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  • January 28, 2020 11:15 AM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    Watkins-Conti Products, Inc. Secures $1.4M Seed round to complete Phase 2 clinical trial

     

    Edmond, OK - Watkins-Conti Products, Inc., the creator of Yōni.Fit, has raised a $1.4 million minority growth investment, led by members of the Victorum Capital Club. Yōni.Fit is a self-administered medical device that provides women with a nonsurgical solution to reduce and/or eliminate involuntary bladder leakage. This investment brings Watkins-Conti Products’ total funding since launching to $3.5 million. The Company will use the proceeds from the investment to complete its Phase 2 clinical trial and to secure FDA approval for over-the-counter sales.

    Founded in 2016, Watkins-Conti Products is led by founder and CEO, Allison Watkins-Conti.  Following the birth of her youngest child, Allison discovered firsthand the underserved stress incontinence market and its severely inadequate product lineup.  Determined to help the hundreds of millions of women worldwide currently suffering from stress incontinence, like herself, she created Yōni.Fit.  The simple device is a 100% medical grade silicone that is inserted vaginally like a tampon.  A feasibility study was completed in 2017 at OU Health Sciences Center proving that Yōni.Fit can significantly reduce and oftentimes completely eliminate involuntary urine leakage while also addressing the anatomical causes of this prevalent problem. Yōni.Fit provides an effective, affordable, non-invasive and environmentally friendly solution for stress incontinence in women and serves as an alternative to expensive and invasive surgeries.

    “We are thrilled to have local support from Victorum Capital Club as well as prominent physicians that specialize in women’s health,” said Watkins-Conti.  “As a single mother and female founder, I am truly honored to have so much support from our investors, especially fellow Oklahomans!”

    About Watkins-Conti Products.  Watkins-Conti Products, Inc. is devoted to the innovation + development of affordable, effective solutions for common life altering difficulties encountered in today’s environment. For more information please visit, www.watkinscontiproducts.com.

    About Victorum Capital.  Victorum Capital is a network of investors and corporate partners focused on identifying, funding, and empowering the most promising entrepreneurs. For more information, please visit www.victorumcapital.com.

    Contacts

    Watkins-Conti Products

    Allison Watkins-Conti

    allison@watkinscontiproducts.com

    405-812-9132


  • January 22, 2020 12:34 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    Chairman's Perspective

    Kyle Golding

    Most everyone is familiar with the old adage “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have” right? It’s a classic piece of advice for those looking for career success. But, this idea doesn’t just apply to individuals. Businesses, organizations, communities, cities and even a whole state can embrace the idea of becoming what we want to be - starting with your outward appearance.

    I'm not talking about a short cut, trick or scam. This is not “fake it until you make it” or “the clothes make the man (or woman)” advice. Nope, no way, no how, never, not that at all. I don’t believe in that approach. But I do believe that a few (of many) keys to success include attitude, attention to details and being in control of your own story. 

    We "dress for success” by telling our story. Don’t let others decide who we are, what we can do and how we can (or cannot) do it. Don’t let them tell everyone else who we are. Control the narrative by suiting up. Oklahoma is open for business. Not just some business, but all business. We're dressed for the job we want, but we're not waiting for permission or approval. We have our own style, and it's time to show it off like an NBA all-star walking into the Chesapeake Energy Arena. 

    There are plenty of days the Oklahoma business attire is work clothes, best for labor in a factory or oilfield. Boots, jeans, a jacket and gloves. But there are also plenty of days our wardrobe contains tailored suits, lab coats or a Mark Zuckerberg / Gary Vaynerchuk hoodie (for all you entrepreneurs out there). Whatever is the most appropriate to your task is what you should wear. When you want to change that idea, wear something more appropriate to where you're going, not where you've been. 

    Personally, my weekly attire ranges from the traditional suit and tie to office casual depending on my schedule and duties. Some days allow for jeans and a t-shirt. I prefer something in the middle. But when I travel outside our state, I try to look my best to represent Oklahoma as professionally as possible. Collectively, we can all present our city and our state in the best light by dressing ourselves, our brands and our economic ecosystem for the future, not the past. 

