quality tech talent. The city’s tech scene is young and there is a significant amount of capital eager to invest in groundbreaking work. Now is the time to become involved, while the city is on the ascent and looking to launch big projects with transformative impact.

Tulsa has many of the ingredients needed to become a tech hub. Tulsa is a growing hotspot for tech startups, small businesses, and nonprofits and is anchored by leading aviation, cyber, energy, and healthcare companies. As innovation moves more into America’s heartland, Tulsa is positioned for success.

Hear what others are saying about Tulsa:

Forbes: The 10 Best Cities for Young Entrepreneurs

Inc.: The 50 Best U.S. Cities for Starting a Business in 2020

USA Today: The Best US Cities for Small Businesses

Tripadvisor: Top 25 Emerging Destinations in the World (only U.S. city to make the list)

Tulsa, Oklahoma

1 Million

MSA Population

8

Fortune 1,000 company headquarters

15%

Cost savings for tech talent
(Compared to national average)

100,000

College students in the metro area

Tulsa’s arts & culture scene

Tulsa is bursting into national awareness as a great place to live, work, play, and innovate.

Music

Home to the Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan archives, the historic Cain’s Ballroom venue, and the BOK Center Arena, Tulsa is consistently voted one of the top concerts venues in the US.

Arts

The Tulsa Artist Fellowship attracts artists and arts workers from across the globe to live and work in Tulsa for multi-year fellowships. The downtown Arts District attracts thousands of visitors each month for its First Friday exhibits and shows.

Outdoors

Tulsa’s Gathering Place, a new $465 million 100+ acre urban park, won America’s Best New Attraction 2019 by USA Today. The city also hosts the Tulsa Tough cycling races each June, a beloved stop on the professional cycling tour.

Join us

There are many opportunities for companies and individuals to get involved.

Building an inclusive tech community requires broad-based support, and we want to work with all who are interested. There will be many ways to benefit and contribute, especially as we establish a full suite of programs.

Gain Value
  • Access high-quality talent, promising startups, and potential investments
  • Network with prospective clients and partners
  • Raise your visibility across the ecosystem
Contribute
  • Provide capital to fund student scholarships or research projects
  • Recruit interns or full-time employees
  • Support starts through mentorship
The sky's the limit here. Join us.
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