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  • August 30, 2023 4:50 PM | Anonymous

    Kathryn Floyd
    Business Development

    Kathryn Floyd joined NOW CFO in 2022, starting the market here in Oklahoma. NOW CFO is a “roll-up our sleeves” full service consulting firm with a singular focus on outsourced CFO, Controller, accounting, and finance needs. With offices throughout the United States, NOW CFO can prepare your organization for the future by implementing proven financial processes and complete financial visibility. NOW CFO’s outsourced accounting services are available on a fractional, part-time, or as-needed basis.

    Kathryn has extensive experience in the business development field, starting and extending markets across Oklahoma. They excel at bringing creative solutions to the table and building networking ecosystems. Kathryn recognizes and values the trust that their clients have in them and consistently exceeds their expectations. Kathryn possesses true passion to help their clients with any accounting problems they may be facing while simultaneously setting them up for success for the future.

    Register here to attend the September 13, 2023 Power Lunch

  • August 08, 2023 1:50 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)


    As we start this new OVF session, and for many, a new fiscal year, I am thrilled to take over as chair for 2023-2024!

    Oklahoma continues to expand resources for entrepreneurs, small business, and enterprise level ventures. Organizations like OVF are special because we have the unique opportunity to put all of those ecosystem builders and members together monthly– from service providers, to educational institutions, founders, funders, agencies, tribes, and more – we all are part of a community working toward the common goal of improving Oklahoma’s economy. OVF contributes by providing original content, intentional networking, and has been a trusted supporter of Oklahoma business interest since 1987. I’m grateful to Jennifer McGrail as she steps into the role of past chair and I’m excited about my executive committee and board as we have been hard at work for you during this summer break.

    August doesn’t just signal a new OVF year, it’s also for renewals and to recruit new members. There are many ways for members to engage and connect. Explore our membership tiers and find what fits best for you as an organization or an individual. If you’ve been a member for a long time, you might notice a few new things, namely, there will be 3 power lunches in Tulsa, a new OKC power lunch venue, increased value through guest passes, diversified sponsorship opportunities, expanded networking after the lunch meetings, and committees where you can share your talents to take OVF to the next level.

    Please join us on August 24th for our annual membership drive at MADHOPPER Brewing – I want to tell you about everything in person! Our first power lunch of the year will be held at MetroTech Springlake on September 13th.

    Register to Attend

  • May 03, 2023 1:38 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    Entrepreneurial Champion Award

    The Oklahoma Innovative Technology Alliance and the Oklahoma Venture Forum are honored to present the award for Entrepreneurial Champion to Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell.


    Matt Pinnell was elected as the 17th Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma on November 6, 2018. Pinnell is President of the Oklahoma State Senate and serves on multiple constitutional boards and commissions. He is also Secretary of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage on Governor Kevin Stitt’s cabinet.

    Pinnell is a recruiter for companies looking to move or expand to Oklahoma. Each year, he hosts the Lt. Governor’s Turkey Hunt, a two-week event that showcases Oklahoma to prospective out-of-state companies and site selection representatives. He launched a statewide rebrand in 2020, a campaign that has streamlined state agency processes and saved taxpayer dollars.

    As an entrepreneur himself, Pinnell champions small business growth. He serves on the Oklahoma Department of Commerce committee focused on small business growth, entrepreneurship, and workforce development. In 2022, he launched ‘A Look at Oklahoma CareerTech,’ a video interview series that showcases the education and employment opportunities the state’s CareerTech system provides.

    Attend the OVF Awards

  • May 03, 2023 1:36 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    Award for Economic Impact 

    The Oklahoma Venture forum is honored to present the award for Economic Impact to the Cattlemen's Congress. 

    Cattlemen's Congress creating an economic impact
    by filling a void
    by Dennis Spielman

    Cattlemen's Congress, a unique event focused exclusively on cattle shows, has been awarded the prestigious Venture Forum Economic Impact Award. The Oklahoma-based organization was established in the winter of 2020 to provide a venue for cattlemen and cattlewomen across the United States to showcase and market their elite purebred genetics. 

