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OK Bioscience

National expert, Jack Anthony on appeal of state’s life sciences community

GrowOKC!

i2E, City of Oklahoma City partner on new fund for city-based businesses

NOBLE ROOTS

SUMMER 2013


INSIDE

We’re Proud to Help

The Oklahoma Business Roundtable serves as the state’s major economic development support organization. We are a collaborative non-profit organization whose sole purpose is advancing Oklahoma’s economic development – through business recruitment, business expansion, start-up and quality improvement activities. Comprised of over 170 top Oklahoma corporations and business organizations, the Roundtable assists our state’s business and government leaders, Department of Commerce, and key economic development groups. Roundtable members also network with key business prospects and site location consultants.

We invite you to join us in our efforts! Contact us today.

Bill Burgess, Jr. Roundtable Chairman Vortex, Lawton

During the past 22 years, the Roundtable has supported hundreds of state and national business promotion activities resulting in millions of dollars of corporate investment throughout Oklahoma. The group also funds efforts to enhance our workforce and entrepreneur pipeline – such as sponsorship of the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup collegiate business plan competition, The Oklahoma Quality Awards Foundation, Seed and Venture Capital Forums, the Oklahoma Bio Association and more. Oklahoma is a great state for business. Our members are committed to growth and diversification of our state’s economy. We believe that the best is yet to come.

i&E Profiles 6 Drik, LLC 8 ICEdot 10 PinLeague 12 SWAY

16

13 Bio Around the State Oklahoma researchers, educators and entrepreneurs are contributing groundbreaking life science work, read about what’s going on around the state

14 PhRMA report indicates bio generates billions of $$ for Oklahoma

15 National Expert Jack Anthony explains potential he sees in Oklahoma’s life sciences community

15 Upcoming events and

8

new OKBio members

16 Cover Story The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation provides basic research into plant biology, new types of forage and operations expertise for farmers and ranchers – all from a stunning campus in Ardmore

20 Over $6 million invested in Oklahoma companies

13

22 New GrowOKC Fund for city-based businesses

23 i2E Partners Oklahoma Business Roundtable 655 Research Parkway, Suite 420 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104 405-235-3787 innovators & Entrepreneurs is produced by i2E, Inc., manager of the Oklahoma Technology Commercialization Center. For more information on any content contained herein, please contact i2E at 800-337-6822. © Copyright 2013 i2E, Inc. All rights reserved.

www.okbusinessroundtable.com


INSIDE

We’re Proud to Help

The Oklahoma Business Roundtable serves as the state’s major economic development support organization. We are a collaborative non-profit organization whose sole purpose is advancing Oklahoma’s economic development – through business recruitment, business expansion, start-up and quality improvement activities. Comprised of over 170 top Oklahoma corporations and business organizations, the Roundtable assists our state’s business and government leaders, Department of Commerce, and key economic development groups. Roundtable members also network with key business prospects and site location consultants.

We invite you to join us in our efforts! Contact us today.

Bill Burgess, Jr. Roundtable Chairman Vortex, Lawton

During the past 22 years, the Roundtable has supported hundreds of state and national business promotion activities resulting in millions of dollars of corporate investment throughout Oklahoma. The group also funds efforts to enhance our workforce and entrepreneur pipeline – such as sponsorship of the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup collegiate business plan competition, The Oklahoma Quality Awards Foundation, Seed and Venture Capital Forums, the Oklahoma Bio Association and more. Oklahoma is a great state for business. Our members are committed to growth and diversification of our state’s economy. We believe that the best is yet to come.

i&E Profiles 6 Drik, LLC 8 ICEdot 10 PinLeague 12 SWAY

16

13 Bio Around the State Oklahoma researchers, educators and entrepreneurs are contributing groundbreaking life science work, read about what’s going on around the state

14 PhRMA report indicates bio generates billions of $$ for Oklahoma

15 National Expert Jack Anthony explains potential he sees in Oklahoma’s life sciences community

15 Upcoming events and

8

new OKBio members

16 Cover Story The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation provides basic research into plant biology, new types of forage and operations expertise for farmers and ranchers – all from a stunning campus in Ardmore

20 Over $6 million invested in Oklahoma companies

13

22 New GrowOKC Fund for city-based businesses

23 i2E Partners Oklahoma Business Roundtable 655 Research Parkway, Suite 420 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104 405-235-3787 innovators & Entrepreneurs is produced by i2E, Inc., manager of the Oklahoma Technology Commercialization Center. For more information on any content contained herein, please contact i2E at 800-337-6822. © Copyright 2013 i2E, Inc. All rights reserved.

www.okbusinessroundtable.com


ABOUT i2E Over our 14-year history, i2E’s nationally recognized services have provided business expertise and funding to more than 560 of Oklahoma’s emerging small businesses. With more than $40 million of investment capital under management, we are focused on serving companies in all phases of the business life cycle, from startups looking for their first round of capital all the way to established businesses seeking funding to expand their markets or products. We also are helping lead new business developments into the marketplace more efficiently and more quickly while providing guidance to bring more funding to Oklahoma’s researchers and entrepreneurs. In the past year we have launched several new initiatives, including the Oklahoma Proof of Concept Center that helps identify more quickly promising new technologies developed on state research campuses, and the Tulsa Immersion Program, which works with new companies at the earliest stages of their development. Finally, the Oklahoma Bioscience Association recently became part of i2E, a development that means we will carry on the organization’s mission of supporting and enhancing the biotechnology industry in Oklahoma. Plans are being developed for significant workshops, summits and educational opportunities throughout the coming year. Through our proven business and venture development process, we turn ideas into successful enterprises ... i2E. WHAT WE DO • Evaluate the potential of new concepts • Assist with evaluation of business plans, marketing plans and raising capital • Provide guidance in building a management team, business structure and financial forecasting • Assist with developing an effective investor presentation • Assist in obtaining funding through federal grant programs • Work with research universities to encourage spin-outs • Provide grant capital assistance and equity investment

