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  • October 01, 2020 8:37 AM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    Jennifer McGrail

    Director, Launch Pad FT

    Francis Tuttle Technology Center

    “I have worked in a wide variety of backgrounds starting with the corporate world, moving into non-profit work, then higher education, and now look forward to helping new businesses make the leap into operation and ensure their continued success. My strengths lie in viewing the large picture for an organization and being able to manage projects to exceed the long term objectives and set the organization up to succeed in the future.”

    McGrail joined Launch Pad FT after serving three years as the small business management coordinator at Great Plains Technology Center in Lawton. McGrail earned a Master of Business Administration from Cameron University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Tulsa. McGrail has earned certification as a business incubation manager from the International Business Innovation Association.

    "Jennifer’s background in the small business sector, as well as her long ties to CareerTech, will serve her well as director of Launch Pad FT,” said Dr. Peggy Geib, Francis Tuttle assistant superintendent for business and industry services. "I am confident Jennifer is the right leader to guide our incubator and the new businesses we serve.”

    McGrail comes from a small business family and has extensive experience with many issues that small and start-up businesses regularly face, including insurance, business development, and recruitment. CareerTech is also in McGrail’s family. Her mother worked for 31 years at Great Plains.

  • October 01, 2020 8:31 AM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    “How Coronavirus and Other Infections Trigger Neurologic, Psychiatric and Behavioral Disorders” 

    October's Special Presentation will be by Craig Shimasaki,

    President & CEO, Moleculera Labs


    Dr. Craig Shimasaki is a scientist, businessperson, and serial entrepreneur with over 31 years of biotechnology industry experience, starting his career at Genentech. He co-founded four companies and is President & CEO of Moleculera Labs, a University of Oklahoma spin-out company focused on autoimmune neurobiology clinical laboratory testing. His passion is to see acutely needed medical products become readily available for patients who need them. He has assisted professors, physicians and scientists in translating their ideas into commercial products. He an Adjunct Professor at the University of Oklahoma, Price School of Business and teaches biotechnology entrepreneurship.

    Dr. Shimasaki is a co-inventor on several medical and diagnostic patents. His product development experience includes biologics, therapeutics, molecular diagnostics and medical devices, and he directed two CLIA Clinical Laboratories. He has led five clinical diagnostic tests through FDA approval and has been involved in raising over $60 million for these companies and participated in taking one company public. He has authored and edited two books “The Business of Bioscience: What Goes Into Making a Biotechnology Product” and “Biotechnology Entrepreneurship: Starting, Managing and Leading Biotech Companies”. He serves on several boards involved in entrepreneurial endeavors. Dr. Shimasaki received his BS in Biochemistry from University of California at Davis, his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Tulsa, and his MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business.

    Register to Attend

  • October 01, 2020 8:27 AM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    "Building a Technology Corridor in Oklahoma"

    Michael Carolina
    Executive Director, Oklahoma Center for the
     Advancement of

    Science & Technology (OCAST)

    By Dennis Spielman

    For over 30 years, the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) has been the state’s agency for technology development, technology transfer, and technology commercialization. With Governor Kevin Stitt’s goal to make Oklahoma a Top 10 state, OCAST is doing its part through partnerships and collaborations to stimulate economic development and technology-based economic development.

    “We help to get science and technology projects, support those through our grant process and elevate Oklahoma’s science and technology community so that we’re competitive nationally as well as globally,” explained OCAST’s Executive Director, Michael Carolina. “We have some leading-edge researchers and research companies that benefit from OCAST’s grants, and they’re able to attract federal grants as well as private money from the private sector to accelerate research to commercialization or conversion; the conversion of technology to the marketplace.”