    The award-winning event was born out of necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the National Western, a major livestock show in Denver, was canceled. The first-ever Cattlemen's Congress filled the void left by the canceled show, initially planning to operate for just one year.  

    “There was a lot of concern by the agriculture industry nationwide and cattlemen across the US that they had to keep that cattle industry moving from many different perspectives, from marketing, from their livelihoods, and also even a little bit to the food chain,” said Tyler Norvell, Secretary of the Board for Cattlemen's Congress. “So Oklahoma stepped up and we hosted the first ever Cattlemen's Congress to fill in for the National Western”  

    However, due to its tremendous success and the positive economic impact on Oklahoma City, the event continued. Tyler Norvell and Bray Haven, Executive Vice President, explained that their event is unique in that it focuses solely on cattle shows, without any additional components such as rodeos or carnivals. The strategic location of Oklahoma City at the crossroads of major highways I-40 and I-35 allows for easy access and places the event in the heart of cattle country. 

    "We're right here in the heart of cattle country,” said Haven. “Oklahoma's got a lot of cattlemen, a lot of people in the purebred cattle industry, but just simply right here in the middle of the US helps us a lot too. Makes us unique.” 

    The Cattlemen's Congress has drawn participants from 44 states and 5 countries, with exhibitors representing 60% of the US herd. The Venture Forum Economic Impact Award recognizes the exceptional contribution the event has made to Oklahoma City and the state as a whole. 

    As they look to the future, the organization aims to continue growing and expanding, particularly by involving more international visitors. They also plan to focus on educational conferences that teach cattlemen about industry trends, technology, and meeting consumer demands. 

    “One thing we're really starting to focus on now is international visitors,” said Haven. “We're really expanding in South America and the interest there. The way we see it is that's really our opportunity to grow because these first three years we've really captured as much of the market as we probably can in the US." 

    Both Norvell and Haven expressed their gratitude for the recognition from their peers and emphasized the hard work and dedication of the entire Cattlemen's Congress team. The event's success is a testament to the spirit of Oklahoma and the support it has received from various stakeholders, including the governor, state legislature, Oklahoma City Chamber, and Visitors Bureau. 

    "Winning this award is just a true testament of Oklahoman hospitality and the good people of Oklahoma and the good policy that we have here, the good leadership that we have here in our state,” said Haven.  

    The 2023 OVF Awards will take place at the Oklahoma History Center on May 18th, 2023, from 11 am to 1:30 pm. Details and tickets are available at  

    Attend the OVF Awards

  • May 03, 2023 1:33 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    Mike Beckham, CEO of Simple Modern

    From Nonprofit to Entrepreneurship: Mike Beckham's Journey to Building Purpose-Driven Simple Modern

    by Dennis Spielman

    Simple Modern, an Oklahoma-based company, is well-known for its stylish and high-quality drinkware products. Despite being in a highly competitive market, the company has managed to work with major brands such as Marvel, Disney, and Target, which Mike Beckham attributes to a combination of vision, execution, and a bit of luck.

    “There's a long story about how we got our very first license,” said Mike Beckham, CEO of Simple Modern. “If you look at all the licenses we have, the very first one was I had to get what's called a local license with the University of Oklahoma. And I thought that would be a piece of cake, because I'd had some success in the business world, and I was an alumni of OU. And I was wrong. It was not a piece of cake. I had to really fight for it and work for it to convince OU that I was somebody that they wanted to license.”

    Mike Beckham shared that his journey into entrepreneurship wasn't a typical one. With a background in finance and nonprofit work, he lacked initially confidence in pursuing business ventures until his younger brother brought up the idea of starting a company together in 2009. This experience transformed his perspective, helping him realize his skills were well-suited for building businesses. Although Simple Modern has grown significantly, Beckham still considers it a startup, showcasing his ongoing passion for entrepreneurship.

    “I think it was the way that I first got vision and the confidence that entrepreneurship was something that I could do, and that my skills could actually really work in building a business, and so I caught the bug, I think,” said Beckham.