i2E TEAM The i2E management and staff is composed of professionals with extensive experience in technology commercialization, business development, venture investing, finance, organizational. Scott Meacham President & CEO David Thomison Senior Vice President, Client Services Group Rex Smitherman Senior Vice President, Operations Sarah Seagraves Senior Vice President, Marketing Tom Francis Director of Funds Administration Josh O’Brien Director of Entrepreneurial Development Judy Beech Director of Finance Elaine Hamm Venture Advisor & Director, Proof of Concept Center Shintaro Kaido Venture Advisor & Director, Tulsa Immersion Program Mark Lauinger Venture Advisor & Director, Tulsa Services Richard Rainy Venture Advisor & Director, OSCR Program Casey Harness Director, i2E Fellows Program, External Relations Coordinator Kenneth Knoll Venture Advisor & Director, Advisory Services Scott Thomas IT Manager Grady Epperly Marketing Manager Michael Kindrat-Pratt Venture Advisor & Manager, SeedStep Angels Jay Sheldon eMedia Specialist

www.i2E.org facebook.com/OKGOVCUP twitter.com/i2E_Inc

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Howard G. Barnett, Jr., Chairman OSU-Tulsa, OSU-CHS Stephen Prescott, Vice Chair OMRF Michael LaBrie, Secretary McAfee & Taft Leslie Batchelor Center for Economic Development Law

Welcome letter from Scott Meacham

C. James Bode Bank of Oklahoma, N.A. Robert Brearton American Fidelity Assurance Company Bill W. Burgess Vortex, Inc. Michael Carolina OCAST Bob Craine TSF Capital, LLC Steve Cropper

Philip Eller Eller Detrich, P.C. Carl Edwards Price Edwards Company Oklahoma Business Roundtable Presbyterian Health Foundation Suzette Hatfield Crawley Ventures Brad Krieger Arvest Bank Philip Kurtz CareATC Hershel Lamirand III Capital Development Strategies Merl Lindstrom Phillips 66 Justin McLaughlin Tulsa Regional Chamber Mary Mélon The Journal Record Fred Morgan The State Chamber David Myers Ponca City Development Authority David Pitts Stillwater National Bank Mark Poole Summit Bank Meg Salyer Accel Financial Staffing

Jim Stafford Communications Specialist

Darryl Schmidt BancFirst

Katelynn Henderson Events Specialist

Wes Stucky Development Management, Inc.

Cindy Williams Underwriting Specialist

Roy Williams Greater Oklahoma City Chamber

Jennifer Buettner Executive Assistant

Richard Williamson T.D. Williamson

Kate Nelson Administrative Assistant

Duane Wilson LDW Services, LLC Don Wood NEDC

As Oklahoma’s largest private foundation, the Ardmorebased Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation works hard to enhance agriculture through improved crop productivity and value, sustainability of farming and ranching operations and educational opportunities. The Noble Foundation is a key economic and intellectual driver for a large region of southern Oklahoma. It employs 400 people, including more than 110 Ph.D. scientists, agricultural consultants and research associates who come to Ardmore from more than 25 countries and six continents. We profile the Noble Foundation in this edition of i&E magazine, and you can discover just how the Foundation can lure so many world class scientists to a community of about 30,000 people located midway between Oklahoma City and Dallas. (Spoiler alert: it has to do with their world class reputation). The story begins on Page 16. Our new OKBio section in this edition checks in on bioscience news from around the state and shares the perspective of i2E Entrepreneur-in-Residence Jack Anthony on the state of bioscience in Oklahoma. And an infographic compiled by Battelle for PhRMA clearly demonstrates the impact that the biopharmaceutical industry has on Oklahoma’s economy (Page 14). Also, in this edition, we profile three up-and-coming startup companies that are advancing innovative and diverse concepts. One is software based, one is a life science company and the third a combination of hardware and software. PinLeague has developed a suite of software products that provide analytical services to companies that maintain a presence on the Pinterest social network (Page 10). PinLeague subscribers can monitor the conversation about their products and pinpoint key influencers among customers who use the Pinterest network. Drik, on the other hand, is creating Oklahoma’s first toxicology laboratory for pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs (Page 6). Drik’s presence in the PHF

Research Park means that Oklahoma companies advancing new therapeutics won’t have to go out of state for testing that ensures their drugs are safe for people to use. Tulsa’s ICEdot has an emergency identification and notification service with innovative sensor technology and wireless communications to create the ultimate safety net for bikers, hikers, snow sports enthusiasts and runners (Page 8). If you crash while biking or hiking, ICEdot can bring help by automatically sending an emergency notification complete with your location. We catch up with Sway Medical, a Tulsa-based company that was featured on the cover of this magazine in 2011 as Capacity Sports (Page 12). Now renamed and boasting an FDA-approved smart phone app called Sway Balance, the company’s technology provides an objective measurement of balance that screens athletes for the risk of concussions. Finally, we introduce our latest investment fund, which was created in partnership with the City of Oklahoma City. The GrowOKC Fund specifically targets Oklahoma City-based small businesses and requires matching funds, which makes it a great complement to bank loans and other financing (Page 22). I’m confident you will enjoy each informative article in this edition of i&E magazine. Read on.

