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As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) has received up to $81.6 million in U.S. Treasury/State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funding to enhance access to capital for startups and small businesses in Oklahoma. With the SSBCI funds, OCAST has created two new programs: the Oklahoma Venture Capital Investment program and the Oklahoma Business Lending Partnership program. Additionally, OCAST has secured additional funding to provide Technical Assistance to Oklahoma innovators.

A portion of Oklahoma’s SSBCI allocation will benefit very small businesses, those employing fewer than ten employees, along with businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantage individuals, those in underserved populations and rural Oklahoma.

Press Release


Oklahoma Venture Capital Investment Program (OVCI)

The Oklahoma Venture Capital Investment program is set to strengthen the state’s economy and incentivize the growth of private venture capital in Oklahoma by investing nearly $49 million of SSBCI dollars in Oklahoma based venture funds. Through an open request for proposals, OCAST will award SSBCI dollars to Oklahoma based venture funds for the purpose of making investments in Oklahoma based innovation companies. Selected venture funds will be required to match every dollar of federal funds with a minimum of a dollar of matching private investment capital.  

Boyd Street Ventures is an Oklahoma-based venture capital firm that supports innovative startups in the region through investment and strategic guidance. 

Cortado Ventures is an Oklahoma-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage and growth-stage technology companies, aiming to foster innovation and drive economic development in the region. In addition to their regular portfolio, Cortado Ventures in partnership with Oklahoma Farm Bureau will also be offering a special targeted investment fund for companies located in rural communities.  Oklahoma Farm Bureau brings the needs of business in rural communities across the state to this investment collaboration. 

The Oklahoma Life Science Fund provides financial resources to promising companies involved in areas such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and healthcare services. The fund aims to drive innovation, foster collaboration, and accelerate the growth of life science ventures in Oklahoma by offering capital, expertise, and strategic guidance. 

FortySix Venture Capital is an Oklahoma-based venture capital firm that specializes in early-stage technology startups. They provide financial support, mentorship, and strategic guidance to innovative companies, helping them scale and succeed. 

Oklahoma Business Lending Partnership Program (OBLP)

The Oklahoma Business Lending Partnership Program will provide up to $32.7 million in nondilutive loans. These loans will be administered through TEDC Creative Capital.


TEDC Creative Capital is a community development financial institution providing financial resources, mentorship, and business support to artists, entrepreneurs, and cultural organizations to help them grow and thrive. TEDC will have the ability to make direct loans or partner with other Oklahoma based banks to deliver the OBLP program.


SSBCI Technical Assistance Partnership Program

The OCAST SSBCI Technical Assistance Partnership provides legal, accounting, and financial advisory services to SEDI-owned and VSB businesses and those in underserved populations and rural Oklahoma. The overarching goal is to prepare SEDI- and VSB-based companies for application to Oklahoma’s SSBCI capital programs, state programs, and other federal programs. The technical assistance includes a mixture of courses, deep-dive sessions, and one-on-one mentoring and coaching. In addition to OCAST, gener8tor, Oklahoma Farm Bureau and Oklahoma Minority Founders Accelerator are partners in the program.

gener8tor is a nationally ranked venture capital firm and accelerator that brings together startup founders, investors, corporations, job seekers, universities, musicians and artists. The gener8tor platform includes more than 75 programs spanning startup accelerators, corporate programming, speaker series, conferences, skills accelerators and fellowships. gener8tor believes that everyone deserves opportunities, regardless of race, place or gender, and perfectly aligns with the SSBCI technical assistance program.

Oklahoma Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization that gives a voice to Oklahoma’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities, with wraparound approach to growing small businesses in the rural innovation ecosystem. In addition to the TA services provided through the SSBCI TA program, they have an established, sustainable accelerator to serve small businesses outside of Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas, access to national network of capital funds, a community partner co-investing in rural businesses who complete the Rural Accelerator over a three-year period.

OMFA  is for founders who identify as Black, Indigenous, or Persons of Color (BIPOC) and are majority owners of businesses with growth potential, that were established at a physical location within Oklahoma. Targeting potential founders with ability to scale rapidly, who are positioned to expand into existing supply chains or driving regional economic growth.

Are you a small business entrepreneur who is applying for, preparing to apply for or previously applied for capital funding, and need technical assistance in the areas of legal, financial, or accounting?

Please complete this intake form here

Oklahoma SSBCI Quick Facts

  • 100% of SSBCI funds allocated to Oklahoma will remain in Oklahoma
  • SSBCI dollars for investments and for loans require $1 for $1 match of private capital and a 10X minimum return
  • Investments can be as large as $20M (federal funds plus private match), but the target for no more than $5M total
  • Loans may also reach $20M total, but $500K is the preferred maximum (federal funds plus private match)
  • $16.6M of the SSBCI funds must be dedicated to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDI)-owned businesses
  • $4.1M must be dedicated to very small businesses (VSB) – 10 employees or less
  • Investment companies selected by OCAST through an RFP process will be responsible for making direct investments in Oklahoma small businesses (less than 100 people) using SSBCI dollars matched at least 1:1 with private capital
  • Selected lending organizations will extend loans to small Oklahoma businesses using SSBCI funds matched with private capital dollar for dollar
  • OCAST will not make direct investments or loans  
  • OCAST will only make fund to fund investments with the SSBCI dollars in Oklahoma investment companies managing an investment fund
  • OCAST will only award SSBCI capital for lending through CDFIs, and local banks

U.S. Treasury Links

To review U.S. Department of Treasury policies and SSBCI guidelines click HERE

Last Modified on Apr 30, 2024
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