The George Kaiser Family Foundation is investing $50 million toward making the city of Tulsa a technology hub.
Revealed Wednesday, the commitment coincides with the release of a GKFF-backed Tulsa Innovation Labs (TIL) report that identifies the city’s five most promising tech clusters: virtual health, energy tech, drones, cyber and analytics.
“It’s bold. It’s ambitious and we mean business,” Nicholas Lalla, co-founder and managing director of TIL, said by phone Wednesday. “Tulsa has talked about developing an innovation economy over the past few years, generating a lot of excitement with cyber, for example. You see the great buzz coming out of the engagement with Tesla. Great things are happening in Tulsa. The community has great aspirations for itself, and rightly so.”
The $50 million sum is derived from several ongoing commitments — such as Tulsa Remote — and other long-term initiatives centered on workforce, education and talent recruitment and development, a GKFF official said.
Recognizing that future jobs are rooted in an innovation economy, TIL was founded earlier this year to develop a multi-phase, city-wide strategy that positions Tulsa as a tech hub.
What people are saying about Tulsa Innovation Labs:
Mike Noshay, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Verinovum: “Tulsa has been an unbelievable home for Verinovum (a health care data curation company). Tulsa provides a confluence of assets that we believe will set our community (and our business) apart in years to come, and we look forward to working with Tulsa Innovation Labs on such an important endeavor.”