– Scott Meacham President & CEO


ABOUT i2E Over our 14-year history, i2E’s nationally recognized services have provided business expertise and funding to more than 560 of Oklahoma’s emerging small businesses. With more than $40 million of investment capital under management, we are focused on serving companies in all phases of the business life cycle, from startups looking for their first round of capital all the way to established businesses seeking funding to expand their markets or products. We also are helping lead new business developments into the marketplace more efficiently and more quickly while providing guidance to bring more funding to Oklahoma’s researchers and entrepreneurs. In the past year we have launched several new initiatives, including the Oklahoma Proof of Concept Center that helps identify more quickly promising new technologies developed on state research campuses, and the Tulsa Immersion Program, which works with new companies at the earliest stages of their development. Finally, the Oklahoma Bioscience Association recently became part of i2E, a development that means we will carry on the organization’s mission of supporting and enhancing the biotechnology industry in Oklahoma. Plans are being developed for significant workshops, summits and educational opportunities throughout the coming year. Through our proven business and venture development process, we turn ideas into successful enterprises ... i2E. WHAT WE DO • Evaluate the potential of new concepts • Assist with evaluation of business plans, marketing plans and raising capital • Provide guidance in building a management team, business structure and financial forecasting • Assist with developing an effective investor presentation • Assist in obtaining funding through federal grant programs • Work with research universities to encourage spin-outs • Provide grant capital assistance and equity investment

i2E TEAM The i2E management and staff is composed of professionals with extensive experience in technology commercialization, business development, venture investing, finance, organizational. Scott Meacham President & CEO David Thomison Senior Vice President, Client Services Group Rex Smitherman Senior Vice President, Operations Sarah Seagraves Senior Vice President, Marketing Tom Francis Director of Funds Administration Josh O’Brien Director of Entrepreneurial Development Judy Beech Director of Finance Elaine Hamm Venture Advisor & Director, Proof of Concept Center Shintaro Kaido Venture Advisor & Director, Tulsa Immersion Program Mark Lauinger Venture Advisor & Director, Tulsa Services Richard Rainy Venture Advisor & Director, OSCR Program Casey Harness Director, i2E Fellows Program, External Relations Coordinator Kenneth Knoll Venture Advisor & Director, Advisory Services Scott Thomas IT Manager Grady Epperly Marketing Manager Michael Kindrat-Pratt Venture Advisor & Manager, SeedStep Angels Jay Sheldon eMedia Specialist

www.i2E.org facebook.com/OKGOVCUP twitter.com/i2E_Inc

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Howard G. Barnett, Jr., Chairman OSU-Tulsa, OSU-CHS Stephen Prescott, Vice Chair OMRF Michael LaBrie, Secretary McAfee & Taft Leslie Batchelor Center for Economic Development Law

Welcome letter from Scott Meacham

C. James Bode Bank of Oklahoma, N.A. Robert Brearton American Fidelity Assurance Company Bill W. Burgess Vortex, Inc. Michael Carolina OCAST Bob Craine TSF Capital, LLC Steve Cropper

Philip Eller Eller Detrich, P.C. Carl Edwards Price Edwards Company Oklahoma Business Roundtable Presbyterian Health Foundation Suzette Hatfield Crawley Ventures Brad Krieger Arvest Bank Philip Kurtz CareATC Hershel Lamirand III Capital Development Strategies Merl Lindstrom Phillips 66 Justin McLaughlin Tulsa Regional Chamber Mary Mélon The Journal Record Fred Morgan The State Chamber David Myers Ponca City Development Authority David Pitts Stillwater National Bank Mark Poole Summit Bank Meg Salyer Accel Financial Staffing

Jim Stafford Communications Specialist

Darryl Schmidt BancFirst

Katelynn Henderson Events Specialist

Wes Stucky Development Management, Inc.

Cindy Williams Underwriting Specialist

Roy Williams Greater Oklahoma City Chamber

Jennifer Buettner Executive Assistant

Richard Williamson T.D. Williamson

Kate Nelson Administrative Assistant

Duane Wilson LDW Services, LLC Don Wood NEDC

As Oklahoma’s largest private foundation, the Ardmorebased Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation works hard to enhance agriculture through improved crop productivity and value, sustainability of farming and ranching operations and educational opportunities. The Noble Foundation is a key economic and intellectual driver for a large region of southern Oklahoma. It employs 400 people, including more than 110 Ph.D. scientists, agricultural consultants and research associates who come to Ardmore from more than 25 countries and six continents. We profile the Noble Foundation in this edition of i&E magazine, and you can discover just how the Foundation can lure so many world class scientists to a community of about 30,000 people located midway between Oklahoma City and Dallas. (Spoiler alert: it has to do with their world class reputation). The story begins on Page 16. Our new OKBio section in this edition checks in on bioscience news from around the state and shares the perspective of i2E Entrepreneur-in-Residence Jack Anthony on the state of bioscience in Oklahoma. And an infographic compiled by Battelle for PhRMA clearly demonstrates the impact that the biopharmaceutical industry has on Oklahoma’s economy (Page 14). Also, in this edition, we profile three up-and-coming startup companies that are advancing innovative and diverse concepts. One is software based, one is a life science company and the third a combination of hardware and software. PinLeague has developed a suite of software products that provide analytical services to companies that maintain a presence on the Pinterest social network (Page 10). PinLeague subscribers can monitor the conversation about their products and pinpoint key influencers among customers who use the Pinterest network. Drik, on the other hand, is creating Oklahoma’s first toxicology laboratory for pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs (Page 6). Drik’s presence in the PHF