    No matter what color your tie you rock - Sooner crimson, Cowboy orange or Thunder blue - show the world who we are. Formal or casual, put your best foot forward and success will follow.  


    Kyle Golding

    CEO & Chief Strategic Idealist

    The Golding Group

    Oklahoma Venture Forum Chairman 2019-2020

    kyle@thegoldinggroup.com

  • January 21, 2020 2:54 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    OVF Member Highlight

    Dr. Trang Nguyen was born in NhaTrang, Vietnam and grew up in London, Ontario, Canada. She went to John Paul II Catholic Secondary School and attended the University of Western Ontario. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree (Scholar’s Electives Program) in Applied Mathematics, Computer Science and a Biochemistry minor in 2002.

    In 2004,  Dr. Nguyen attended the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy and graduated as a Doctor of Pharmacy with Special Distinction. She worked as a clinical staff pharmacist at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center from 2008 to 2010. Since then, she has been working full-time as a community pharmacist.

     Dr. Trang Nguyen is a Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist. In 2017, she found Mimosa Health LLC with a mission to provide expert advice on the use of medications by older adults and medication education seminars for seniors in the community.

    Dr. Nguyen completed The Delivering Medication Therapy Management Services, Patient-Centered Diabetes Care, and Pharmacogenomics Certifications from the American Pharmacists Association. In addition, she completed the Pharmacogenomics Continued Education Certification from the Mayo Clinic as well as The Evidence-Based Health Coaching Training for Healthcare Providers from the National Society of Health Coaches.

    She is a radio host of “The Medicine Cabinet” show which is broadcast every other Saturday at 5:30 pm Central Time from the Vietnamese Public Radio Station in Oklahoma City.

    Dr. Nguyen is also an author, a speaker, a member of The American Pharmacists Association, The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and The National Society of Health Coaches.

    Dr. Trang Nguyen and her husband Raphael have two children, Catherine and Gabriel. They live in Edmond, Oklahoma.


  • January 21, 2020 2:52 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    February Pitch Presenter


    Brent Wheelbarger with Trifecta Communications, talking about Viribus VF Labs

    Brent Wheelbarger is founder and CEO of Trifecta Communications, a media/technology company specializing in advertising, production and emerging technology. Trifecta started in the room next to Brent’s garage and has since grown to serve governmental, non-profit and business clients in Oklahoma and internationally. Brent is also co-founder of Viribus VR Labs, a tech-startup developing virtual reality therapy tools for children with cerebral palsy. In addition, Brent is involved in a collaboration between Trifecta Communications and Loveworks Leadership (an experiential learning organization focused on entrepreneurialism and leadership skills with middle school students). The collaboration is helping ten students launch their own tech company by developing a line of augmented reality wristbands.

    Previously Brent served as a publicist for entertainment renowned public relations firm Levine Communications in Los Angeles and public relations director for Pre-Paid Legal Services in Ada, OK. Brent graduated from Oklahoma State University and initially worked as a television news reporter for KXII-TV in Sherman, TX.

    Brent lives in Moore with his wife and two daughters. He is a graduate of the Thunder Launchpad's inaugural class and a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma Class 32. He recently served as President of the Moore Rotary Club, Chairman of the Moore Chamber of Commerce, and is currently a board member for the Pioneer Library System, Great Expectations Foundation and incoming Chair of Possibilities organization in OKC. He is highly involved with the Boy Scouts of America (Eagle Scout) where he serves as Assistant Scoutmaster and chair of the District Communications Board for the Last Frontier Council. He is also a direct collaborator with Loveworks Leadership, an entrepreneurialism program for middle school students. He and his family are active members of Timber Creek Fellowship church in Norman, OK.