    Beckham’s experience working for a cause-oriented organization allowed him to develop a strong sense of purpose and commitment to giving back, which became the foundation for Simple Modern's mission-driven culture. By integrating philanthropic values into the company's core strategy, Beckham has been able to create a business that not only focuses on generating profits but also actively contributes to the betterment of society.

    "Our goal at Simple Modern is to create a business that is about more than just generating profits, but also about giving back and making the world a better place,” said Beckham.

    Mike Beckham emphasizes the importance of defining success as learning and cultivating a growth mindset. He believes that skilled experimentation accelerates learning and leads to innovative solutions. Despite increasing automation, Beckham remains optimistic about the future of entrepreneurship as a career choice.

    “One of the best pieces of advices that I can offer to somebody that's a young entrepreneur, is that if you develop a growth mindset and you become very good at experimentation, it almost inevitably will lead to value creation, because you start to learn really rapidly about customers and what they want, and their needs, and how to fix it, and what works and what doesn't, and how to pivot, and as you pivot, how to learn more,” said Beckham.

    In the upcoming Oklahoma Venture Forum Awards Show, Beckham will be the keynote speaker. He plans to share more about Simple Modern's story and focus on the importance of mission-driven leadership in entrepreneurship. Additionally, Beckham aims to share some of the lessons he's learned throughout his 14-year journey in the world of startups.

    “I love being a part of supporting this community, and I love what OVF is all about,” said Beckham.

    Attend the OVF Awards

  • May 01, 2023 1:26 PM | Anonymous

    OVF Chairwoman
    Jennifer McGrail, Executive Director
    Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science & Technology

    As my term as Chair of the Oklahoma Venture Forum comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you. It has been an immense honor and privilege to serve our community and work alongside such dedicated, talented individuals. Together, we have made significant strides in fostering entrepreneurship, driving innovation, and creating a supportive ecosystem for business growth in our great state.

    During my tenure, I have had the pleasure of witnessing our members' unwavering commitment to Oklahoma's entrepreneurial spirit. Your passion and hard work have had a profound impact, and I am confident that our organization will continue to thrive.

    As we celebrate our accomplishments, I would like to cordially invite you all to OVF Awards Luncheon, taking place on May 18th. This event will honor our outstanding entrepreneurs, startups, and organizations that have made remarkable contributions. We will also be announcing the winners of this year's prestigious OVF awards, which celebrate exceptional innovation and economic impact.

    Once again, thank you for allowing me to serve as your Chair. I look forward to seeing you at the Awards Event and continuing to support the Oklahoma Venture Forum in the years to come.

    Kindest Regards,

    Jennifer McGrail
    OVF Chair, 2022-2023

    Register to attend 2023 OVF Awards Event

  • April 04, 2023 2:42 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)


    Featuring Keynote Speaker Mike Beckham, Chief Executive Officer of Simple Modern

    OKLAHOMA CITY (April 5th, 2023) – Oklahoma Venture Forum will host the 2023 OVF Awards ceremony on May 18th, 2023, at the Oklahoma History Center. This year’s awards ceremony features keynote speaker Mike Beckham, Chief Executive Officer of Simple Modern. 

    The Oklahoma Venture Forum is a non-profit organization formed in 1987 to encourage economic development in Oklahoma. The organization provides opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs, and others to exchange ideas and experiences to grow new and existing small businesses. 

    The OVF Awards are among the most prestigious recognitions an Oklahoma company can receive. They represent the triumph of the entrepreneurial dream and spirit. Evaluation criteria for the Venture of the Year and Most Promising New Venture awards is based on product or service innovation, market potential, potential economic impact, and more.

    The Oklahoma Venture Forum has announced the finalists for this year’s OVF Awards. The 2023 Venture of the Year finalists include: Martin Bionics, Simple Modern, and MaxQ Research, LLC. The 2023 finalists for the Most Promising New Venture include IV Ensure, Volt, and Totem Technologies, LLC. Please join us at the ceremony to find out who this year’s award recipients will be. 

    These awards along with additional categories of Incubator Tenant, Entrepreneurial Champion and Economic Impact will be presented at this year’s OVF Awards luncheon. Sponsors for these recognitions and for the event include Moore Norman Technology Center, Oklahoma Business Incubator Association (OKBIA), Oklahoma Innovative Technology Association (OITA), Cortado Ventures, AXIS at Francis Tuttle Technology Center, and Standards IT.  

