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Cowboy Innovation Accelerator to boost startup commercialization expertise

Friday, December 22, 2023

Media Contact: Asia Allen | Innovation Foundation Communications Coordinator | 405-744-6930 |

The Innovation Foundation at Oklahoma State University is taking a significant step by launching the Cowboy Innovation Accelerator.

The program’s launch both enhances The Innovation Foundation’s suite of startup commercialization services and extends them to northeast Oklahoma. It also furthers the foundation’s mission of fostering innovation-based commercialization in the state of Oklahoma.

Historically, The Innovation Foundation at OSU's startup and commercialization assistance along with its funding resources have exclusively been available to OSU technologies and their associated teams. These resources are not only being bolstered with the launch of the Cowboy Innovation Accelerator, but they are being extended to innovators and small businesses aligned with OSU’s excellence in energy, aerospace and advanced mobility, and One Health to innovators and startups located in northeast Oklahoma. 

This initiative aligns with The Innovation Foundation at OSU’s expansion into northeast  Oklahoma, made possible through its recently awarded Economic Development Agency’s University Center’s grant, which provides the commercial grant assistance component of Cowboy Innovations Accelerator to innovators and companies in the energy, aerospace and One Health sectors.  

“Technology-based ventures start with innovative ideas, and driving those ideas to commercialization requires an ecosystem with substantial expertise and scalability. The Innovation Foundation at OSU unites that ecosystem across the university system and with partners across the state of Oklahoma to support OSU’s land-grant mission to make a positive impact in Oklahoma through successful startup companies,” said Elizabeth Pollard, CEO of The Innovation Foundation at OSU.

The Cowboy Innovation Accelerator is designed to advance innovation-based, proof-of-concept technologies toward venture-backable startup companies and licensable technologies of interest to industry, starting from the technology proof-of-concept stage, through prototyping and product launch. The accelerator’s services encompass a broad range of assistance and funding resources:  

  •  Business Model Development through Customer Discovery: Facilitating teams in identifying their unique value propositions and customer segments for product-market fit through the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps) program.
  • Education Workshops and Networking Events: Creating dynamic opportunities for learning and networking, enabling innovators and entrepreneurs to connect with peers and subject matter experts.   
  • Cowboy Leaders Network Mentoring and Advising: Offering access to a select network of experienced business management professionals in technology-based fields that can provide deep insights, guidance and connections for successful business model development, go-to-market strategy, launch and growth.  
  • Startup Formation, Registration and Business Operations Assistance: Providing essential business support for startups, from navigating the complexities of formation and registration to initial operations setup.  
  • Commercial Grant Funding Assistance: Delivering commercial grant assistance for innovators and companies in the energy, aerospace and One Health sectors, including federal agency Small Business Innovation Research/Small Technology Transfer Research grants, Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science and Technology grants, and other commercial funding opportunities supported by the Economic Development Agency’s University Center’s grant. 
  • Connecting Innovators and Startups with OSU Applied Research Expertise: Bridging the product design, development and prototyping gap by creating awareness and alignment between startups’ needs and OSU applied research capabilities, including those within The Innovation Foundation at OSU’s institutes —Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education (including its LaunchPad Research Center), Hamm Institute for American Energy at OSU, and Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute.

 “Over the past 10 years, The Innovation Foundation at OSU and its Cowboy Technologies group has formed over 20 companies and assisted them in securing more than $15 million in commercial grants and investments,” said Daniel Will, executive director of Cowboy Enterprises  “We aim to advance early stage innovations for successful commercialization through startups that are: investment accelerator-ready, venture-backable or licensable to the industry for commercialization success.” 

Technology innovators and small businesses in the energy, aerospace and advanced mobility, and One Health sectors interested in the Cowboy Innovation Accelerator can learn more and apply to be a part of the initial rolling cohort beginning in early 2024 at

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