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  • April 26, 2024 11:53 AM | Anonymous

    The Oklahoma Venture forum is honored to present the award for Economic Impact to Tulsa Remote.

    The Oklahoma Venture Forum is proud to announce the 2024 Award for Economic Impact to Tulsa Remote. Tulsa Remote is a program that offers a $10,000 grant and other benefits to remote workers who move to and work from Tulsa.  

    In 2018, Tulsa community leaders had a vision that saw Tulsa as a beacon to attract talent from diverse backgrounds and industries across the nation. Recognizing Tulsa's potential as a vibrant and welcoming community, they launched the Tulsa Remote program in November 2018, inviting full-time remote workers to live and work from the city for a year. 
    Since the first movers arrived in early 2019, Tulsa Remote has grown exponentially, welcoming over 3,000 full-time remote workers to the community over the past five years. As they celebrate this anniversary, they’re also reflecting on the transformative impact Tulsa Remote has had on the city of Tulsa’s growth and diversity. 

    Tulsa Remote is celebrating two significant milestones: five years of pioneering change in the remote workspace and the release of their 2023 economic impact report. This annual report highlights how their journey so far has shown steady economic growth, meeting their projections and reinforcing the value remote workers can have on a local economy. Among its findings, the report found: 

     As of December 2023, 2,819 Remoters have collectively generated $563.6 million in direct employment income, significantly contributing to Tulsa’s economic vitality.  

    • The program’s influence continued to grow in 2023, with 2,252 participants who are currently in Tulsa contributing over $330 million in new labor income to the city.  
    • More than 18% of the program alumni who plan to stay in Tulsa have ignited the local economy by starting their own businesses.  

    Register to attend the 2024 OVF Awards Event

  • April 26, 2024 11:47 AM | Anonymous

    Ten-Nine Technologies was founded in 2014 with a dream of creating new materials for new economies. Today, Ten-Nine brings to market breakthrough materials for the energy and chemical industries across a broad range of applications, including energy storage. Ten-Nine’s proprietary nano additive, TENIX™, dramatically improves performance in cathodes - the primary driver of battery cost, performance, and greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a simple powder, produced sustainably and domestically, that can be dropped into manufacturing lines for all kinds of batteries from single-use alkaline cells to rechargeable EV packs. Ten-Nine is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma and works with leading industry partners to transform energy storage with TENIX™.

    MaxQ is the largest blood packaging solutions company in the US serving over 1,200 healthcare institutions, blood centers, organ procurement organizations, diagnostic labs, specialty pharmacies, and biopharma manufacturers. MaxQ specializes in providing innovative smart shipping containers for preserving the integrity and safety of temperature-sensitive products. With a proven track record in handling and storing critical assets, such as blood products, vaccines, and specialty medications, we're dedicated to redefining cold chain packaging and delivering exceptional value to our clients worldwide.

    Wheeler Bio is a pioneering Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) focused on accelerating the discovery-to-development process for biopharmaceutical companies. Through a unique partnering model, we aim to address industry bottlenecks by facilitating smoother transitions between discovery and development phases, empowering innovators to bring novel antibody and antibody-like therapeutics to market with precision, speed, and optimized cost without ever compromising quality. Wheeler Bio specializes in mammalian cell line and process development, GLP Tox material supply, and CGMP clinical supply, leveraging our Portable CMC® platform to streamline the pathway from innovation to clinical trials. Our approach has been purposefully designed to reduce lifecycle challenges, enhance efficiency, and foster lasting collaborations within the biopharma industry.

    Register to attend the 2024 OVF Awards Event

  • April 26, 2024 11:44 AM | Anonymous

    We specialize in modernizing the patient referral process for specialty clinics. Our solution seamlessly automates the outdated and manual steps involved, without requiring any behavioral changes from the referring providers.

    Our platform ensures a smooth transition by integrating effortlessly with existing workflows, ultimately enhancing efficiency and patient satisfaction.

    Soaak Technologies, Inc. is a registered Delaware corporation with its headquarters in Tulsa, OK. Soaak is a health and wellness company dedicated to optimizing overall well-being through a comprehensive approach. Their innovative offerings include the Soaak App, which delivers clinically curated sound therapy and various digital resources. In addition to their digital health solutions, they operate Soaak Clinics providing specialized services like functional medicine and neurofeedback. With a global presence in over 130 countries, Soaak aims to revolutionize mental and emotional health by integrating cutting-edge technology with holistic healing practices. Soaak has delivered over 20 million minutes of sound therapy to date.

