Is Tulsa, Oklahoma the New Tech Hub?
Bye, bye Tesla
Tulsa recently attracted attention as 2nd place to Austin in the race to bring Tesla’s Cybertruck Factory to their cities. Tulsa wasted no time to brush off the disappointment and pivot by announcing plans to become a nationally recognized technology hub.
It takes a village. The Tulsa Innovation Labs, led by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, is taking the lead to form a coalition of local officials, universities, accelerators, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and private partners to set the wheels in motion.
The Tulsa Innovation Labs will work within Tulsa’s community to build on the foundation of the city’s current high-growth opportunities in TeleHealth, Cyber Security, Data Analytics, Drones, and Energy Tech. As the ecosystem matures, the plan is to attract top talent from around the country organically.
Cybersecurity experts are in high demand, and it will only increase as we enter a 5G digital world. Tulsa University and Team8, Isreal’s highly acclaimed cyber think tank, partnered to launch a PhD program on cyber research and development. TU is recognized as a leader in cyber education by the NSA, and Team8 grants access to global talent in the cyber industry.
This team will identify current problems in the cyber industry and create solutions through new technologies and startup companies.
Tulsa has embraced telehealth innovation for a long time to serve its rural and underserved communities. More solutions will be needed to treat patients in a contactless environment since the arrival of Covid19. Tulsa is poised to lead the way with its hospitals and universities that specialize in medical science & technology.
Energy and Manufacturing
Tulsa is known for its oil and gas industry and is one of the top 5 energy industry hubs in North America. As a rising leader in sustainable energy, Tulsa plans to supply 20% of the nation’s electricity by 2030 with wind turbines.
Manufacturing is also a significant contributor to the area economy. It includes glass bottles, metal fences, industrial strength paint, cylinders & controls, precast concrete, oilfield equipment, steel fabrication, fertilizers, industrial chemicals, and energy parts, and flight simulators, to name a few.
AI and analytics innovation is ripe for a city embedded in manufacturing. There are boundless opportunities to develop IoT devices, and predictive maintenance technology to enhance their operations and move them into the future.
The Tulsa Innovation Lab has plans to advance drone development for the energy and agriculture industry. Tulsa’s stronghold in the energy field and its vast farmlands is a perfect storm for the testing and research of things like Ground Penetrating Radar and Drone Sensors.
Tulsa will hold a wealth of data based on these industries that will be a useful resource in future research and development.
Proactive leaders and a plan is the start of building a city that will provide abundant resources and a bustling business community for any startup company looking to take root. And, according to Wallet Hub, Tulsa is one of the least expensive cities to start a business in the country. There is no doubt that their entrepreneurial spirit will draw outsiders to this next technology hub.