    With the task to grow and diversify Oklahoma’s economy, Carolina described his job as atypical. Before joining OCAST, he worked in management and executive positions with the Western Electric Company, AT&T and Lucent Technologies. While with AT&T and Lucent Technologies, he was involved in engineering, strategic planning, new product design and introduction, manufacturing, technology transfer, and joint venture operations in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

    “I think in Oklahoma, we have an asset base here that’s pretty rich. Again, with our higher education system, with our industrial complex that includes energy and includes aerospace and defense, bio-science, biotechnology, information technology, manufacturing, healthcare,” Carolina said. “The healthcare industry is growing, and so I think there are a lot of things that we can point to that are strengths in a global economy.”

    One example of OCAST’s success stories, which Carolina plans to discuss during his presentation for OVF, is the work of Craig Shimasaki at Moleculera Labs.

    “[Moleculera Labs] is doing some work now on the impact of COVID or the correlation of COVID and brain health and mental health,” Carolina said. “That’s a real success story. Craig Shimasaki was able to take an OCAST grant and leverage that with federal dollars as well as private investment to move the autism spectrum along. Hopefully, we’ll have some effective treatments for it.”

    From research to pre-seed dollars to seed capital dollars to manufacturing through intern partnerships, OCAST is developing the local talent base Oklahoma needs to go forward and keep the state from losing engineering STEM talent.

    “If we have the kind of industrial base that’s attractive to our graduates when they leave our higher education system, they’re more likely to stay in the state because they have jobs in their specific areas of study,” explained Carolina. “We can organically grow our own businesses from scratch. And that's basically our task as OCAST, to help businesses grow organically.”

    For Oklahoma to be top 10 in more areas, Carolina said it would require some strategic investment. By taking advantage of our geography, educational assets at the university level, industrial base, and the pioneer spirit of Oklahoma’s citizens, he believes we can make a difference and make Oklahoma relevant and competitive on a national and international scale.

    “It requires working with our politicians, our legislature, the governor, and his team saying, how do we coalesce those assets, so that Oklahoma becomes not a Silicon Valley, but we can become a technology corridor,” Carolina said.

    Michael Carolina will be speaking at the Oklahoma Venture Forum Power Lunch on Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Be sure to register for the online ZOOM event to learn more about OCAST, ask your questions, and network with entrepreneurs in Oklahoma. As a member, he encourages others to join the community and help with new ideas. He is looking to addressing the OVF and having some dialogue about where people think we should go next.

    Register to Attend

  • August 27, 2020 5:30 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    August 27th - 5:30 pm- 7:00 pm ONLINE

    Register for login

    Guest Speaker:
    Nathaniel Harding with Cortado Ventures Nathaniel Harding with Cortado Ventures discusses disruptive technology startups
    in the midst of a pandemic.

    Join Oklahoma business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs for networking breakouts and updates on all that is new with OVF membership this year.

    Membership in the OVF is essential for any business, organization, group or individual involved in economic development on a local, state or national level.

    Please register for log in details for this online event. 

    We will be giving away gift cards to some lucky attendees. 

    Door Prize Sponsor

  • August 25, 2020 3:20 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    Oklahoma Venture Forum relies on sponsorship to help fund the programs and quality content that we provide each month. OVF is also a great audience for promoting your company. 

    We are about to begin the 34th session of the Oklahoma Venture Forum and we want to make sure that our guests and members can continue to enjoy venture pitch presentations and success stories from the founders of Oklahoma. 

    This year we will explore:

    • Venture Investing
    • Electronic Vehicles
    • Workflow and Marketing Software
    • Bot SMS
    • Agriculture Technology, and many other topics. 

    You can see below that we have new opportunities to position your business in front of OVF Members and guests at our monthly online Power Lunches. Each lunch will have three breakout networking sessions that will offer an opportunity for company logo visibility and slogan mentions at a very economical rate.

    In May we will host the OVF Awards recognizing the Venture of the Year, Most Promising New Business and Economic Impact Awards. This event offers a variety of levels of sponsorship options.

    There are several choices for introducing your organization to OVF guests and members, while helping to support OVF!

