New Oklahoma Entrepreneur Mentoring Program (OKEMP) launches
Creative Oklahoma has chosen five promising entrepreneurs to be the first included in its inaugural Oklahoma Entrepreneur Mentorship Program (OKEMP), an initiative licensed from and modeled after the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Venture Mentoring Service.
This statewide non-profit program provides free in-person mentorship and coaching to emerging entrepreneurs by matching them with teams of experienced Oklahoma business leaders and subject matter experts.
The five entrepreneurs selected for inclusion in OKEMP are:
ACTOVOS | Daniel France
ittybam, an Oklahoma City-based tech consulting company, has created a new product called ACTOVOS that is poised to revolutionize the way child welfare specialists connect with potential foster parents.
ITOT | Rick Stiles
Rick Stiles developed a biometric trigger lock for handguns that is easy to use and quickly removed in emergency situations, thereby reducing the number of unintentional gun-related deaths and injuries. ITOT’s fully functional prototype has been widely praised within the gun industry and has seen substantial interest from both gun owners and law enforcement.
MIMOSA HEALTH | Trang Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen’s Mimosa Health seeks to reduce the number of medication poisoning deaths and bend the healthcare cost curve downward by ensuring seniors and their physicians are supplied with critical data that will reduce the risks of stacked prescription medicine, often a serious problem with seniors.
QADOSH | Travis Hartfield
Qadosh Health and Wellness Experience works with employers and professionals to proactively addresses the negative effects from occupational burnout, impacting the retention of employees and the potential productivity losses that result.
WEATHERDEEP | Dr. Ashton Cook
WeatherDeep seeks to provide extended‐range forecasts for severe and extreme weather for military and commercial applications to save lives while improving armed forces readiness and deployment capabilities.
"Most Fortune 500 companies started in humble beginnings, some in garages with a couple entrepreneurs and an idea. Transitioning from idea to established business with revenue-generating products was guided by experienced mentors throughout their journey. Seasoned mentors are a critical part of success for entrepreneurs. We are excited to have launched our own OKEMP Mentorship program based upon an MIT mentoring model. We believe that creative entrepreneurial business solving unmet needs in society and business will diversify our Oklahoma economy and strengthen our business acumen such that we will continue to be the best place to launch a business," said Dr. Craig Shimasaki, volunteer Co-Director of OKEMP.
Douglas Sorocco, volunteer Co-Director of OKEMP, said the program’s steering committee decided to pursue working with the MIT Venture Mentoring Service because of its successful results. It counts among its accomplishments serving more than 2,400 start-ups, mentoring 260 ventures, with 275 companies launched, and $2.7 billion in capital raised. MIT’s VMS program has achieved a 4.8 entrepreneur satisfaction rating on a scale of 5 -- the true measure of a successful mentoring program.
OKEMP was developed and will continue to be operated in collaboration with Creative Oklahoma partners i2E, the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, the OKC Chamber of Commerce, and OG&E.