Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 – As part of its 10th season, the Oklahoma City Thunder today announced a new business initiative that seeks to boost tech investment in its home state. The Thunder Launchpad is a new space in Oklahoma City’s Midtown neighborhood that will host a variety of programs, events and partnerships designed to help local investment in innovation take off.
The flagship program for the space is a partnership with StitchCrew, an Oklahoma City company that seeks to foster technology-driven entrepreneurs in getting their ideas off the ground and ready to be venture-backed. The company will host an accelerator batch at the Thunder Launchpad this spring, giving a class of startup founders in all industries the space, resources and mentors they need to introduce their ventures to investors.
The Thunder also aims to host a variety of other events and programs within the Thunder Launchpad to enhance technology education, ideation and networking, with the goal of fostering the growing tech innovation community locally.
“We’re proud that the Thunder has become such an integral part of our community, and we are invested in the future of our home state,” said Brian Byrnes, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing for the Thunder. “Creating the Thunder Launchpad is a unique and forward-looking way to reinforce the exceptional ties we have formed across the region and to foster growth and development in Oklahoma.
“Our goal with the Thunder Launchpad is to help import investment resources into Oklahoma, rather than exporting our tech talent and ideas. The culture of innovation in Oklahoma is growing, and we believe the Thunder can serve as both ambassador and advocate to expand the depth and reach of our local tech community,” he added.
"We are thrilled about our partnership with the Oklahoma City Thunder," said Erika Lucas, founder of StitchCrew. “Cultivating a thriving startup community and a sustainable innovation ecosystem takes a lot of effort, open collaboration and a long-term commitment. We couldn't think of a better community partner to help catalyze this effort."
The Thunder Launchpad will be located in the Monterey building at 309 NW 13th St. in Oklahoma City, in a space formerly known as the Chrysler building. The Launchpad is one of several tenants in the space.
Applications are now being accepted for startup founders seeking to join the Thunder Launchpad Accelerator, a 12-week program designed to help founders conceive, design and scale their innovations. At the end of the program, founders will take part in Demo Day and present their companies to investors.
Founders with innovations in all industries – including ag, banking, health, education, energy and more – are encouraged to apply. The deadline to apply is Sunday, Feb. 25; the program will begin on March 13. The application is available at ThunderLaunchpad.com.