Creative Oklahoma opens Entrepreneur Mentoring Program for second round of participants
Entrepreneurs throughout the Oklahoma City Metro area may now apply for the Oklahoma Entrepreneur Mentoring Program (OKEMP), an initiative of Creative Oklahoma.
The program, launched last year, provides entrepreneurs who are accepted with a long-term team of seasoned mentoring executives who help them with advice across a broad range of business activity, including product development, marketing, intellectual property law, finance, human resources, founders issues and professional growth.
Currently there are six entrepreneurs enrolled in OKEMP, most of whom have been meeting with their mentor teams over the last year. The goal is to at least double that number in this next round, said Meloyde Blancett, Creative Oklahoma’s Executive Director.
Doug Sorocco, shareholder with intellectual property law firm Dunlap Codding, chairs the program’s volunteer steering committee and said he is extremely encouraged at the success of the endeavor in its first year and believes the long-term benefits of the program will be significant.
“We have had amazing feedback from our current entrepreneurs. The main benefits from the program are that the entrepreneurs get to have meaningful time with senior mentors that stay with them throughout their entrepreneurial journey,” said Sorocco.
To accommodate this second round of entrepreneur participants, Creative Oklahoma has been recruiting mentors in an ongoing manner with the support of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. Entrepreneur applications may be made online at creativeoklahoma.org/okemp by Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 11:59p.m CT. The applicants who are chosen to participate in this next round will be announced Friday, June 26th, 2020 and invited to present their business to community leaders and all OKEMP mentors at an event July 14th (either in person or virtually as conditions permit).
The OKEMP program is a sister program to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Venture Mentoring Service (MIT VMS) considered by the prestigious Kauffman Foundation as the "Gold Standard" of entrepreneur mentoring programs. OKEMP was launched in February 2019 and has been helping an initial round of entrepreneurs with senior mentoring support. The OKEMP program gives the entrepreneurs the opportunity to work directly with seasoned, volunteer business executives in an unbiased, structured, long term and confidential team-mentoring approach.
OKEMP steering committee members are: Douglas J. Sorocco (Volunteer Chair Director), Dunlap Codding; Justin Hazzard, Center of Business Development, Meridian Technology Center; Susan Moring, Irani Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth, University of Oklahoma; Rex Smitherman, i2E; Thomas Wavering, Tom Love Innovation Hub and Price College Entrepreneurship,
University of Oklahoma.
OKEMP is generously supported by the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, Bank of the West - BNP Paribas and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.