    Attend

  • January 21, 2020 2:47 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)


    February Power Lunch Speaker

    Jeff Price


    Business meets Virtual Reality In the
    New Game in Town

    Written by Lori WIlliams 

    A new sports team with a new coach will soon play at a new arena in Oklahoma City. The competition is electric, the playing field is digital, and the rewards are real. The game is eSports and Professor Jeff Price is its driving force.

    Also known as electronic sports, eSports are organized competitions between video game players. The sport is an international phenomenon, with revenues projected to top a billion dollars in 2020.

    Professor Jeff Price is the eSports Director and Chair of Oklahoma City University’s Game Design and Animation Program. “We will soon break ground for OCU’s eSports arena, he says, adding that, “I am fortunate I have a career in game design and animation. We live in a world that hungers for new experiences and technology. I think this industry is really at its infancy and we’ll see more and more developments.”

    To top off all this newness, in the fall of 2020 OCU will begin offering a degree program in eSports Management. Students will study broadcasting, event management, budgeting, content development, and exercise sports science.

    In other words, this program isn’t all about playing games. In fact, Professor Price is enthusiastic about the impact such games can have in the fields of business, medicine, and the social sciences.

    According to the Professor, augmented reality applications have the most potential for business applications. “Overlapping 3d data onto the real world is the future,” he says. “Imagine fixing a Mercedes Benz engine with no experience. Scary, right? With internet data and 3d imaging, the virtual application could walk you through step-by-step, even showing you proper technique.”

    “I am really intrigued by medical uses of virtual reality (VR) as well. A researcher developed a treatment using a snow scene in VR while burn patients were being treated. I believe they saw a reduction of medication around 50%. That’s what technology should do for us.”

    “I also think VR will be a way to record historical places and events. Cameras and techniques are being developed to document physical environments. These are used in the engineering fields, but I think we will eventually see it used for social purposes.”

    Speaking of historical places worth documenting, there’s a restaurant in Mustang, Oklahoma that’s on Jeff Price’s list. “My first video game was on my brother’s Pong ® console . . . but I would say I really became captivated with an early game called Battlezone®. I would play it for hours at the Mustang Dairy Queen.”

    Today Price teaches game design, animation, graphic design, and modeling. In so doing, he’s learned that, at first, most people don’t think they can learn the necessary skills. But then those people meet Professor Jeff.

    “People can learn the software and make art themselves,” he says, while adding that the industry utilizes many skill sets, including artistic concept artists and programmers making game tools. “The creative pipeline for game art and animation has many roles.”

    Attend


  • December 31, 2019 1:26 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    There is a problem with our medical residency programs in the United States. Governing bodies determine duty hours standards and resident physicians are tasked to follow them. But are they? The majority of Program Directors interviewed state that there are errors in the reporting process. Delayed time entries and honor-based systems do not provide accurate information to the institution or the governing bodies, and inaccurate data is the byproduct.

    WorkOur has developed a product that eliminates this broken system and allows medical residents and physicians to seamlessly record and track duty hours details in real-time through location-based technology and their phones. The data generated provides valuable information to the programs and institutions, helping them make critical decisions about staffing and quality of care. WorkOur’s ultimate goal is to use this data to effect change by promoting flexibility in the current duty-hour standards in the US and around the globe.

    BIO

    Dr. Vasan is a Board-Certified Otolaryngologist - Head and Neck Surgeon at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Dr. Vasan was born and raised in New Zealand and is a member of The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He has authored numerous papers and book chapters in the field of Head and Neck Surgery and performs Head and Neck Robotic Surgery.

    Dr. Vasan has developed medical devices for robotic surgery with the University.

    He founded Adroit Surgical LLC, a private company in 2010 to develop and commercialize patented emergency airway management devices.

    Dr. Vasan is an Associate Professor who specializes in Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery and serves as Program Director for the Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery Residency Program. 
  • December 31, 2019 1:22 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    Only the Blue Sky’s the Limit

    For Matt Williamson and his Team at Clevyr

    As Matt Williamson swings over the Oklahoma City skyline and grabs hold of the International Space Station, he’s already thinking about his next move.  “I’m definitely like the blue-sky guy,” says the founder and CEO of Clevyr. “My company is aggressive in moving deeper into new technology. We’ve always been that firm in Oklahoma City that says, ‘Cool! We can do that! We’ll figure it out.’”

