As some of you know, we’ve been in preview mode for several weeks, hosting investor meetings and exciting talks with early stage startup companies. Well that all ended today!
We’ve announced our official launch with the attached press release, and are receiving major regional media attention.
Thanks for keeping us in mind and please keep sending promising mentors, industry champions and especially great startups our direction!
Here is the press release:
Three Returning Entrepreneurs Launch Venture Accelerator in Oklahoma City
Accelerator provides seed funding, 3-month boot camp, office space, mentorship, workshops, Pitch Day
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. (February 1, 2012) – Three successful entrepreneurs returning home to Oklahoma from stints outside the state have launched a venture accelerator in Oklahoma City that will develop local startups by providing investment, mentorship, office space, free services and access to further venture capital. Called VentureSpur and modeled on successful venture accelerators throughout the US, the new Oklahoma City accelerator launches on February 1, 2012.
Founders include David Matthews, a partner in VC firm Trailblazer Capital and manager of the Oklahoma Opportunity Fund; Gabe Bass, managing partner of Bass Law, a law firm with offices in Oklahoma City and El Reno; and Kraettli L. Epperson, owner of Black Mesa Consulting, a new Oklahoma City information technology consulting company.
“Over the last several years, venture accelerators have become the leading tool to develop startups that are lean, fast, focused and efficient investment vehicles,” said Epperson. “We’re taking the lessons learned at other successful accelerators and applying them to Oklahoma. Our job is to spark the innovation economy by building businesses that keep and attract talent and investment in Oklahoma, and that produce in-demand goods and services,” said Epperson.
The accelerator aims to host two groups of three startup companies each year, which are selected through a rigorous screening process. Winning companies are admitted to a three-month “boot camp” program that provides a free office, weekly mentorship and workshops, development of prototypes, polishing of presentations, and culminates in a “Pitch Day” during which the teams will present their company to angel investors and venture capitalists.
“We think Oklahoma is ripe for an accelerator,” said co-founder Gabe Bass. “VentureSpur is modeled on Y Combinator, TechStars, Capital Factory and Tech Wildcatters, which have seen quick success with multiple companies receiving substantial follow-on investment or acquisitions. We want to do the same in Oklahoma,” said Bass.
“We’re engaged in pushing the Oklahoma economy forward with strategic private investment,” said co-founder David Matthews. “We believe the accelerator model provides big advantages in emerging venture capital markets like Oklahoma, where the cost of doing business is low and local investors are hungry for home-grown success stories,” said Matthews.
Located inside The Exchange building on historic Film Row in downtown Oklahoma City, VentureSpur’s facility is designed to be a welcoming space that will foster collaboration and encourage creativity. The accelerator is currently accepting applications from startup companies at its website.
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.