The event occurred on November 7th, 2012 at the Will Rogers Theatre in Oklahoma City. We had a packed house of over 150 angel investors, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and supporters in attendance to see our first four startup teams deliver their pitches on-stage.
We also had remarks by the Lieutenant Governor, remarks by venture capitalist and author, Brad Feld, and a guest panel made up of central US venture capitalists.
Our Managing Director and Master of Ceremonies for the event, Kraettli L. Epperson, kicked off the event by welcoming the crowd and reading a passage from guest speaker, Brad Feld’s new book, Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City. The passage focused on how to avoid the mistake of inter-regional competition, and to instead foster connections and cooperation.
He then introduced Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb who welcomed both in-state and out-of-state visitors and talked about why Oklahoma is a great place to grow a business.
Each startup team then took the stage in turn, introduced by one of their mentors who had been working with them during the 12 weeks of the acceleration program. With many rehersals and coaching sessions completed, the teams did an amazing job delivering a top notch investment pitch!
Then, our featured speaker, Brad Feld, managing partner of the Foundry Group and godfather of the accelerator movement, discussed his book Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City.
Brad talked about what it takes to build a thriving startup community in any particular locale and how he was able to help build one in Boulder, Colorado around his accelerator, TechStars. Attendees were provided a free copy of the book.
Managing Partner of Trailblazer Capital and VentureSpur co-founder, David Matthews, then spoke to the crowd about what inspired VentureSpur and our progress over the last several months before handing the stage over to fellow co-founder, Gabe Bass. Gabe introduced and moderated our panel of central US venture capitalists.
Brad Feld joined venture capital investors Blair Garrou, Morgan Flager and Joel Fontenot to discuss what they look for in a start-up and what developing companies can do to raise venture capital for their startup in the central US. Special attention was to paid to the differences between fundraising in the central region of the US versus fundraising on the East and West coasts.
After a short question-and-answer session with the audience, Kraettli Epperson wrapped things up with final closing remarks and our audience adjourned to meet with the startup companies in the theater’s Lobby Bar for one-on-one discussions.
Also, watch this blog for upcoming publication of video showing highlights from the event, the individual pitches, Brad Feld’s remarks and the panel discussion!
If you’d like to see more pictures from the event and keep up with other news from VentureSpur, “Like” the VentureSpur page on FaceBook: