Creative Oklahoma Announces Selection of Six New Entrepreneurs for the OKEMP Mentoring Program

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OKLAHOMA CITY (July 15th, 2020) — Creative Oklahoma is delighted to announce OKEMP’s successful exit from its pilot stage and the addition of six dynamic and industry-pushing entrepreneurs to its mentoring program. The Oklahoma Entrepreneur Mentoring Program (OKEMP) is licensed from and modeled after the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Venture Mentoring Service (MIT VMS).

OKEMP is a non-profit program providing free in-person mentoring and business coaching to emerging entrepreneurs for the entirety of their entrepreneurial journey. Each entrepreneur is matched with a core team of senior-level, seasoned Oklahoma business leaders who volunteer their time and talents as mentors. OKEMP’s team mentoring approach is founded on the premise that when an entrepreneur is connected with a team of highly-qualified volunteer mentors for objective, un-conflicted advice—the entrepreneur and their business is more likely to succeed. OKEMP provides the entrepreneurs with direct, actionable, and pragmatic advice informed by the mentors knowledge and real-world experience.

OKEMP is especially pleased with the selection of its first social-entrepreneur, Morgan Jones, for inclusion in the mentoring program. The six entrepreneurs selected for participation are:

Riley Benda | Lemonheads Mobile Detail

Whether at the office or at home, Lemonheads Mobile Detail brings affordable, convenient, and efficient detailing to you. Lemonheads is revolutionizing the industry with its unique esthetics and out of the box marketing. Personality and spunk brings this company to the forefront of the car washing biz, making the consumer’s experience one of a kind!

Robert Gay | Otos Inc

Otos is a machine-learning artificial-intelligence entity that analyzes financial statements. Your personal financial coach, Otos learns from your transaction record to support purchase decisions, budgeting, planning, investing, and saving. Otos presents as an animated avatar that displays complex data in an accessible way. Otos makes you money.

Morgan Jones | The STEAM Engine

The STEAM Engine is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides out-of-school STEM and Arts education programs that build 21st-century skills to develop a talent pipeline and close the STEM workforce gap. We encourage youth, particularly those from populations underrepresented in STEM, to pursue STEM education and related careers by helping them develop the skills they need to be successful.

Chelsea Larsen | ParaNano Wound Care, LLC

ParaNano Wound Care, LLC is advancing nanotechnology for next-generation wound care! Our mission and purpose is to provide diagnostic indications and bio-reactive wound treatment to reduce the development of sepsis by commercializing a flexible FDA Class II medical device that delivers FDA approved biocides as needed to prevent infection and heal acute, trauma, and chronic wounds.

Lisa Mullen | Drōv Technologies

Drōv Technologies is a pioneering technology company leveraging its patented tire management solutions to create industry-leading smart trailer solutions through its sensor driven IoT platform. Smart trailer competitors emerging in the space are largely built on proprietary systems and not in the open, agnostic and flexible platform that sets Drōv apart as an industry leader. Drōv is partnering with multiple companies working on smart components and is positioned toward semi-autonomous and autonomous capabilities.

Jay Scambler | Fundamentals

Fundamentals wants to provide customers with all the products they use (or should be using) on a daily basis. Our objective is to offer high quality, standardized products and services at direct to consumer prices.

Launched in early 2019, OKEMP has spent the last 18 months in a pilot phase working with six entrepreneurs in industries as varied as health & human services to gun death prevention technologies. “One of the most important ways we can foster a vibrant innovation-based economy is by helping our Oklahoma entrepreneurs grow and stay right here in our state,” said Meloyde Blancett, Creative Oklahoma’s Executive Director. “That’s our mission and we are anxious to be growing the mentoring effort.”

Douglas Sorocco, director with the technology and creative rights law firm Dunlap Codding and, OKEMP’s volunteer Director, said he is very confident that OKEMP’s newest group of entrepreneurs will find the program fulfilling and instrumental to the growth of their venture. “Every entrepreneur is on a wild and exhilarating journey and OKEMP is like the trusted road map or ranger that can illuminate the path to success. Now that we’ve selected our newest entrepreneurs, the match-making begins–ensuring that each entrepreneur’s team of guides is a perfect fit”, said Sorocco. “While the road ahead is unknown, our mentors are world-class business executives and are uniquely qualified – coupling their expertise with unyielding enthusiasm to see each entrepreneur succeed.”

OKEMP is currently laying the groundwork to expand its mentoring program throughout Oklahoma and will be selecting its third class of entrepreneurs in early 2021.

ABOUT OKEMP
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.

ABOUT CREATIVE OKLAHOMA
Creative Oklahoma is a statewide non-profit organization advancing Oklahoma’s economy through programs, projects and collaborative ventures in education, commerce and culture that help develop a more innovation-based entrepreneurial economy and an improved quality of life for all Oklahomans. For more information – www.creativeoklahoma.org.

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