    • Networking Sponsor for Monthly Zoom Power Lunches $150.00 (24 available)
    • Newsletter ad 2"x 3" (1 issues) $200.00
    • Newsletter ad 2"x 3" Full Session $1,200.00
    • Newsletter ad 2"x 6" Full Session $2,000.00
    • Door Prize Sponsor $300.00
    • Venture of the Year Recognition Sponsor $2,000.00
    • Most Promising New Business Recognition Sponsor $2,000.00
    • Economic Impact Recognition Sponsor $2,000.00
    • Awards Event Title Sponsor $10,000.00
    • Awards Event Table Sponsor $1,200.00 (4 available)
    • OVF After Hours Sponsor $1,000.00 (TBA)

    Click the More Information button to see additional information or to select your sponsorship now.

    Best regards,
    Oklahoma Venture Forum

  • August 25, 2020 3:15 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    Chairman's Perspective
    Danny Slusarchuk
    Standards IT

    First, let me say thank you for evolving with Oklahoma Venture Forum.  Initially a significant challenge for our organization to lay on more technology.  As OVF moves to meet these new challenges they present new opportunities that we are quite excited about. 

    How do we impact more Oklahoma businesses across the state?  How can we continue to provide the best economic content for our members?  What do we have to modify to keep networking relevant?  Tough questions.  Good thing we have a top-notch Board of Directors, a laser focused Executive Committee, and our Executive Director, Che’ to keep it all moving. 

    With those questions and new challenges in mind here is what is exciting and some new stuff too.  First off, our membership kick-off will go down on August 27that 5:30pm (virtual).  Invite someone!  Go do it now and don’t miss out on Nathanial Harding from Cortado Ventures speak.  He is all about moving the needle in Oklahoma.  Next up we will talk about renewable energy technologies in Oklahoma. We have David Jankowsky of Francis Renewable Energy of Tulsa, who will talk about their225Electronic Vehicle Fast Charging Stations, the third largest and most comprehensive charging station system in the nation, granting EV owners access points every 50 miles for recharging.  The September Pitch Presentation will be from Jared Boehs, CPL of HyQ Technologies out of Edmond. HyQ Technologies is a company focused on recycling produced water into distilled water and other valuable by-products through a market disrupting water recycling technology. This price-competitive, oilfield conscious alternative to disposal, increases capacity in place and delivers substantial volumes of fresh, distilled water for beneficial re-use.

    OVF offers a lot of great live content, and with our virtual/hybrid events our programming can be accessed statewide. Virtual and hybrid events allow us to tailor content packages through membership levels.  Check out our new Founder/Entrepreneur and Incubator Level memberships.  OVF plays an important role in Oklahoma’s economic ecosystem, it offers support for innovation and entrepreneurship with critical industry networking, informative content, and recognition.  Join with the membership that works for you, invite other to do so as well.  Our organization has an incredible impact on the State, and through OVF we can all participate.

    All the details are at OVF.ORG.

  • August 25, 2020 3:14 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    OVF Member Profile

    Henry Dumas, Moore Norman Technology Center

    Henry is passionate about helping business owners to stabilize and grow their businesses through one on one executive coaching. With over 30 years of private sector experience helping companies succeed in roles such as Sales Manager, Small Business Owner, Agency Manager, Chief Financial Officer, Public Accounting-Audit and Controller as well as certifications earned as Professional Certified Coach (ICF) and GrowthWheel Certified Business Advisor, he is well positioned to engage, enlighten and empower business owners.

    Henry believes the role of a coach is to partner with clients to capitalize on their strengths, elevate their thinking, expand their capacity and challenge the paradigms and mental models that may be getting in their way. Henry presents his clients with objective views of where and who they are and enables them to create and implement plans to take them where they need – and want – to be. By changing their thinking patterns, clients often find that they more effectively lead, build relationships, think strategically and communicate with others. Henry is an active listener and enthusiastic partner who listens for understanding, asks powerful questions, provides meaningful feedback and helps his clients to reframe their own thinking and behavioral patterns to achieve outstanding results.