    “The OVF Awards play a significant role in boosting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Oklahoma. The annual event recognizes and celebrates the innovative ideas and accomplishments of our own startups. By highlighting the success of these entrepreneurs, the OVF awards help to inspire and motivate others in the community to pursue their own entrepreneurial endeavors. “explains Jennifer McGrail, Chair of Oklahoma Venture Forum. 

    The 2023 OVF Awards will be hosted on May 18th, 2023, at the Oklahoma History Center. This event is open to the public and registration is $125 for non-members. Registration is required and can be done online through the website: For any inquiries about the awards event, please contact Che’ Loessberg at 

    Register to Attend

  • March 28, 2023 2:51 PM | Anonymous

    OVF Chairwoman
    Jennifer McGrail, Executive Director
    Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science & Technology

    From the shopping cart to the parking meter, through some of the most recent lifesaving treatments, innovation is no April Fool’s joke in Oklahoma! I am thrilled to invite you all to the upcoming April Power Pitch Lunch of the Oklahoma Venture Forum. Our April event brings a great lineup of companies currently solving complex problems and bring disruptive technologies to market.

    Finally, I want to remind our members that our entrepreneurial ecosystem is growing rapidly, and we are always looking for new ways to add value and support to our community. If you have any feedback, ideas, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any member of our board. You can also submit ideas via the OVF Wishlist

    I look forward to seeing you all on April 12th for another exciting Oklahoma Venture Forum lunch!

    Kindest Regards,

    Jennifer McGrail
    OVF Chair, 2022-2023

    Register to attend April Luncheon

  • March 27, 2023 4:50 PM | Anonymous

    Tim Burg
    Economic Developer
    Moore Norman Technology Center

    Timothy A. Burg currently serves as the Economic Developer for the Moore Norman Technology Center, a position he has held since August of 2021.

    Prior to that he was the Economic Development Director for Shawnee Forward, a business alliance formed by the merger of the Shawnee Economic Development Foundation, (SEDF) and the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce.

    In his role as an economic developer his duties often include new Business and Industry Attraction, Retail Recruitment, and oversight of the Business Retention and Expansion program. He is also active in areas of Workforce Development, Economic Development Marketing, Property Management, Research and analyzing data used in the economic development profession.

    Prior to assuming his duties with Moore Norman and Shawnee Forward, for a decade Burg was the Executive Director for the SEDF where he was managed a team of local business leaders that has been credited with assisting local manufacturers in making new capital investments, through facility expansions and modernization, which has led to significantly increased employment levels. In addition, during the ten years with the SEDF, that organization was a catalyst for recruitment of new industries, the development of several large retail projects, and attracting numerous national retailers to the community.

    Prior to joining the SEDF, for seven years Burg served as the Assistant Director for the Ponca City Development Authority, (PCDA) - a stand-alone 501-C3 public trust. In this capacity, he was recognized for his outstanding business expansion and retention initiatives by Governor Brad Henry, and in 2007 was the recipient of the International Economic Development Council’s Private Public partnership Award.

    His blend of expertise and perspective in economic development can be traced to three significant experiences in his career. For eight years, he owned and operated his own general contracting firm and for over twenty-five years, he has been a recognized leader in the field of construction and engineering. Burg was acknowledged nationally for his design/build work.

    Burg’s hands on career has allowed him to develop a unique perspective and insight into business operations, manufacturing, real estate development, construction, and renovation processes, along with the inner workings of economic development, from both the volunteer and practitioner outlook. He has over 30 years of experience in economic development, 20 as a paid professional and 10 as a volunteer.

    Immediately prior to involvement in economic development, he was the Director of Engineering for Via Christi Oklahoma Regional Medical Center, a 160-bed medical/trauma center in Ponca City. While serving in this position, Burg received national recognition by the American Society of Healthcare Engineers, (ASHE) for his work.