    Sci-Lume Labs makes 100% recyclable Bylon, the truly circular apparel fiber to replace conventional fibers like nylon, polyester, and cotton. Bylon drops into the same manufacturing equipment used to make nylon and polyester, meaning it can scale quickly and compete at low price points. Bylon offers familiar performance versatility, combining the capability and tunability of synthetic fibers with the moisture properties and circularity of natural fibers. Bylon can be made from biobased feedstocks like agricultural waste, enabling industrial scale production without requiring land that would better be used to grow food. 

    Register to attend the 2024 OVF Awards Event
  • April 26, 2024 11:36 AM | Anonymous

    The Importance of Storytelling in Business
    An interview with OVF Awards Keynote Speaker, Matt Payne

    by Dennis Spielman

    In 2015, Matt Payne moved to Oklahoma with his wife, embarking on a journey of experimentation and reinvention. From adjunct professorship at Oklahoma City University to delving into photography and documentary filmmaking, Payne embraced each opportunity enthusiastically and determinedly. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to co-found a soundstage business, aiming to propel Oklahoma’s film industry forward. Despite facing unfamiliar territory, Payne and his partners navigated the challenges, eventually expanding into a production company and creative agency within Prairie Surf. For Payne, the essence of his career lies in constant adaptation and storytelling.

    “I think Oklahoma is an incredible place to be an entrepreneur, and it’s an incredible time to be an entrepreneur in Oklahoma,” said Matt Payne, CEO of Prairie Surf Creative. “We had the idea of turning a city building into a movie studio. Pretty quickly, we were able to get the city to believe in it. We were able to get the state to believe in this idea. We were able to get the entrepreneurial community; we were able to get the film community to all sort of rally around this idea. I don’t know that that happens in other cities. I don’t know that two entrepreneurs could come up with the idea that, ‘Hey, we’re going to take this 1.3 million square feet in downtown Oklahoma City and turn it into a movie studio and then actually have that happen in nine months.’”

    As the keynote speaker for this year’s OVF Awards, Payne will delve into his background, emphasizing the crucial role of storytelling in business. He believes that in a world where everyone is vying for attention, it’s the emotional connection that a business creates that truly matters. His talk will guide entrepreneurs in reflecting on their journey, viewing themselves as the heroes driving their businesses forward, and reframing their narratives to highlight the obstacles overcome and the successes achieved. He will show how these stories can be leveraged to fuel future endeavors.

    “The better our story, the better we tell our story, the more likely we are to have a successful business,” said Payne.

    Join Matt Payne at the Oklahoma Venture Forum Awards on Thursday, May 16, 2024, to recognize the achievements of Oklahoma businesses. The OVF Venture of the Year, Most Promising New Venture, and the Award for Economic Impact are three of the most prestigious recognitions a company can receive. The event will be held at the Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr, Oklahoma City, OK). Register at to attend.

    “As an entrepreneur, as a business owner, you’re constantly in the trenches, constantly fighting, constantly dealing with a fire, looking for the next thing,” said Payne. “We rarely gather in our community and celebrate one another. And I think this event’s a great opportunity to celebrate individuals who have done a lot to celebrate our own successes because in celebrating ’em, we lay the groundwork to move on to more success.”

    Register to attend the 2024 OVF Awards Event

  • April 04, 2024 11:09 AM | Anonymous


    Sam DuRegger, Founder/CEO
    Barista Bot

    Barista Bot aims to radically simplify how we interact with the services we use every day, starting with our morning coffee. Utilizing natural language processing, Barista Bot assists users in ordering their favorite coffee drink by quickly learning their preferences through a series of simple text conversations. Potential applications go beyond your coffee preferences and could change how we tackle mundane tasks like registering cars or applying for civil services. Simplicity could be just a text away.

    Logan Evans, Founder/CEO
    Sugar Security

    Sugar Security makes cybersecurity easy and affordable for small tech-enabled organizations. This includes vulnerability scanning, breach & attack simulations, risk assessments, compliance audits, and more. 

    Sugar offers a self-serve SaaS dashboard with a free tier, scaling up to a $25K/yr Enterprise package with advanced features and a service package for bespoke cybersecurity needs.

    Natarianto Indrawan, Founder

    Clean Ammonia Production for Green Fertilizer Industry. An innovative technology to produce ammonia at atmospheric condition, resulting in numerous benefits as compared to conventional method (HB process) that has been used since early 1900s.