    Henry combines his broad and deep real-world business experience with the best coaching tools and methods available. He is action-oriented and shares his clients’ sense of urgency to deliver results. Henry is skilled at working with high-potential leaders who are at the top of their game and must be rapidly groomed for higher level positions as well as those who are technically skilled or strategically important but who need to be more effective with their bosses, peers or teams.

  • August 25, 2020 3:11 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    September 9th 

    Pitch Presenter
    Jared Boehs HyQ Technologies

    HyQ Technologies is a waste water recycling equipment manufacturer and service provider focused on reclaiming waste water streams, such as oilfield produced water, into distilled water and a concentrated waste stream. HyQ’s mission is generating profit from waste while driving clean energy stewardship. The oil and gas industry is our initial target market, where U.S. produced water volumes surpass the crude oil market by four fold, at ~1.02 trillion gallons per year. Significant constraints exist across the industry with the volume of produced water to be disposed and the fresh water that is required for drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations.  HyQ directly answers these constraints. Produced water enters our process, is recycled, and exits as two separate byproducts: distilled water and a concentrated brine slurry. Reuse applications of the distilled water and concentrated slurry are implemented, and the remaining slurry is then disposed. Customer benefits include cost reductions in their waste stream, reduced environmental risk, deceased trucking of produced water, increased capacity (through concentration) for existing disposal wells, and positive environmental impact. Beneficial reuse of HyQ’s distilled water byproduct includes agriculture irrigation, aquifer recharge, surface discharge, and reuse through oil and gas operations to prevent further sourcing of fresh water. Waste stream byproducts for potential harvesting include salt, lithium, iodine, and other rare element extraction.

    Our turn-key services will drive down operating expenses and provide long-term value to both our customers and the environment. HyQ differentiates from current industry treatment options by producing fresh distilled water, rather than treating to a clean brine, only to be used for hydraulic fracturing operations. In industry downturns, where traditional disposal is the only mechanism for handling and disposing produced water, HyQ provides an alternative. Beyond oil and gas, opportunities are ripe in treating landfill leachate, power plant blowdown, mining tailings, brackish water, reverse osmosis reject and more. Our unique, modular technology provides for a cost competitive and diverse market implementation strategy. We recognize the importance of technology validation; therefore, we performed lab testing in March 2019 and a successful field demonstration, on oilfield produced water, within the Arkoma Basin of Oklahoma in July and August 2019.

    Jared has 16 years of experience in the land sector of the oil and gas industry.  Jared began his career as a field landman, transitioned to owning and operating a lease brokerage firm, and served as Land Manager for a small independent gaining experience drilling wells and managing minerals across the U.S.  Jared then moved on to found a mineral and land management firm.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics with a minor in Finance from Oklahoma State University and maintains certifications as a Certified Professional Landman (CPL) and a professional level Certified Minerals Manager (CMM).  His industry experience, coupled with 22+ years in production agriculture, provides a unique point of view on produced water management.

  • August 25, 2020 3:08 PM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    Virtual Power Lunch Guest Speaker David Jankowsky with Francis Renewable Energy

    Eliminating EV Range Anxiety in Oklahoma and Beyond

    Written by Dennis Spielman

    With origins in the solar-power industry, David Jankowsky saw a problem in the electric vehicle market. With billions going into EV technology, Jankowsky noticed little of that funding was going towards infrastructure. While Tesla Motors may have popularized the electric car and built their superchargers, they ’re all closed source.

    We know there ’s literally going to be hundreds of car manufacturers in the next five, ten years coming out with electric vehicles, and they would not be able to use the Tesla superchargers, so we solved that problem,” said Jankowsky.We developed and installed universal chargers, so any car in the world can use them, including Tesla drivers. We solved the range-anxiety issue, meaning no one ’s going to buy a car if there ’s no infrastructure to fuel them if they ’re away from their home.”

