From a Dallas-based company with a goal to make ordering sports uniforms and equipment easier online, to an Oklahoma City-based social networking website geared toward families, startup companies aspiring to become the next Twitter or Facebook pitched their ideas in front of potential investors on Wednesday at the Will Rogers Theater in Oklahoma City.
Wearing T-shirts bearing company logos, and mingling over soft drinks and cheese and crackers, the entrepreneurs hoped to lure capital to grow their fledgling businesses.
The event was the culmination of a 12-week business accelerator program run by VentureSpur. Seven companies that participated in the program in Dallas and Oklahoma City participated in the event, laying out their business plans and mingling with possible investors.
Ashok Kamal and Nicholas Seet, co-founders of SIVI, an online educational platform for aspiring entrepreneurs, pitched their plan on Wednesday after living in an RV in Oklahoma City for three months while participating in the VentureSpur accelerator program.
Although Kamal came to Oklahoma from New York City and Seet has spent time in Silicon Valley, the business partners want to base their fledgling company in Oklahoma City after spending time at VentureSpur.
“We see the potential to really grow the entrepreneur community in Oklahoma City — it's exciting to be a part of that,” Kamal said.
Companies that participated in VentureSpur ranged from startups in the early stages of hammering out their product and business model, to companies such as OrderMyGear, a five-year-old Dallas-based sports team apparel and equipment platform that already has substantial business serving more than 100 vendors.
OrderMyGear founder Kent McKeaigg hopes to use his experience at VentureSpur to find new investors in his company, as well as expand into a new area of business — connecting sports teams to sports apparel and equipment vendors.
“I've learned a lot and have also been able to get connected to the investor community, which I hope will let me take the company to the next level,” McKeaigg said.
VentureSpur plans to begin accepting applications for its next class of startups in December, VentureSpur co-founder Kraettli L. Epperson said.
“We're proud of the companies that have participated in this round and hope they will lead the way for the next group,” he said.