    Robert Washington, Founder/CEO
    Shelter Share

    Robert Washington is the esteemed Founder and CEO of Shelter Share, a visionary leader with a rich background in Hospitality and Supply Chain Management. With a profound commitment to aiding those in need, Robert leverages his expertise to create innovative solutions for the shelter crisis. His unique blend of skills allows him to approach the challenge of sheltering individuals with both compassion and strategic precision, driving Shelter Share's mission to make a lasting impact on communities nationwide. Through his tireless dedication, Robert has become a beacon of hope for countless individuals seeking shelter and support.

    Danielle Melton, Founder/CEO

    MOTHERboard® stands at the forefront of a paradigm shift in workplace culture, specifically tailored to address the unique challenges faced by working mothers. As the founder of MOTHERboard®, I've dedicated our platform to combating burnout through a comprehensive suite of tools, training, and resources designed to empower mothers in their professional and personal lives. Our innovative program not only supports working mothers in achieving a harmonious balance between their career ambitions and family responsibilities but also provides companies with a powerful tool for employee retention and talent acquisition. By participating in our Early Adopter Program, companies have the opportunity to join a visionary movement towards creating a more supportive, empowering workplace that recognizes and values the dual roles many women play.

    Our mission transcends offering a service; it's about spearheading a movement that redefines the modern workplace into an environment where mothers can excel without compromise. Through MOTHERboard®, we aim to establish a new standard for corporate culture—one where the well-being of working mothers is not just an afterthought but a fundamental aspect of business success. By fostering a supportive ecosystem, we not only enhance the well-being of individual employees but also contribute to the overall health and productivity of organizations. Join us as we transform workplaces into spaces where working mothers thrive, paving the way for a future where work and family life coexist in harmony.

  • April 01, 2024 3:10 PM | Anonymous

    Caleb Owens
    CEO/Founder, Premier Insurance Housing

    With 13 years of experience in the corporate housing industry, Caleb, the CEO and Founder of Premier Insurance Housing LLC, possesses the skills and knowledge required to navigate the complexities of the property and casualty sector. I excel in delivering exceptional customer service, achieving company objectives, and establishing strong industry partnerships. Caleb has also managed high-value projects for the United States Armed Forces in various locations, showcasing my ability to meet strict deadlines.

    Register to Attend April Power Pitch Lunch

  • April 01, 2024 10:56 AM | Anonymous

    Oklahoma is a “Coffee State”
    An interview with Jennifer McGrail

    Written by Dennis Spielman

    Jennifer McGrail immersed herself in the world of family-owned businesses from childhood, marking the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey. Despite initially shying away from the idea of entrepreneurship due to its demanding nature, McGrail’s passion for making a difference led her back to the realm of small businesses. Over the years, she navigated through various sectors, including corporate and nonprofit, before finding her niche in small business development. Through her roles at Francis Tuttle and the OKC Metro Collaborative, McGrail honed her expertise in fostering innovation and supporting entrepreneurs. Now, as the Executive Director at OCAST, she spearheads initiatives to empower innovators across all 77 counties of Oklahoma, recognizing the crucial role of capital access in their success. McGrail’s journey exemplifies resilience, adaptability, and a steadfast commitment to driving positive change in communities through entrepreneurship.

    The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) is crucial in driving technology-based economic development to diversify the state’s economy. Beyond its founding purpose, OCAST serves as a catalyst for innovation by identifying and supporting Oklahoma’s innovators in bringing their ideas to market. This involves providing resources for research and development, creating workforce opportunities through internships, and fostering collaborations across various sectors.

    “What that means for most people is we’re the entity that helps find and identify Oklahoma innovators and help them take those innovations, identify the problem that they are going to solve and get them in a customer’s hands to solve the problem,” said Jennifer McGrail.

    With a focus on equitable access, OCAST ensures that rural innovators receive the same support as those in urban centers like Oklahoma City and Tulsa. In recent years, OCAST has expanded its initiatives, including introducing the State Small Business Credit Initiative program to stimulate private investment in Oklahoma businesses. Through venture capital investment programs and a newly established business lending program, OCAST continues to empower entrepreneurs, fueling economic growth and opportunity across the state.

