According to a small business survey conducted back in 2012, Oklahoma City grabbed top rankings across different categories related to doing business, from networking opportunities to tax codes and hiring costs. The city has a wealth of resources for nurturing newly formed startups and in the last few years many companies have chosen this city as their office base for conducting business operations.
The ease that it takes to setup a start business can also create challenges if an entrepreneur is not careful. An enlightening aspect of running a startup is realizing that not all the questions need to be answered by the entrepreneur. Attorneys, accountants and other legal professionals can help to deal with technical aspects of running the business while providing insights into your marketplace. However, the fee for working with such professionals is high in Oklahoma.
Another challenge startups face is protection of their sensitive information. With the rise in cyber attacks on businesses, protecting data has become vital. However, there is virtualization security and other data-protecting options that enable startups to enjoy comprehensive security capabilities when it comes to the protection of their servers. Also, they can benefit from reduced flexibility and costs if they rely on a single platform for the management of security policies and control.
However, startups in other cities should also experience these problems, but the perks of doing business in Oklahoma can offset some of the investments required to overcome the challenges at hand.
Offering robust funding solutions for startups, organizations like i2E (innovation to enterprise) provide support to ventures in their early stages. It has invested $15 million in more than 150 startups since its formation in 1998, which translates to 400 new product developments. Locals with deep pockets are also intent to help businesses in their hometown.
Startups can file all the paperwork on the internet or go downtown to get it done within a day. The sense of community is another advantage – startups can utilize the informal resources and reach out to incubators as well as nonprofit organizations that promote business activity such as the Chamber of Commerce. Low-rent office space and co-working spaces are available throughout the city where entrepreneurs can rub shoulder with the like-minded and come up with ideas to grow their ventures.
While oil and gas focused companies have dominated the startup scene, the presence of universities such as University of Oklahoma College of Medicine have insured that there is a strong focus in the industry of health, tech, and biotech as well.
For example, Cage is a startup that developed an online collaborative tool so that teams and companies can manage and share their creative works. Then there’s also Moleculera Labs that provides personalized testing solutions to individuals suspected of PANS/PANDAS, neurological conditions associated with obsessive compulsive disorders and motor tics. The biotech company has already raised millions in funding.
It’s great to see the pride that these startups are taking in creating products that not only fulfill the needs of international customers but also help the local community. While they’re looking for a positive return on investment, they also portray a sense of satisfaction when operating from Oklahoma, as well as a sense of joy because they’re giving something back.