Research Park means that Oklahoma companies advancing new therapeutics won’t have to go out of state for testing that ensures their drugs are safe for people to use. Tulsa’s ICEdot has an emergency identification and notification service with innovative sensor technology and wireless communications to create the ultimate safety net for bikers, hikers, snow sports enthusiasts and runners (Page 8). If you crash while biking or hiking, ICEdot can bring help by automatically sending an emergency notification complete with your location. We catch up with Sway Medical, a Tulsa-based company that was featured on the cover of this magazine in 2011 as Capacity Sports (Page 12). Now renamed and boasting an FDA-approved smart phone app called Sway Balance, the company’s technology provides an objective measurement of balance that screens athletes for the risk of concussions. Finally, we introduce our latest investment fund, which was created in partnership with the City of Oklahoma City. The GrowOKC Fund specifically targets Oklahoma City-based small businesses and requires matching funds, which makes it a great complement to bank loans and other financing (Page 22). I’m confident you will enjoy each informative article in this edition of i&E magazine. Read on.

– Scott Meacham President & CEO


Profiles DRIK, LLC

SAFETY FIRST

“We want DRIK to become an economic force here in the state of Oklahoma,” he said. “i2E’s support for DRIK is pivotal in that it helps us move forward, but at the same time helps the local economy, also.”

Kumar Sripathirathan, Ph.D., CEO Year started: 2012

Location: Oklahoma City, OK Employees: 3

– K umar S ripathirathan

Drik to provide toxicology testing for new drugs at OKC laboratory

Product or Technology: Toxicity testing in animals and in organ slice cultures.

Market: Pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, nano-

U

.S. scientists face a daunting barrier in transforming discoveries in their laboratories into FDA approved drugs. The development process is lengthy and expensive, requiring a timeline that can extend decades and investment up to hundreds of millions of dollars.   Human clinical trials involve thousands of people as regulators seek to ensure that a new drug is safe and effective. So, it’s not surprising that the Food and Drug Administration approved an average of only 22 new molecular entities, or novel drugs, per year over a five-year period from 2006-2010. In that same period, an average of 31 filings were made with the FDA each year for new drugs, according to the FDA website at www.fda.gov. Among the challenges for drug developers in the approval process is proving the compound won’t cause harm when used in humans. Drug safety is established through toxicology testing. For Oklahoma researchers and drug companies, a new statebased toxicology testing laboratory called DRIK, LLC, (www.atdrik. com) is being established to help in their toxicology needs. DRIK was founded in 2012 by Kumar Sripathirathan, Ph.D., a toxicologist by training together with Vanmathy Vasudevan, M.S., with expertise in computer science. “Pharmaceutical companies often have only a single shot for one of their compounds to succeed, and they want to make sure it is safe,” Dr. Sripathirathan said. “The reasons why most of the compounds fail is because of the toxic side effects that they produce.” DRIK is establishing its presence with a laboratory and vivarium (enclosure for housing live animals used for research) in Oklahoma City’s PHF Research Park, which will reduce the time and expense for companies that often have to conduct toxicology testing on the East or West coasts.

6

i&E

Spring 2013 Summer 2013

technology, cosmetics, chemicals and Federal

What that means for Oklahomans is that they can work one-onone with DRIK’s toxicology professionals and speed up the process. “The process goes very, very fast when the company is close by,” he said. “In addition, since we are close by, the clients can have a site audit and make sure their needs are being taken care of.” In addition, DRIK provides organ slice culture testing, a method in which all of the different cells are intact and survive for much longer periods of standard testing protocols. “That’s a really excellent technique not previously available earlier for the industry,” Dr. Sripathirathan said. “You can do the experiment over longer time periods, say from 14 days to a month or so. It yields predictive results. When it comes to compound testing, pharmaceutical companies would like to have the long-term data that provide valuable data critical for decision making.” Dr. Sripathirathan began working with i2E after contacting Venture Advisor Rick Rainey and has received assistance in developing a business plan, learning the steps required to start up a business and understanding the market. The DRIK founder and CEO expects to employ up to 15 people within a couple of years and predicts the number could go much higher. “We want DRIK to become an economic force here in the state of Oklahoma,” he said. “i2E’s support for DRIK is pivotal in that it helps us move forward, but at the same time helps the local economy, also.” It all falls in line with the meaning of the word “DRIK,” which stands for “Shining Light,” Dr. Sripathirathan said. “We want to be a beacon of light for pharmaceutical companies and others to serve their needs,” he said. “For DRIK, safety comes foremost, and we think it is an important point that pharmaceutical companies should focus on.” Let that light shine on the Oklahoma drug development industry.

agencies.

Future Plans: Expansion of service in the midwest followed by other regions.

Funding: DRIK recently received $200,000 from i2E’s StartOK Accelerator Fund.

Successes: DRIK is the first toxicology company to be established in Oklahoma. www.atdrik.com

Summer 2013 i&E

7


Profiles DRIK, LLC

SAFETY FIRST

“We want DRIK to become an economic force here in the state of Oklahoma,” he said. “i2E’s support for DRIK is pivotal in that it helps us move forward, but at the same time helps the local economy, also.”

Kumar Sripathirathan, Ph.D., CEO Year started: 2012

Location: Oklahoma City, OK Employees: 3

– K umar S ripathirathan

Drik to provide toxicology testing for new drugs at OKC laboratory

Product or Technology: Toxicity testing in animals and in organ slice cultures.