    In his tenure, Burg has been exceedingly active in workforce development serving on a state, regional and local level for over seventeen years. Burg also played a key role with the Ponca City Planning Commission board for a period of over ten years. In addition to his numerous civic and professional positions, Burg was awarded recognition as the Chamber of Commerce Ambassador for the Year in 1994 and served as the Chairman/President of the Ponca City Chamber of Commerce in 1996, while continuing to operate his own general contracting firm.

    Burg is a 2005 graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma, (OU/EDI). He earned designation as Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) in 2006 and is one of only 1200 certified economic developers in the world.

    Burg was a board member with the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, for seven years and served on the Oklahoma Baptist University’s College of Business, Board of Executives. For six years he served on the faculty of University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute and for several years served as an instructor at the Community Development Institute with the University of Central Arkansas, in Conway AR.

    He and his wife Linda have been married for 38 years, have two grown children, five grandchildren.

  • February 22, 2023 3:02 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    Bobby Rockers

    Chief Technology Officer

    Bobby Rockers is the Chief Technology Officer of Bison Technologies, a software-enabled service company that digitizes oilfield logistics. Starting in 2019 to solve the problem of using paper ticket books to keep track of work orders, Bison Technologies has since added dispatching, price booking, and integration to ERPs, growing the company to over 200 employees, including 50 engineers. Rockers is passionate about building the technology ecosystem in Oklahoma and believes the lack of experienced tech startups that can scale is a problem.

    “One of the problems that we continually run into is the lack of experienced tech startups that have been able to scale and to get to that point where they get approached for external funding and actually just take off,” said Bobby Rockers. “And the reason for that is usually not the reason that people think.”

    Rockers explained the state needs experienced fast-growing startups that can act as force multipliers for the next generation of startups. Many other communities with thriving tech ecosystems began with a company that was able to grow and scale fast. The experience gained from those companies created a culture of mentorship and development for future tech startups. Although Oklahoma has had some successful tech startups, the lack of mentorship and development opportunities means a gap in the state’s tech ecosystem. Rockers believes Bison Technologies has gained significant experience and can help mentor and develop future tech companies in Oklahoma.

    “It’s incumbent upon us, people like the Bison Technologies of the world, to get involved and to just help people not run into the same roadblocks, to push them to move quickly, to understand the trade-offs of the things they’re doing so that they’ve got the opportunity to know that what they’re doing will actually work and that they can be successful at it.”

    To build a flourishing tech ecosystem, Rockers said it’s essential for startups to expand and connect with people in other markets. However, the startup culture in Oklahoma can be isolating.

    “Collectively, we have those resources,” said Rockers. “It’s just a matter of opening ourselves up as a whole to those resources so that the developers have the chance to be successful.”

    Rockers said OVF could be a catalyst for the change we need to see in Oklahoma, but we’re going to be hamstrung by our ability to grow if we can’t grow a vibrant, specifically tech-focused startup culture.

    “The group that’s there has the collective resources to be the mentors and the gatekeepers and the resources to make that community vibrant and successful. And that’s what I hope to get out of it is that the people who come out of there come away with the passion and the desire and the intensity to say, ‘Hey, we can do this, and this is something that can change the skyline of Oklahoma for the next hundred years.’”

    Bobby Rockers will speak to Oklahoma Venture Forum Power Lunch members on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. The event will be held at The Venue at Crew Work Space in Downtown Oklahoma City from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm and will be open to members and guests both in-person and virtually via ZOOM. Rockers said communities such as OVF are essential, and we should leverage each other.

    “It’s the serendipity of people from different backgrounds and stuff running into each other and coming up with new ideas and making those connections and saying, ‘Hey, I know a guy that does social media stuff. You probably should talk to them.’ Or, ‘Hey, I know somebody who’s been able to get auto-scaling for ten million+ customers at a reasonable price.” Or, ‘Oh, I know somebody who’s had problems with product market fit in this particular thing. Let me hook you up with somebody that’s got product experience.’ And so I think that that’s important. And initiatives like OVF and the Tech Plus Plus events and some of the work that Techlahoma is doing is super important, and we need to expand that, and in some cases professionalize that.”

    Attend the Power Lunch

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