    The team at Clevyr visualizes and then creates software to streamline processes and improve lives. They excel at workflow automation, web design, facial recognition, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). The latter put Williamson at the OKC skyline and beyond, but Clevyr-style VR can also land you courtside at a Thunder game or behind the controls of a powerful machine.

    For example, Clevyr has created a couple of VR training environments for warehouse and manufacturing facilities. Multiple trainees can learn how to operate vehicles or presses in a realistic environment. If accidents happen, everyone learns but no one gets hurt. While the training continues, the actual machines are available for day-to-day operations.

    Daily learning tasks at school are also enhanced by Clevyr software solutions. “My favorite AR application is actually one we’re doing right now in the education space,” says Matt Williamson, “so I can’t talk much about it. But I can tell you that this kind of learning allows children to see things in real time while engaging a different part of their brain.”

    Ready to experience Clevyr-style AR for yourself? Turn your phone into an augmented reality marker scanner by downloading the Clevyr app. Then print out and scan the pop up city marker on Clevyr’s website.

    “I get giddy when I think about this technology,” says the CEO who still delights in computers after nearly 25 years in the industry. Others share his glee upon seeing the city scene come to life on their phones. “Every time I show it to someone,” Matt says, “they ask, ‘Where am I in this scene?’ Because your brain is saying, ‘this is where I am.’”

    The markers, known as Clevyr Stories, are an engaging way to introduce AR technology to the marketplace. “Just imagine what it would be like,” says Williamson, “to use this interactive tool to show people what your company has to offer. I can tell you that we get a tremendous response when we send out cards with these markers on them.”

    “You get to interact and play, zoom in and out. It provides an impact that lasts a lot longer than mailing out a marketing slick or handing out a business card.”

    The Clevyr Stories pop up marker also has hot air balloons, and there’s plenty of blue sky for all of them.


  • December 31, 2019 1:21 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    Dr. Michelle Keylon
    Francis Tuttle Technology Center

    Dr. Michelle Keylon became Superintendent/CEO of Francis Tuttle Technology Center in July 2019. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Superintendent/COO and was responsible for the comprehensive leadership and alignment of critical district administrative functions, including: instruction; business and industry services; facility management and development; information technology services; human resources; and campus safety.

    Other roles at Francis Tuttle include: Associate Superintendent; Assistant Superintendent of Instruction; and Instructional Director for Information Technology programs. These positions included responsibility for assessment, curriculum, instruction, educational trends and initiatives, innovative practices, operations and facility management, and the implementation of a district-wide strategic plan, along with direct supervision of instructional and support staff.

    Prior to her employment at Francis Tuttle, Michelle was State Program Administrator for the Business, Marketing, and Information Technology Education Division of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. In that capacity, she provided leadership and technical support to approximately 400 programs in comprehensive high schools, technology centers, and skills centers to develop and maintain quality programs. She also served at Green Country Technology Center in Okmulgee, OK as Business and Computer Technology Instructor and Nighttime Adult Instructor.

    Michelle holds a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from NorthCentral University, along with a Master of Science degree in Occupational and Adult Education from Oklahoma State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education – Business Professions from OSU.

    She is a member of Rotary Club 29 Oklahoma City, Leadership Oklahoma City Class 37, Edmond Sister Cities Committee, Leadership Edmond Steering Committee, and the Oklahoma City Chamber Education Policy Committee.

    Francis Tuttle Technology Center information is available at francistuttle.edu



  • December 31, 2019 1:20 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)


    It’s holiday time! Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Years Eve. As we come to the end of 2019 and begin 2020, it’s a time for reflection on the past year and excitement for the year ahead. But, we're only halfway through the 2019–2020 session of the Oklahoma Venture Forum. It’s been a great 6 months.

