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From Vision-Alignment to Real-World Implementation

Oklahoma City leaders had forged a vision for an innovation district but lacked a 21st Century growth plan that integrated tech and talent. The city needed help identifying gaps and building and funding cluster programs around its strongest sectors: biotech, aerospace, and energy. In addition, it needed help forming an independent governing body that could work with city leaders to speed the transition from vision to real-world implementation.


In 2021, the Oklahoma City Innovation District (OKCID) engaged the Waymaker Group to build a comprehensive and actionable strategic framework with recommendations that would help OKCID accelerate the development of its infrastructure, operations, talent pool, and programming.


Waymaker leveraged existing data, analytics, and gathered fresh, post-COVID data to develop a strategic roadmap that shared directional guidance and named organizational, financial, and leadership resources required to support the growth of OKC Innovation District.


We then executed an assessment and developed a strategy for build-out of new research core facilities and innovation district development. This strategy ensured the optimization of public research and development assets within the District and enabled the accurate communication of resources to outside private industry. We interviewed 40+ stakeholders as part of our research, assessed real estate and community development opportunities, and conducted best-practice site tours. Upon completion of our assessment, we made P3 recommendations and provided implementation clarity on the prioritized cluster: biotech.


Finally, Waymaker worked with OKCID to further develop the board, provide governance recommendations, committee structures, and a narrative we could take public. By June 2022, the narrative provided national recognition of OKCID's thought leaders and subject matter experts, and provided incentive to private industry and technology investors interested in supporting the District’s next phase of evolution and growth.


  • Innovation Ecosystem Study

  • Strategic Framework

  • Governance & Organizational Capacity Services

  • Cluster Development

  • Cluster Funding Strategy

  • Nonprofit Funding Strategy

  • Master Plan Guidance

& Findings

  • $35M EDA grant to expand biotech 

  • $160M National Science Foundation grant submission

  • $7.5M EDA Build Back Better workforce training center post-grant program

  • $8M in matching State commitment for bio workforce training center 

  • Advisory: Innovation Hall Design & Build


“Waymaker’s empathy combined with their strategic depth and national network are magic. They’re the only firm I know that will get in the trenches with me. They are truly interested and invested in the outcome.” — Katy Boren, CEO, Oklahoma City Innovation District

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