    McGrail’s involvement with the Oklahoma Venture Forum reflects her commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship across the state. Having worked extensively in Lawton, McGrail recognized the challenges high-growth businesses face in accessing vital resources like angel groups and seed capital. She found that connecting with the Oklahoma Venture Forum provided a crucial pathway into the venture capital ecosystem, enabling entrepreneurs to access funding and support. McGrail values the Forum not only for its role in facilitating connections with venture capital but also for its role as a platform for learning and collaboration. Through her experiences sitting at tables with representatives from various backgrounds, including venture capital and entrepreneurship, McGrail gained valuable insights into different perspectives and funding mechanisms. Her active involvement underscores the Forum’s significance as a hub for knowledge exchange and resource access, ultimately empowering entrepreneurs to thrive in Oklahoma’s dynamic business landscape.

    “Oklahoma is a coffee state, and Oklahoma Venture Forum is truly one of those rooms where you can come into, you can talk to different people, and I can almost guarantee you that you are literally one coffee meeting away from accessing the exact door that you’re trying to access on your entrepreneurial journey,” said McGrail. “You’re one conversation away from having access to almost anything you could want or need in whatever goal you’re trying to achieve.”

    Join McGrail at the next Oklahoma Venture Forum Power Lunch on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, as several companies make their pitch presentations. The event will be open to members and guests in person at the Metro Tech Spring Lake Campus (1900 Springlake Drive in Oklahoma City) and via ZOOM.

    “One thing I think most folks don’t realize is when they see Oklahoma Venture Forum, they think it’s just going to be a room of funders,” said McGrail. “And I would tell them that Oklahoma Venture Forum is that and so much more, and it truly is a place to come build a community that gets you access to the innovation we have here in Oklahoma and beyond the state’s borders.”

    Register to Attend April Power Pitch Lunch

  • March 11, 2024 1:42 PM | Anonymous

    Pitch Perfect for OVF
    An interview with Alex Lobodiak

    By Dennis Spielman

    Alex Lobodiak's venture into entrepreneurship began during his college years at OU, where he participated in an entrepreneurial program and successfully launched a student business focused on recyclable stadium blankets. This early experience ignited his interest in startups, leading him to intern with various startups during college. Lobodiak then delved into analytical work at Agio and later became an internal consultant for AppMex, refining his problem-solving skills. His dedication to tackling challenges led him to GeoSafe, where he contributed to its growth, specializing in sales and business development for the software company. Concurrently, Lobodiak founded True North Ventures, a consulting firm working with startups, and co-founded CoreScribe, a company leveraging AI to transcribe conversations and create custom outputs, particularly in the healthcare sector. Lobodiak's impact across industries garnered him an invitation to be part of the Oklahoma Venture Forum board.

    "I got involved with the Venture Forum back when I was studying entrepreneurship," said Alex Lobodiak. "I really enjoyed the people and the quality of not just the network there but the presentations. I think I was that guy who probably asked too many questions and helped a little bit here and there. And they, they probably took that as an invitation to ask me onto the board."

    The pitch presentations during the Power Lunch event provide a statewide stage for emerging business leaders to hone their ideas and receive relevant feedback. According to Lobodiak, crafting an impactful business pitch involves several key elements to capture the audience's attention and secure support. To start, emphasizing traction and tangible progress can be a compelling way to draw people in. Clarity in articulating specific needs, whether it be fundraising, introductions, or resources, is crucial. Being transparent about fundraising goals and the purpose of the funds adds credibility. Additionally, clearly defining the target market and highlighting what sets the venture apart from competitors are key aspects. Moreover, Lobodiak emphasizes the importance of showcasing the team's capabilities and explaining why they are well-suited to drive the success of the product or project.

    "It's always important to differentiate yourself from your competition and clarify why you have the team that will be a good team to carry this product forward," said Lobodiak.

    Several businesses will make their pitch at the Oklahoma Venture Forum Power Lunch on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. The event will be open to members and guests in person at 36 Degrees North (36 E. Cameron St. in Tulsa) and via ZOOM. Pitch presenters include Titan Intake, EDUrain, Paldara Pharmaceutical, Core-Scribe, Waysteless, and gamr.

    "We've got a lot of other talented presenters that will be there, and I'm excited to see them succeed in Oklahoma's ecosystem," said Lobodiak. "This event will be a great way to connect them with folks in the community that want to help elevate their business."

    Register here for the OVF Power Pitch Lunch

  • February 01, 2024 6:35 PM | Anonymous

    Sharing the Love for OVF
    An interview with Cara Evans

    by Dennis Spielman

    As a board member of the Oklahoma Venture Forum, Cara Evans uses her background in entrepreneurship to enhance the community. After completing her studies in Stillwater, she entered the commercial construction field, actively engaging with various subcontractors and gaining experience in freelance work.

