TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa has been selected along with nine other finalists for a global competition recognizing leading tech ecosystems, a sign that the city is becoming an emerging hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Tulsa Innovation Labs, the tech-led economic and workforce development organization pioneered by George Kaiser Family Foundation, and the city were recently named a finalist for the InnoVision Ecosystem Award.
The award is organized by CyberTech, one of the world’s leading cyber convening and innovation organizations. The award honors cities, municipalities, and regional ecosystems for their achievements related to ecosystem building and innovation.
Tulsa is the only U.S. city to be named a finalist. The other finalists are:
· Kamp C from Belgium
· Zagreb Innovation Center (ZICER) from Croatia
· Helsinki Bussiness Hub from Finland
· Lodz Economic Zone from Poland
· VLC Tech City from Spain
· Greater Zurich Area (GZA) from Switzerland
· Startup Terrace from Taiwan
· Smart Health Amsterdam (SHA) from the Netherlands
· SynerLeap from Sweden
As part of the competition, TIL outlined the city-wide plan it created to drive innovation and growth. Its “tech niche” strategy includes new investments in virtual health, energy tech, advanced aerial mobility, cyber, and analytics. To demonstrate the success of Tulsa’s ecosystem, TIL also highlighted three local companies: Asemio, True Digital Security and Verinovum.
“Being named a finalist for the InnoVision Ecosystem Award is a testament to the compelling strategy we created that focuses on five interconnected ecosystems,” said Nicholas Lalla, co-founder and managing director of Tulsa Innovation Labs. “It is also a direct reflection on the success of Tulsa’s homegrown entrepreneurs.”
The award recognizes the important achievements of three Tulsa-based startups: Asemio, True Digital Security and Verinovum.
Asemio is a social enterprise passionate about partnering with communities seeking to use data and technology platforms to improve social outcomes. Aaron Bean, managing partner, noted that it is inspiring to see how Tulsa’s community-centered approach to innovation has helped build a stronger, more deeply connected ecosystem.
“We are never more energized than when we see community members working together to improve society. At the end of the day, it’s about building a better community,” Bean said.
Jerald Dawkins, founder of True Digital Security, a managed cybersecurity integrator, said the company was honored to be a part of the competition to highlight the momentous work being done in Tulsa’s tech community.
“I can’t think of a better way to solidify Tulsa as an up-and-coming tech ecosystem than being honored with this achievement,” he said. “We are pulling for Tulsa to win and are delighted to have the chance to showcase our world-class community.”
“Tulsa is setting the bar high with this accolade,” said Mike Noshay, chief strategy and marketing officer for Verinovum, a health data curation and enrichment company. “We are proud to be a Tulsa-based company and excited to share our story with a global audience.”
Noshay will pitch Tulsa as a thriving and vibrant ecosystem along with Jennifer Hankins, head of partnerships at TIL. It will be live-streamed online on Tuesday, October 13. Tulsa will be pitching along with the other finalists. A winner will be selected that same day.
Tel Aviv is this year’s host city. Tulsa already has a strong connection to the city. One of the programs under TIL’s umbrella is the TU-Team8 Cyber Fellows. Team8 is a cyber venture firm based in Tel Aviv. The program, which started last month, brings 10 PhD students each year to the University of Tulsa to transform academic research into new cyber-related companies.
“We already have a strong tie to Tel Aviv’s booming tech community through our partnership with Team8 and this award is a great opportunity to connect Tulsa to new markets and to share our cutting-edge work around the world,” Hankins said.
Recognizing that the jobs of the future are rooted in a thriving innovation economy, the George Kaiser Family Foundation pioneered Tulsa Innovation Labs to develop a citywide strategy that positions Tulsa as a tech hub and leader in the future of work. Through a diverse coalition of public and private partners, TIL is creating economic development programs that seek to make Tulsa the nation’s most inclusive tech community. For more information, visit: www.tulsainnovationlabs.com.