February 2020
Following a Competitive Nationwide Selection Process, Ada Jobs Foundation Chosen to Participate in 2020 Rural Innovation Initiative
Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI), announced that the Ada Jobs Foundation has been chosen in a highly competitive process to participate in the 2020 Rural Innovation Initiative , a technical assistance program supporting rural communities working to create digital economy jobs with an innovation hub strategy. 
"We're excited to work with the Ada Jobs Foundation to grow the local digital economy ecosystem," said Matt Dunne, Executive Director of RISI and Founder of the Center on Rural Innovation. "Entrepreneurship is baked into the culture in Ada, and given the work AJF and its partners have been doing, the region is poised to be a leader in tech-powered innovation that creates opportunities for generations to come."
"This is a big opportunity for Ada to join other rural communities in our work to support entrepreneurs and technology development," said James Eldridge, President and CEO of the Ada Jobs Foundation. "We see this as an opportunity to build on our other successful programs for startups and small businesses in Ada." Read More.
Big Pitch 2019 Winners Announced

“In its second year, The Big Pitch Ada event provided an opportunity to continue talking about growing entrepreneurship and innovation in Ada,” said Srijita Ghosh, AJF entrepreneurship specialist. “This event, along with the Startup Ada Bootcamp and the Ada Entrepreneurial Summit, are fostering ways to collaborate and show support for start-ups in our community.”

The winners were announced during the event and they are as follows:   
  • People's Choice and 1st Place in the Idea Stage category awarded to Kinsey Bohan with Pampered Paw.
  • 2nd Place in Idea Stage category awarded to Pat Fountain with Soap N Stuff.
  • 1st Place in Revenue Generating category awarded to Allison Poe, Poe Prepping LLC.
  • 2nd Place in Revenue Generating category awarded to Akilah Johnson, Yes She Will Organic Hair Growth Therapy and Beard Growth Products.

Local Manufacturer in the News: Globe Manufacturing
Ada Plant Finds Stitch Niche
Globe’s Ada plant and its 48 employees are producing 510 sets of three-layer firefighter jackets and pants for the Oklahoma City Fire Department, said Roger Page, operations manager for Globe’s three production facilities in Ada, Pittsfield, New Hampshire, and Auburn, Maine.

“I’m just really impressed with the amount of effort that Oklahoma puts into supporting manufacturers, whether it’s the Ada Jobs Foundation, the Pontotoc Technology Center training center or the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance,” Page said. “All of that is phenomenal.”

In addition to Oklahoma City, Globe produces garments for firefighters in numerous other Oklahoma communities. Ada’s proximity to Oklahoma City afforded the city’s fire department an opportunity to eyeball the equipment under construction, Page said.
Five Local Entrepreneurs Complete First Ever Startup Boot Camp in Ada
RECAP: Startup Ada Boot Camp
Five local entrepreneurs participated in and successfully completed all six-weeks of the first ever Startup Boot Camp in Ada offered by the Ada Jobs Foundation (AJF). The Startup Ada Boot Camp (SABC) is a 6-week program designed to equip entrepreneurs with the education and resources needed to take their business from an idea stage to a pitch ready stage. The Boot Camp began on October 8, 2019 and brought together a group of passionate early-stage startups and small businesses for six consecutive Tuesday afternoons leading into The Big Pitch Ada event, which took place on November 12 at LegalShield.
McCall's Performance Agreement Approved
New Incentive Supports Local Business Retention and Expansion
Ada officials agreed recently to match up to 50% of the cost of installing equipment to support a new building sprinkler system at McCall’s Chapel, using Proposition 2 sales tax dollars. Read More.
RECAP: Water Environment Federation's Technical Exhibition
Jim Eldridge attended the 2019 WEFTEC Trade Show in Chicago on September 22nd through the 25 th . He was joined Cody Holcomb and Guy Sewell at the show for the purposes of representing Ada’s interests in developing innovative water technologies.

Overall, we are encouraged about the progress being made in Ada over this past year in our preparation for developing an innovative ecosystem for water research, policy, and technology. We will plan to attend the WEFTEC show again in 2020 and follow up with contacts made with companies and water cluster representatives we have met at the show.
Main Street Business Owners Receive Funding Through Business Improvement Grant Program
Twelve Main Street Business Participate in B.I.G.
The Ada Business Improvement Grant (B.I.G) will open on February 3 rd to a second round of applications in the 2019-2020 Fiscal year. In the previous year, twelve projects in main street properties were selected as being eligible of matching funds of $5,000 per property, and over $90,000 in total investment has been made to these properties. Based on this success, the Ada City Council voted in February 2019 to appropriate a total of $75,000 in Proposition 2 funds for the second year of the program, an increase of $25,000 over the $50,000 made available in 2019.
Unlike traditional façade grant programs, the B.I.G. program allows for a wider scope of building upgrades including projects that help to enhance the performance of the business. These can include improvements to electrical wiring, energy efficient building elements, or even improvements for ADA accessibility to a building. Improvements made in the first year of the program included installation of awnings, new doors and windows, LED lightings, signage and removal of exterior structures to restore historic look. The applications are approved on a case to case basis, but a complete list of suggested projects can be found in the B.I.G. application packet
“The Ada Jobs Foundation supports the Ada Business Improvement Grant program as a way to enhance Ada’s distinct quality of place and attractiveness to small business owners,” said Jim Eldridge, President and CEO of the Ada Jobs Foundation. “We are encouraged by the excellent partnerships with Ada Main Street and the City of Ada that have made this program possible.
A second round of applications will open on February 3 rd and close on February 28 th . Those interested in the grant are encouraged to contact Amy Kaiser with Ada Main Street, www.adamainstreet.com.