    So far this year, we’ve had an unofficial theme of young entrepreneurs and proven success. We’ve heard from young people disrupting major industries and doing all the things that people always say "you can’t do that in Oklahoma". These young entrepreneurs can’t do it alone, so mentoring has been a big part of this session as well. This was one of the topics that you, the members and guest of OVF, asked for in our survey last year. 

    Our meetings have also featured inspiring stories of career businessmen and women being highly successful, building thriving companies and having major exits. Once again, proving "you can do that in Oklahoma". This goes all the way back to our keynote speaker for the OVF Chairman's Award for Economic Impact in 2018 Piyush Patel.

    In the holiday spirit, I want to give you all a few well wishes in 2020:

    • Health, Happiness and Prosperity - More important than success or wealth is being able to enjoy the most important parts of our lives, our families and friends. Let’s all continue to focus on work/life balance in 2020. 

    • Community, Collaboration and Commitment - A rising tide lifts all boats. Let’s continue working together with entrepreneurs and business professionals all over the state to create economic opportunities for as many Oklahomans as possible. 

    • Education, Understanding and Opportunity - By meeting each other, bringing guest with you to OVF meetings and embracing the valuable lessons / opportunities of our presenters we can continue to make a positive impact in the Oklahoma economy and entrepreneurial ecosphere.

    • Joy To The World! - No explanation needed.

    • Bonus: An NBA World Title for the Oklahoma City Thunder, a college football National Title for the Oklahoma Sooners and many Top 10 rankings for our state. Set your goals high and expect the best. 

    I look forward to 2020 in so many ways, and I hope you do as well. Let’s all work together to create opportunities, share knowledge and raise the tide that will lift all boats in our Oklahoma lakes, rivers and beyond. Happy holidays to all! See you next year. 


  • November 21, 2019 1:45 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    A New Golden Age For Oklahoma Business? 

    We just might be living in one of the most exciting and transformative times in Oklahoma's economic development history. Many positive signs point to this being a new golden age of business in our state. Our proverbial ducks are lining up in a row. 

    It's been said for years and years that Oklahoma was missing key elements to be a true entrepreneurial hotbed. In true chicken/egg fashion, Oklahoma didn't seem to have enough funding sources and/or investable startups to support "serious" venture capital action from outside the state.

    But what about local money? What were successful Oklahomans doing with all of the profits from energy (oil/gas) or other traditional midwestern business profits? They were investing in more oil/gas or real estate but not tech, biomedical or anything radically new or disruptive.

    This is not the case today. Right now, in this potential new golden age of business, the Oklahoma business community has increased funding sources, changed attitudes about how/what business types to invest in and created a wide field of potential startups, partnerships and investable businesses. This was the vision of the Oklahoma Venture Forum founders back in the 80's. Today, we're seeing that groundwork, follow-though and continual pushing in the right direction pay off hard-earned dividends.

    In this golden age, we have a variety of funding source options. Traditional lenders, angel investors, venture capital and public/private partnerships supplemented with online resources such as crowdsourcing, sweat equity partnership and micro-loans. We also have an entrepreneur support system of incubators, accellorators, co-working, professional groups, networking opportunities, business plan competitions and recognition events like the OVF Venture Of The Year / Most Promising New Business (shameless plug).

    We also had to make changes. We had to inform and educate each other. We had to change laws and regulations. We had to get outside of traditional comfort zones. We had to experiment and fail - so we could learn and improve. We had to create opportunities where there previously were none. We had to reward those who took a risk and celebrate the attempt, not just successful outcomes. 

    Now, we have success stories. It's one of the biggest indicators we're on the right track and a big part of building even more success in the future. We have watched startups evolve into thriving businesses, reinvented failing corporations, modernized traditional sectors, solved problems no one else in the world could solve, created entirely new industries full of opportunities in our state and ultimately rewarded founders and funders with fruitful exits. Taking the risk can lead to rewards.

    These are exciting times for business in Oklahoma. Is this a new golden age? Only time will tell. Like the song says: "you're doing fine Oklahoma" so let's keep it up!


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