This announcement is a few days old, but we wanted to share it with you here on our blog before you saw any news stories about it. We’re very pleased to make this announcement and are excited that Kraettli has agreed to become our Managing Director.
Press Release (PDF): Press Release – Appointment of VentureSpur Managing Director – Feb 15 2012
Full text of the press release follows:
New Oklahoma City Venture Accelerator Appoints Managing Director
New director brings experience in high tech entrepreneurship and active angel investing
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. (February 15, 2012) – VentureSpur, the new seed fund and venture accelerator in Oklahoma City, has announced the appointment of Kraettli Lawrence Epperson as Managing Director of the accelerator.
Epperson is one of the three co-founders and is an active entrepreneur who owns Black Mesa Consulting, a new Oklahoma City information technology consulting company. The other two co-founders are David Matthews, a partner in VC firm Trailblazer Capital and manager of the Oklahoma Opportunity Fund; and Gabe Bass, managing partner of Bass Law, a law firm with offices in Oklahoma City and El Reno.
“Kraettli brings a background as both a successful entrepreneur who has raised capital, built and exited several companies, and as an angel investor who has put his own capital at risk in order to support other entrepreneurs,” said Matthews.
Mr. Epperson grew up in Oklahoma, attending school in Oklahoma City, before going to Rice University in Houston, Texas. He spent the next 18 years in Houston and London, building and investing in technology and financial services companies serving the energy, right-of-way, manufacturing, and shipping industries.
“I’m delighted to be back in Oklahoma, launching a technology company and a venture accelerator,” said Epperson.
“Oklahoma is well positioned to benefit from the emerging economic recovery, and with VentureSpur, we want to ignite the innovation economy in this region. We want to help build a local economy that is more diverse, robust, and better able to attract and keep the kinds of forward-looking businesses and creative talent that will be competitive in the global economy both today and in the future,” said Epperson.
Previously, Epperson co-founded Questia Media, which raised $160MM and built the world’s largest digital library before being acquired by Gale Publishing. He founded and served as the first CEO of ManorNet, London, which provided encrypted communications to the shipping industry and members of Parliament. He has also served as chief investor, chairman, CEO or CTO of several early and mid-stage companies and holds patents in emergency digital communications.
He served on the board of the Houston Angel Network, created and taught the first undergraduate entrepreneurship course at Rice University as an adjunct professor for four years and has judged both the Southwest Business Plan Competition at Rice University and the Governor’s Cup Business Plan Competition in Oklahoma.
VentureSpur is a seed fund and venture accelerator located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The accelerator provides seed investment, a three-month “boot camp,” mentorship with successful entrepreneurs, office space, free services and access to further venture capital. The company aims to host two boot camps a year serving three companies. For more information, visit www.VentureSpur.com.