Market: Pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, nano-

U

.S. scientists face a daunting barrier in transforming discoveries in their laboratories into FDA approved drugs. The development process is lengthy and expensive, requiring a timeline that can extend decades and investment up to hundreds of millions of dollars.   Human clinical trials involve thousands of people as regulators seek to ensure that a new drug is safe and effective. So, it’s not surprising that the Food and Drug Administration approved an average of only 22 new molecular entities, or novel drugs, per year over a five-year period from 2006-2010. In that same period, an average of 31 filings were made with the FDA each year for new drugs, according to the FDA website at www.fda.gov. Among the challenges for drug developers in the approval process is proving the compound won’t cause harm when used in humans. Drug safety is established through toxicology testing. For Oklahoma researchers and drug companies, a new statebased toxicology testing laboratory called DRIK, LLC, (www.atdrik. com) is being established to help in their toxicology needs. DRIK was founded in 2012 by Kumar Sripathirathan, Ph.D., a toxicologist by training together with Vanmathy Vasudevan, M.S., with expertise in computer science. “Pharmaceutical companies often have only a single shot for one of their compounds to succeed, and they want to make sure it is safe,” Dr. Sripathirathan said. “The reasons why most of the compounds fail is because of the toxic side effects that they produce.” DRIK is establishing its presence with a laboratory and vivarium (enclosure for housing live animals used for research) in Oklahoma City’s PHF Research Park, which will reduce the time and expense for companies that often have to conduct toxicology testing on the East or West coasts.

6

i&E

Spring 2013 Summer 2013

technology, cosmetics, chemicals and Federal

What that means for Oklahomans is that they can work one-onone with DRIK’s toxicology professionals and speed up the process. “The process goes very, very fast when the company is close by,” he said. “In addition, since we are close by, the clients can have a site audit and make sure their needs are being taken care of.” In addition, DRIK provides organ slice culture testing, a method in which all of the different cells are intact and survive for much longer periods of standard testing protocols. “That’s a really excellent technique not previously available earlier for the industry,” Dr. Sripathirathan said. “You can do the experiment over longer time periods, say from 14 days to a month or so. It yields predictive results. When it comes to compound testing, pharmaceutical companies would like to have the long-term data that provide valuable data critical for decision making.” Dr. Sripathirathan began working with i2E after contacting Venture Advisor Rick Rainey and has received assistance in developing a business plan, learning the steps required to start up a business and understanding the market. The DRIK founder and CEO expects to employ up to 15 people within a couple of years and predicts the number could go much higher. “We want DRIK to become an economic force here in the state of Oklahoma,” he said. “i2E’s support for DRIK is pivotal in that it helps us move forward, but at the same time helps the local economy, also.” It all falls in line with the meaning of the word “DRIK,” which stands for “Shining Light,” Dr. Sripathirathan said. “We want to be a beacon of light for pharmaceutical companies and others to serve their needs,” he said. “For DRIK, safety comes foremost, and we think it is an important point that pharmaceutical companies should focus on.” Let that light shine on the Oklahoma drug development industry.

agencies.

Future Plans: Expansion of service in the midwest followed by other regions.

Funding: DRIK recently received $200,000 from i2E’s StartOK Accelerator Fund.

Successes: DRIK is the first toxicology company to be established in Oklahoma. www.atdrik.com

Summer 2013 i&E

7


Profiles IceDot

Chris Zenthoefer, President & CEO Year started: 2004

Location: Tulsa, OK Employees: 5

Product or Technology: ICEdot is an emergency ID and notification service innovating safety technology for athletes and outdoor en-

thusiasts. ICEdot syncs a secure online profile with products such as a band, helmet stickers or its latest product, the Crash Sensor. In case of emergency, ICEdot has the ability share pre-

designated health and geolocation information over sms/text.

Market: Cycling and Snow sports

L

et’s say you are mountain biking down a rugged trail in Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains when the unthinkable happens. You fly off the trail and land headfirst in a gully. You are wearing a helmet, but still injured and unable to move. How do you get help? There’s an app for that. Tulsa-based ICEdot has merged an emergency identification and notification service with innovative sensor technology and wireless communications to create the ultimate safety net for bikers, hikers, snow sports enthusiasts and runners. In the event of a biking crash in which the person wearing an ICEdot Crash Sensor on their helmet is incapacitated, the sensor detects the fall and uses Bluetooth wireless signal to connect with an app on their smartphone. That starts a countdown that ultimately ends with ICEdot app notifying your emergency contacts. The phone sends a text message or email alerting family or emergency responders of the crash and also location notification through GPS coordinates. If you veer off the trail, crash and are uninjured, you merely turn off the ICEdot app before the countdown ends. Bikers, snowboarders, skiers and hikers all potentially could benefit from the innovative technology, said Chris Zenthoefer, CEO of Tulsa Docvia, parent company of the ICEdot.

8

i&E

Summer 2013

“Our primary market is the cycling and snow sports markets,” Zenthoefer said. “Those are activities in which people often participate alone or in small groups. They often get separated and have a high propensity for an accident. You’ve seen the rise in helmet protection in all of those sports in recent years.” Zenthoefer is an avid cycling enthusiast who co-founded the annual Tulsa Tough cycling event. He is the co-founder and former CEO of Tulsa’s New Medio, a web and technology development firm before becoming Docvia’s CEO in 2011. “This is an exciting new technology and we are aggressively bringing it to market,” Zenthoefer said. “We debuted the product at the Tulsa Tough cycling festival this spring with distribution to media and strategic partners. We also started taking pre-orders at that time.” Docvia was started by two practicing physicians who had a vision to improve their healthcare practice by making patient-physician transactions such as prescription renewals online. Eventually, it evolved into a technology to easily share information with emergency responders and then to the innovative ICEdot. Docvia’s founders established a relationship with i2E early in its history, receiving proof-of-concept funding on their original concept.

