We have survived the “fiscal cliff” and begun a new year. The question now is where we are headed. I will leave to others the problems in Washington, D.C. I want to focus, instead, on Oklahoma and how we can build a prosperous economic future for our state.
The key ingredient for the success of any economy is access to risk capital.
It used to be that too many of our ideas for new ventures would die on the drawing board or become ventures in other states that had greater investment capital. The common complaint that we would hear from entrepreneurs and financial institutions was that Oklahoma had extremely limited early stage venture capital.
This situation has changed dramatically over the last several years with the introduction of a comprehensive range of investment funds for a wider range of investment deals than we have ever been able to fund. Yet I am constantly amazed how few people are aware of these resources.
As a person who has been involved in finance most of my career, I can say with certainty that the opportunity for Oklahoma companies to secure risk and growth capital has never been greater.
One new resource is Accelerate Oklahoma! This U.S. Treasury funded initiative is managed by i2E and offers a continuum of capital and co-investment funds for growing companies at all stages.
The money is here and available for investment-ready opportunities — from emerging businesses to well-established companies that need capital to expand.
DID YOU KNOW:
In FY 2012, the average annual wage of an i2E portfolio company is $70,643, almost 90 percent higher than the Oklahoma average wage of $37,246.