The new LaunchOklahoma program is a dedicated Oklahoma business accelerator and spin-off of the VentureSpur accelerator, which has launched 11 high-tech startup firms in the last two years.
VentureSpur said all of those 11 firms are continuing to grow, and four of the businesses have raised more than $1.7 million.
LaunchOklahoma retains VentureSpur’s managing director, Kraettli L. Epperson, who is joined by past VentureSpur board members Gabe Bass and Mike Whitaker on the LaunchOklahoma board of directors.
VentureSpur will continue in Dallas as VentureSpur Texas, and will be operated by venture capital fund Trailblazer Capital, with a focus on mobility and technology for restaurants, retail and hospitality. Dallas is a major hub for national restaurant, retail and hospitality headquarters and more than half of Trailblazer Capital’s portfolio is in these areas, creating great opportunity for an industry-focused accelerator, while LaunchOklahoma will be focused on recruiting tech startups in Oklahoma.
“In a very short period of time and on a very lean budget, we have been able to create a national profile and to launch multiple thriving startups that are attracting clients, hiring staff and raising money,” said Epperson. “We will be carrying that effort forward, with a distinctly Oklahoma flavor.”
LaunchOklahoma is reviewing all startup applications unrelated to VentureSpur Texas’ focus area and will be making program admissions on the announced 2014 schedule and running a program in line with the past two years’ programs. The program will include a Pitch Day in October, at which participating startups will have an opportunity to pitch their company to potential investors and clients at an event. The accelerator hopes to launch three to four companies for 2014, in line with past years’ programs in Oklahoma.
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