Where Did It All Start?

In 2006, Tulsa embarked on an innovative, citizen-based bottoms-up planning process called Step Up Tulsa! – a community dialogue resulting in bold transformative goals to create significant positive change in the Tulsa region in the areas of education, health and economic development. The Economic Development Task Force of Step Up Tulsa! was co-chaired by Barry Davis, Managing Partner, Davis, Tuttle Venture Partners and Tom Walker, former President of i2E.

Tulsa Community Foundation (TCF), in cooperation with local community funders, initiated this citizen-based planning process. TCF is a non-profit organization that promotes philanthropy to support the Tulsa region. TCF is the largest community foundation in the United States and is the convener of the Step Up Tulsa! initiative.

As a result of this planning, the Task Force recommended an Innovation Institute be established to serve as the home for the creation and implementation of multiple programs and other actions furthering economic development of the region.

A Quick Look At OII’s History

  • 2006: Step Up Tulsa! launches bottoms-up planning process
  • 2006: Barry Davis and Tom Walker co-champion Economic Development Task Force
  • 2007: The Oklahoma Innovation Institute is born
  • 2009: Tulsa Research Partners hosts first research symposium
  • 2011: OII receives federal grant to help build the country’s first community supercomputer
  • 2013: OII announces the Tandy Community Supercomputer is officially open for business