The relationship was renewed with the development of the ICEdot, when earlier this year i2E managed funds led a $1.03 million investment round in the company. The investment included $300,000 from the i2E managed StartOK Accelerator Fund and $200,000 from its OK Angel Sidecar Fund. “i2E has been a great partner for us as we’ve gone through the process,” Zenthoefer said. “They’ve helped us connect with other great Oklahoma institutions that allow us to get needed resources to really bring a product like this to market. They’ve been more than capital; they’ve been relationships and coaching, as well.” Deals are in the works with helmet makers as ICEdot advances toward the mass market. It will translate into safer experiences the next time cyclists and snowboarders go flying down a mountain.

Future Plans: ICEdot will launch into motor

sports and other helmet wearing individual sports. And it’s looking at applications within the team sports category.

Funding: The company raised $1 million led by i2E and private angels.

Successes: ICEdot has completed develop-

ment of its Crash Sensor and began shipping the product in early August. It also has an in-

ternational presence. The company has secured distribution throughout the U.S., Continental

Europe and the UK. ICEdot also has integrated its identification system into two major helmet manufacturers with others in the works. www.icedot.org

Summer 2013 i&E

9


Profiles IceDot

Chris Zenthoefer, President & CEO Year started: 2004

Location: Tulsa, OK Employees: 5

Product or Technology: ICEdot is an emergency ID and notification service innovating safety technology for athletes and outdoor en-

thusiasts. ICEdot syncs a secure online profile with products such as a band, helmet stickers or its latest product, the Crash Sensor. In case of emergency, ICEdot has the ability share pre-

designated health and geolocation information over sms/text.

Market: Cycling and Snow sports

L

et’s say you are mountain biking down a rugged trail in Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains when the unthinkable happens. You fly off the trail and land headfirst in a gully. You are wearing a helmet, but still injured and unable to move. How do you get help? There’s an app for that. Tulsa-based ICEdot has merged an emergency identification and notification service with innovative sensor technology and wireless communications to create the ultimate safety net for bikers, hikers, snow sports enthusiasts and runners. In the event of a biking crash in which the person wearing an ICEdot Crash Sensor on their helmet is incapacitated, the sensor detects the fall and uses Bluetooth wireless signal to connect with an app on their smartphone. That starts a countdown that ultimately ends with ICEdot app notifying your emergency contacts. The phone sends a text message or email alerting family or emergency responders of the crash and also location notification through GPS coordinates. If you veer off the trail, crash and are uninjured, you merely turn off the ICEdot app before the countdown ends. Bikers, snowboarders, skiers and hikers all potentially could benefit from the innovative technology, said Chris Zenthoefer, CEO of Tulsa Docvia, parent company of the ICEdot.

8

i&E

Summer 2013

“Our primary market is the cycling and snow sports markets,” Zenthoefer said. “Those are activities in which people often participate alone or in small groups. They often get separated and have a high propensity for an accident. You’ve seen the rise in helmet protection in all of those sports in recent years.” Zenthoefer is an avid cycling enthusiast who co-founded the annual Tulsa Tough cycling event. He is the co-founder and former CEO of Tulsa’s New Medio, a web and technology development firm before becoming Docvia’s CEO in 2011. “This is an exciting new technology and we are aggressively bringing it to market,” Zenthoefer said. “We debuted the product at the Tulsa Tough cycling festival this spring with distribution to media and strategic partners. We also started taking pre-orders at that time.” Docvia was started by two practicing physicians who had a vision to improve their healthcare practice by making patient-physician transactions such as prescription renewals online. Eventually, it evolved into a technology to easily share information with emergency responders and then to the innovative ICEdot. Docvia’s founders established a relationship with i2E early in its history, receiving proof-of-concept funding on their original concept.

The relationship was renewed with the development of the ICEdot, when earlier this year i2E managed funds led a $1.03 million investment round in the company. The investment included $300,000 from the i2E managed StartOK Accelerator Fund and $200,000 from its OK Angel Sidecar Fund. “i2E has been a great partner for us as we’ve gone through the process,” Zenthoefer said. “They’ve helped us connect with other great Oklahoma institutions that allow us to get needed resources to really bring a product like this to market. They’ve been more than capital; they’ve been relationships and coaching, as well.” Deals are in the works with helmet makers as ICEdot advances toward the mass market. It will translate into safer experiences the next time cyclists and snowboarders go flying down a mountain.

Future Plans: ICEdot will launch into motor

sports and other helmet wearing individual sports. And it’s looking at applications within the team sports category.

Funding: The company raised $1 million led by i2E and private angels.

Successes: ICEdot has completed develop-

ment of its Crash Sensor and began shipping the product in early August. It also has an in-

ternational presence. The company has secured distribution throughout the U.S., Continental

Europe and the UK. ICEdot also has integrated its identification system into two major helmet manufacturers with others in the works. www.icedot.org

Summer 2013 i&E

9


Profiles PinLeague

Danny Maloney, CEO

“That relationship has definitely been beneficial to PinLeague in a number of

Year founded: 2012

Location: Oklahoma City, OK Employees: 6

ways. One is just by being partnered with i2E, we’ve certainly gotten more visibility in the Oklahoma City area and

Pinsperations PinLeague’s innovative software allows brands to track audience growth on Pinterest Social network

Product or technology: Analytics and Campaign Management for the Pinterest social network.

