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Oklahoma entrepreneur enjoys sharing his vision with students

Columnist Rex Smitherman writes about Dr. Craig Shimasaki, president and CEO of Moleculera Labs Inc., serial entrepreneur and adviser to multiple teams in Oklahoma's collegiate business plan competition, the Governor's Cup, who says vision begins with the way we look at the world.
BY REX SMITHERMAN Modified: October 29, 2012 at 7:51 pm •  Published: October 30, 2012

“Without the stellar technology based on the research of our co-founder, Dr. Madeleine Cunningham at the University of Oklahoma, along with their willingness to transfer this technology, and the financial support of angels and other investors — some of whom are parents of PANDAS children — this wouldn't be happening,” he said. “You can have all the ideas you want, but without support and technology, it's like a car without an engine.”

Oklahoma is fortunate to have entrepreneurs such as Shimasaki who are committed to sharing what they have learned with our state's up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

“All of us who have any success in leadership didn't get there by ourselves,” he said. “We got there because other people spent time teaching and training us, giving us a break. It's an obligation to share that wisdom and knowledge to help create a better place for everyone else.”

Shimasaki and other serial entrepreneurs are a critical component of Oklahoma's entrepreneurial ecosystem and a sign of its continued growth.

Rex Smitherman is interim president and CEO of i2E Inc., a nonprofit corporation that mentors many of the state's technology-based startup companies. i2E receives state appropriations from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology. Contact Smitherman at


The Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup business plan competition, which claims nearly 1,200 students from 26 campuses across Oklahoma as alumni and has awarded $1.5 million in cash prizes, scholarships and fellowships, is expanding for 2013 with a new Small Business Undergraduate division. To learn more, go to


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