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Written by Lori Williams
But everyone acknowledges that if we can diversify our state’s economy, we will be less susceptible to the vagaries of the price of oil – and entrepreneurship – growing our own businesses here in Oklahoma – is a great way to diversify.
Thus I am very excited that our March main speaker is the newly elected Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell. Matt runs a small business with his wife, Lisa, an entrepreneur and inventor, and we are delighted to have both top officials in Oklahoma - Governor Stitt and Lt. Governor Pinnell - as business owners.
Without making any claims about the effectiveness of running an elected office/administration as a business, it is clear that being an entrepreneur makes one more knowledgeable about what it takes to be an entrepreneur. That is why I really wanted to have our Lt. Governor speak to the Oklahoma Venture Forum.
One of our main goals of the organization is to increase the visibility and, hopefully, the success of our Oklahoma entrepreneurs. And that is made much easier when our government are themselves entrepreneurs. Please be ready to discuss with our Lt. Governor what can be done to improve the business startup environment across the state. The Lt. Governor also oversees our tourism and programs to make Oklahoma a great destination for our visitors.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend this meeting as I have been invited to participate in a Southeast Asia Fellowship through our US Department of State to teach entrepreneurship in Thailand vocational schools. I look forward to filling you in on my experience and appreciate the support and growth that OVF has provided me.
We will also be using the remaining time for a short survey of OVF, our meetings, and what we can do to improve the organization. Please take the time to complete this survey.
I look forward to seeing you – and a guest! – at an upcoming OVF event. Remember that if you have someone you feel should attend one of our events, and you cannot afford to bring them as a guest, tell me and I will make it happen.
Host Organization: Metro Tech Downtown Business Campus
Event title: Microsoft for Executives: Excel 2016, Level 1
Event type: Basic Microsoft Excel course for those new to Excel or those frustrated with trying to learn the basics on their own
Event date: February 13th, 9 AM – 4 PM
Link to registration: http://www.cvent.com/d/06q7z5
Event title: Microsoft for Executives: Excel 2016, Level 2
Event type: Intermediate Microsoft Excel course for professionals who feel they are underutilizing this great software package
Event date: February 27th, 9 AM – 4 PM
Link to registration: http://www.cvent.com/d/b6q72q
Event title: Microsoft for Executives: Excel 2016, Level 3
Event type: Advanced Microsoft Excel course for users wanting to break through to real mastery
Event date: March 13th, 9 AM – 4 PM
Link to registration: http://www.cvent.com/d/56q72d
Please use the link included in each event.
OKC Tech Events Calendar: Tech Events
Best regards,Oklahoma Venture Forum
"Procrastination is opportunity's assassin." Victor Kiam
I have never been one to set New Year’s resolutions, but from my experience many people resolve that this the year they will go on their own and start a business. Being involved with entrepreneurs, I certainly want people to start businesses. But I worry that those who start the year with a resolution with have that resolution end up stacked in the corner of the room with the treadmill and running shoes.
Part of the difficulty is that when setting a resolution we are quickly struck by the difficulty – and time-consumption – of the resolution. Resolving to lose 15 pounds by jogging, we quickly realize this is going to take a while! And while it is relatively easy to go out and buy the shoes (and kind of fun), it does not make it any easier.
Likewise with starting a business. Sure, you do the structural work of hiring a lawyer to set up your LLC, put together a business plan, do market research, but none of those things make it any easier to find a stranger willing to part with money for your product or service.
This year – turn your resolution on its head: start by selling something, and see if it can scale. If not, end it without doing all the structural work. To use my jogging analogy, get out there every morning and walk around the block. If after four weeks you are still walking, increase the pace.
As we get further into 2019, please continue to seek prospective members for the OVF. Our membership is what makes OVF special. In February, for our luncheon, our Main Speaker is Brian Byrnes, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, The OKC Thunder. The OKC Thunder help fund the Thunder Launchpad - an entrepreneurial accelerator which is in the process of gathering its third cohort of startups. I don’t think we will see any of the basketball players at lunch, but we will learn why the OKC Thunder are involved in entrepreneurship.
Our Short Presenter is Leo Clarke, Paelode Systems. Paelode System provides IT solutions for Oil & Gas Industry, including lodeX — their flagship, end-to-end, electronic ticketing and data workflow solution. lodeX resolves the problem of managing wastewater disposal generated during the production of oil and natural gas.
I hope you attended and enjoyed our After Hours event on January 23rd at Vault 405, a Coworking space in downtown Edmond.
I look forward to seeing you – and a guest! – at an upcoming event for OVF.
Written by Lori Williams
Is anything bigger than basketball in Oklahoma City? Ask Brian Byrnes, the senior vice president of Sales and Marketing for the Thunder, and the answer might surprise you. “The Thunder has made a community investment play that is beyond basketball,” says Byrnes. “It’s called the Thunder Launchpad.”
Introduced in January of 2018 as part of the Thunder’s 10th season, The Launchpad is an accelerator program located in OKC’s Midtown district. “We are inspired by the other entities that are driving the future of our state’s economy,” says Byrnes, “and we wanted to use the marketing and media power of the Thunder to elevate Oklahoma City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
To make the Launchpad a reality, the Thunder has teamed up with StitchCrew. This is a company that helps technology minded entrepreneurs launch their ideas and obtain venture capital. So far, 18 have passed through the program; another group is being vetted to begin in the spring of 2019. The participants receive a space in which to work as well as other needed resources. They also are matched with mentors.
“The Thunder certainly has terrific relationships with the business community vis-à-vis all of our corporate partnerships and our business to business relations,” says Byrnes. “In many cases we have the opportunity to invite and encourage and validate the applicants who are mentors. Then StitchCrew matches the applicants, who are called founders, with the mentors and develops a customized business program for each one.”
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