Oklahoma as a state. Apart from that,

Market: PinLeague serves all businesses, from

even the challenging questions that we

prises. It is also quite popular among advertising

get from i2E have helped us really dig into our business plan and think about how we are going to grow the business.”

small local businesses to Fortune 100 enterand PR agencies. 

Future plans: The application of analytics for corporate brands on Pinterest is just the tip of the iceberg for PinLeague. Its longer-term vision is to help brands infuse social intelligence in all they do

– D anny M aloney

Funding: The company has been 100 percent bootstrapped since it was founded.

Successes: PinLeague recently welcomed its 1,000th customer. “We’re all very exicted about

P

ost a photo to the Pinterest social network and you are telling something about yourself to the world, says Danny Maloney. Except you don’t post photos to Pinterest. You “pin” them. Think about Pinterest as if it was a giant photo album that is constantly updated with boards on which pictures are pinned on widely diverse topics. You like puppies? There’s a board for that. Bicycles? Check. Prom dresses? Check. Vacation beaches in the Caribbean? Check. There are millions of interest boards created by Pinterest’s 85 million users who pin photos of the things they love. “What’s really compelling about Pinterest is it’s a really simple interface that lets people, very, very quickly look at lots of photos about whatever they are interested in,” said Maloney, co-founder and CEO of Oklahoma City-based PinLeague, which has developed an innovative suite of Web-based software tools for brand marketers and ad agencies who seek indepth information about Pinterest users and popular pins on the site. “Past social networks like Twitter and FB were based on who you are and what you are doing right now, Pinterest tends to be more aspirational,” Maloney said. “When people are cre10

i&E

Summer 2013

that,” Maloney said.

ating pinboards on Pinterest they are not just saying who they are, they are saying who they want to be.” Users who pin a lot of popular photos attract big followings. If they pin photos of products from their favorite retailers, for instance, marketers want to know that so they can connect with influential Pinterest users. Pinleague’s analytical software allows brands to track their audience growth on Pinterest, monitor discussions about their products and identify brand advocates and influential users. “What we do is help companies understand what their customers are doing and sharing on Pinterest what they are interested in,” Maloney said. “But also, we provide information like what the most popular viral products are and what their competitor’s most popular products are. So it is information that helps them both market better on Pinterest, but generally run their business better.” PinLeague was its own first customer for its software. Maloney and co-founder Alex Topiler were building a Pinterest-based business called bridesview.com and developed innovative analytical tools to help connect with brides-to-be on the social network.

“After a few months of using that technology we saw a real rapid growth ourselves and began telling some friends about the idea,” Maloney said. “That’s when the light bulb went off for us.” Although the co-founders were located in New York, PinLeague was established as an Oklahoma City-based company when Maloney and his wife relocated to her native Oklahoma. Maloney connected with i2E shortly after PinLeague was founded in 2011 on the advice of numerous people. “That relationship has definitely been beneficial to PinLeague in a number of ways,” he said. “One is just by being partnered with i2E, we’ve certainly gotten more visibility in the Oklahoma City area and Oklahoma as a state. Apart from that, even the challenging questions that we get from i2E have helped us really dig into our business plan and think about how we are going to grow the business.” PinLeague’s momentum should spark other tech-based companies to start up and flourish across Oklahoma, he said. “It’s a pretty exciting time to be here because of how fast the technology and Internet community is growing,” he said. Pin that to your success board.

www.Pinleague.com

Summer 2013 i&E

11


Profiles PinLeague

Danny Maloney, CEO

“That relationship has definitely been beneficial to PinLeague in a number of

Year founded: 2012

Location: Oklahoma City, OK Employees: 6

ways. One is just by being partnered with i2E, we’ve certainly gotten more visibility in the Oklahoma City area and

Pinsperations PinLeague’s innovative software allows brands to track audience growth on Pinterest Social network

Product or technology: Analytics and Campaign Management for the Pinterest social network.

Oklahoma as a state. Apart from that,

Market: PinLeague serves all businesses, from

even the challenging questions that we

prises. It is also quite popular among advertising

get from i2E have helped us really dig into our business plan and think about how we are going to grow the business.”

small local businesses to Fortune 100 enterand PR agencies. 

Future plans: The application of analytics for corporate brands on Pinterest is just the tip of the iceberg for PinLeague. Its longer-term vision is to help brands infuse social intelligence in all they do

– D anny M aloney

Funding: The company has been 100 percent bootstrapped since it was founded.

Successes: PinLeague recently welcomed its 1,000th customer. “We’re all very exicted about

P

ost a photo to the Pinterest social network and you are telling something about yourself to the world, says Danny Maloney. Except you don’t post photos to Pinterest. You “pin” them. Think about Pinterest as if it was a giant photo album that is constantly updated with boards on which pictures are pinned on widely diverse topics. You like puppies? There’s a board for that. Bicycles? Check. Prom dresses? Check. Vacation beaches in the Caribbean? Check. There are millions of interest boards created by Pinterest’s 85 million users who pin photos of the things they love. “What’s really compelling about Pinterest is it’s a really simple interface that lets people, very, very quickly look at lots of photos about whatever they are interested in,” said Maloney, co-founder and CEO of Oklahoma City-based PinLeague, which has developed an innovative suite of Web-based software tools for brand marketers and ad agencies who seek indepth information about Pinterest users and popular pins on the site. “Past social networks like Twitter and FB were based on who you are and what you are doing right now, Pinterest tends to be more aspirational,” Maloney said. “When people are cre10

i&E

Summer 2013

that,” Maloney said.