    The Francis EV Charging Network solved range anxiety in Oklahoma by having a charging station every 50 miles. One could travel from Broken Bow to Guymon in their electric car. Jankowsky notes that one may have to drive 10 to 20 miles out of the way to access a charger because they currently don ’t have enough in Oklahoma. The first phase of the network features 225 fast-charging stations across 109 strategically located sites in Oklahoma, including small towns.

    Weve done a lot of rural development, and we basically said, ‘Well bring a charger here, pay for everything, and it ’s going to cause basically drivers that have been stuck on the highways at the travel stops at the gas stations, they ’re going to have to come into your town to charge, and by the way, they ’re going to be captive there for about 60 minutes,’” said Jankowsky.When we go to the travel stops on the highways, no one wants to wait 60 minutes to charge their car, so that ’s where we ’ve put in super-duper chargers, we got to call them something at some point, they can charge cars in seven to nine or 10 minutes. That ’s very much equivalent to current gas stations.”

    The public infrastructure for EVs is not going to look the same when compared to gas. Jankowsky sees electric stations being moreubiquitous” as they ’ll be able to go everywhere and anywhere. When people are at the office, shopping for groceries, or eating a meal, there ’ll be a charger.

    There won ’t be like six chargers on one corner, and six chargers on another corner like you see in the gas space, and there ’s a variety of reasons for that,” said Jankowsky.It ’s not going to develop the same way gas stations developed because quite simply, you don ’t need as many out there as you do gas pumps because people can charge their car at home typically at night, which is where about 90% of the charging is going to take place.”

    As a startup in Oklahoma, Jankowsky finds people are surprised to learn they we able to install 225 superchargers across the state.

    That ’s never been done before,” said Jankowsky.Our largest competitors are definitely not doing 250 charging stations a year, and I mean, we ’re just one data point, but Oklahoma really has, and I preach this to everyone that will listen, we have this unique ability or position where we could be the EV capital of the world, both in terms of the technology, so there ’s a lot of technology in these chargers, it ’s mostly software-based technology, we have the manufacturing capabilities to do it here.”

    Looking forward to the future, Francis Energy is expanding into 30 states to build the network out from Oklahoma. There are also plans to upgrade existing stations, which they ’ll continue to do until Oklahoma can take care of every car on the road. In addition to the expansions, they ’re working on an app.

    Like competitors, the app will allow users to find stations, initiate a charge, offer a discount, and more. One feature Jankowsky explained is that people will be able to stay in their car and connect to a free wifi hotspot while they wait for a delivery. Stations are separately addressed, allowing orders to come directly to that charging station.

    There are so many cool things that we can do with the software that ’s in the chargers themselves to create this great user experience,” said Jankowsky.It ’s not perfected yet, and so some of our concern is we have drivers out there that are using our stations that might not be having the best experience, and we want to let people know, ‘Hey, this is new. This is novel. We ’re working on the bugs, we ’re working on the kinks, but it ’s going to be great, just stay patient with us, and then here ’s what we ’re doing to help the user experience.’”

    David Jankowsky will be speaking at the Oklahoma Venture Forum Power Lunch on Wednesday, September 9th, 2020. Be sure to register for the online ZOOM event to learn more about Francis Renewable Energy, hear a Pitch Presentation by HyQ Technologies, and to network with entrepreneurs an innovators in Oklahoma. Read more about the September Pitch Presenter below. 

  • August 21, 2020 11:35 AM | Ché Loessberg (Administrator)

    OVF is always looking from early startup companies to come and give their elevator pitch to our members and guests. We are currently holding virtual/hybrid events and welcome Pitch Presenters from anywhere in Oklahoma.

    Applications can be downloaded from the OVF website using the link below.

    Apply Here

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