What is OKEMP?
There are outstanding resources that fuel the growth of Oklahoma's entrepreneurial and innovation-based economy — incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, university-driven innovation centers, etc.
Amidst these incredible resources, however, there’s a gap — the opportunity for entrepreneurs to work directly with seasoned business executives in a structured, long term and confidential mentoring environment. The purpose of OKEMP is to fill that gap while working hand-in-hand with other local resource providers to solidify a great multi-faceted pipeline to entrepreneur success.
A Sister Program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Venture Mentoring Service (MIT VMS)
OKEMP is a locally-operated program licensed from MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service (MIT VMS), which is recognized by Kauffman Foundation as the “Gold Standard” of entrepreneur mentoring programs. As with MIT’s VMS, OKEMP matches both prospective and experienced entrepreneurs with skilled volunteer mentors. We use a team mentoring approach with groups of 3 to 4 mentors sitting with the entrepreneur(s) in sessions that provide practical, day-to-day professional advice and coaching. OKEMP mentors are selected for their experience in areas relevant to the needs of new entrepreneurs and for their enthusiasm for the program. Entrepreneurs meet with their designated mentor team 3-6 times per year on a long-term basis.
Mentors are required to subscribe, in writing, to a Statement of Principles that govern their behavior, outline their responsibilities, guard against conflicts of interest, and control financial involvement with the entrepreneurs and their ventures. Mentors are matched with entrepreneurs based on the needs of the entrepreneur and the interests of available mentors.
OKEMP assistance is given across a broad range of business activity, including product development, marketing, intellectual property law, finance, human resources, and founders issues. OKEMP services are offered without charge, and are supported entirely by foundation grants, corporate sponsorships and private donations.
The five entrepreneurs currently participating in OKEMP are:
ittybam, an Oklahoma City-based tech consulting company, has created a new product called ACTOVOS that is poised to revolutionize the way child welfare specialists connect with potential foster parents.
Rick Stiles developed a biometric trigger lock for handguns that is easy to use and quickly removed in emergency situations, thereby reducing the number of unintentional gun-related deaths and injuries. ITOT’s fully functional prototype has been widely praised within the gun industry and has seen substantial interest from both gun owners and law enforcement.
Dr. Nguyen’s Mimosa Health seeks to reduce the number of medication poisoning deaths and bend the healthcare cost curve downward by ensuring seniors and their physicians are supplied with critical data that will reduce the risks of stacked prescription medicine, often a serious problem with seniors.
Qadosh Health and Wellness Experience works with employers and professionals to proactively addresses the negative effects from occupational burnout, impacting the retention of employees and the potential productivity losses that result.
Dr. Ashton Cook
WeatherDeep seeks to provide extended‐range forecasts for severe and extreme weather for military and commercial applications to save lives while improving armed forces readiness and deployment capabilities.