    In 2008, Cara embarked on her entrepreneurial journey by starting her own company and becoming the first tenant in an Enid-based incubator. Her involvement with an angel fund and graduate work in entrepreneurship further solidified her passion for creating opportunities and bringing ideas to life. While working in the career tech system, Cara continued to pursue her self-employed endeavors, primarily in professional services.

    Over the past 11 years, Cara Evans played a significant role in supporting entrepreneurs in an incubator and entrepreneurial support position. She has accumulated diverse experiences working with numerous clients and contributing to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. According to Evans, the Oklahoma Venture Forum is a pivotal hub in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

    She believes OVF fosters a dynamic community of service providers, founders, VCs, funders, angels, banks, and educational institutions. This diverse demographic slice creates a unique networking experience that attendees can leverage through targeted introductions from the OVF board or in-person power lunches.

    The emphasis on building relationships is complemented by intentional programming that exposes attendees to new company pitches, regulatory and technological advancements, and subject matter experts. Additionally, the OVF's podcast provides a valuable resource to those interested in a deeper dive into relevant topics within the entrepreneurial sphere.

    Evans said that, when compared to other networking events, "there's something different from actually sitting down at a table and sharing a meal and having dedicated time to converse and solidify those types of relationships that OVF offers.”

    With the next Power Lunch falling on Valentine's Day, the Share the Love event aims to celebrate the collaborative spirit within the entrepreneurial community, particularly focusing on inclusivity and breaking down barriers for newcomers. Drawing inspiration from a recent startup census that gathered data across the state, the Share the Love event highlights the ecosystem's interconnected nature, emphasizing how the forum has facilitated meaningful connections.

    The event will feature a diverse panel representing various OVF member types, from founders to sole proprietors, corporates to incubators, showcasing the accessibility and versatility of the community. Attendees can anticipate discussions on the benefits of OVF membership, personal experiences in the ecosystem, and insights on how different members contribute to the thriving entrepreneurial landscape.

    "We want to drive home that the community is accessible and full of people that want to support your venture and your dreams and just why being involved matters," said Evans. "There are so many ways to get plugged into OVF. No matter what level, it's accessible.”

    While methods like cold calls and emails may yield results, Evans said OVF provides a unique platform where a community of like-minded individuals is ready to facilitate connections. This tight-knit community doesn't guarantee immediate outcomes, but it allows for the planting of seeds that may flourish over time. In a realm where faces become familiar and events transform into opportunities to discover individuals who can address specific needs, the OVF stands as a bridge, connecting people and fostering relationships.

    "It's nice to be like, 'Oh, hey, I've never had this particular need before, but now I know who handles that,'' said Evans. "Relationships make the world go round. That's really what it is. A lot of times in entrepreneurship, you're investing in the person.”

    Cara Evans will speak alongside other panel discussion participants at the Oklahoma Venture Forum Power Lunch on Wednesday, February 14, 2024. The event will be open to members and guests in person at the Metro Tech Spring Lake Campus (1900 Springlake Drive in Oklahoma City) and via ZOOM.

    Established in 1987, Evans said the Oklahoma Venture Forum stands as one of the longest-standing organized groups in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, offering reliability, consistency, and a valuable network that transcends time, fostering enduring relationships and providing a consistent platform for engagement every second Wednesday.

    Register for the February 14, 2024 OVF Power Lunch

  • February 01, 2024 6:28 PM | Anonymous

    Kristin Garcia
    Executive Director
    The Verge OKC

    Kristin Garcia serves as the Executive Director at The Verge OKC, a 501(3)(c), that connects our rising entrepreneurial community to the people and resources they need to progress their vision and transform great ideas into impactful businesses. Kristin has served as an entrepreneurship and tech ecosystem builder in the Oklahoma City area since moving to Oklahoma in 2017 to serve as the Code Lab Manager supporting startup program development and community tech development programs. Previously, Kristin worked at a tech startup, Purepost, focused on solving Veteran hiring problems where her brother and father serve as co-founders with their team on the West Coast. She currently serves as the Global Entrepreneurship Week State Coordinator for Oklahoma, a member of the organizing team for 1 Million Cups Oklahoma City, an Adjunct for the OU Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Department and formerly for an Intro to MIS course, and former Board Member of Techlahoma.

    Kristin calls San Antonio, TX home and is a proud Army Brat who has traveled the world. She currently lives in Norman, OK with her husband Chris and their 3 dogs.

    Register for the February 14, 2024 OVF Power Lunch
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