ating pinboards on Pinterest they are not just saying who they are, they are saying who they want to be.” Users who pin a lot of popular photos attract big followings. If they pin photos of products from their favorite retailers, for instance, marketers want to know that so they can connect with influential Pinterest users. Pinleague’s analytical software allows brands to track their audience growth on Pinterest, monitor discussions about their products and identify brand advocates and influential users. “What we do is help companies understand what their customers are doing and sharing on Pinterest what they are interested in,” Maloney said. “But also, we provide information like what the most popular viral products are and what their competitor’s most popular products are. So it is information that helps them both market better on Pinterest, but generally run their business better.” PinLeague was its own first customer for its software. Maloney and co-founder Alex Topiler were building a Pinterest-based business called bridesview.com and developed innovative analytical tools to help connect with brides-to-be on the social network.

“After a few months of using that technology we saw a real rapid growth ourselves and began telling some friends about the idea,” Maloney said. “That’s when the light bulb went off for us.” Although the co-founders were located in New York, PinLeague was established as an Oklahoma City-based company when Maloney and his wife relocated to her native Oklahoma. Maloney connected with i2E shortly after PinLeague was founded in 2011 on the advice of numerous people. “That relationship has definitely been beneficial to PinLeague in a number of ways,” he said. “One is just by being partnered with i2E, we’ve certainly gotten more visibility in the Oklahoma City area and Oklahoma as a state. Apart from that, even the challenging questions that we get from i2E have helped us really dig into our business plan and think about how we are going to grow the business.” PinLeague’s momentum should spark other tech-based companies to start up and flourish across Oklahoma, he said. “It’s a pretty exciting time to be here because of how fast the technology and Internet community is growing,” he said. Pin that to your success board.

www.Pinleague.com

Summer 2013 i&E

11


YESSWAY! Clinical-Grade Balance System in the palm of your hand. As a graduate student studying Neuropsychology, Chase Curtiss conducted research into brain injuries while obtaining his master’s degree at Wichita State University. The research experience led him to later conceive the idea of creating a more objective way to determine concussions in athletes than current methods of having coaches or trainer observe and use their judgment. Curtiss’s idea evolved into a smart phone app and a Tulsa-based company called Sway Medical LLC that has made big strides in advancing the technology. Curtiss founded Sway Medical in 2009 as Capacity Sports with the idea of using the sensors inside an iPhone to measure and monitor a person’s sense of balance. He created a Sway Balance app designed to assess the risk of concussions in a significantly more timely and cost efficient way than previous methods that involved expensive machines or subjective judgment of people. “We are giving an exact value for balance as opposed to a trainer or coach saying ‘that player kind of looks like they are off balance,” Curtiss said. “Most other screening tools that are used, especially on the sideline, are all subjective.” Backed by $50,000-plus in concept funding from i2E, Curtiss developed a working prototype that was tested at Wichita State. Sway Medical has since received Food and Drug Administration clearance as a diagnostic tool and outcomes measurement tool of multiple skeletal and neu-

rological dysfunctions. It also has expanded its market from athletic concussions to a much broader market that includes senior care and physical therapy. The company forged a strategic partnership with Impact Applications (the leading firm in concussion management), has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and secured $750K Series A funding, including $300K from the i2E-managed OK Angel Sidecar Fund. Sway Medical is up to seven employees and growing. The Sway Balance application is available as a free app at the iTunes store, although its use requires a paid subscription fee. “It’s been an amazing two years,” Chase said. “We are going to radically change data collection in the healthcare field and the way diagnostics are done. People have no idea what is possible.”

Bio around the State

Oklahoma biotechnology researchers, educators and entrepreneurs are contributing groundbreaking work in the areas of their specialty that includes new ways to treat disease, to make and store biologic materials and innovative programs to educate future scientists. Here is a sample of what’s ongoing in the state:

DRUG MANUFACTURER FOR CLINICAL TRIALS: Cytovance Biologics has shown incredible growth over the past five years, with revenue from its specialized contract biological manufacturing services growing from $1.5 million in 2008 to a projected $22.5 million this year. Cytovance delivers a broad menu of specialized contract biological manufacturing services that help companies such as Oklahoma City’s Selexys Pharmaceuticals manufacture drugs for clinical trials. For more information, contact Valerie McDonnell, VP of Sales and Business Development, at (405) 319-8612 or email at vmcdonnell@cytovance.com.

University-Tulsa, Tulsa Tech Career Center, Northeastern State University-Broken Arrow, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa University and Tulsa Community College. Contact Dr. Diana Spencer, Biotechnology program coordinator, at (918) 595-8605 or email at dspencer@tulsacc.edu.

FIGHTING VIRUSES: Pure Protein, a spin out from the University of Oklahoma, is marketing a genetically engineered form of HLA – human leukocyte antigen – for critical medical procedures and research. The Pure Protein HLA product is marketed to companies that want to prevent transplant rejection and those developing anti-viral and anti-cancer vaccines. For more information, email info@pureproteinllc.com or call (512) 697-8143.

THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER The Department of Pediatrics is focusing on methods to identify and diagnose inherited metabolic diseases. The department developed a bioinformatics tool that enables clinicians, researchers and laboratories to more efficiently identify genes and screen mutations that may be responsible for a certain disease. The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, is conducting research on novel chemistry for drug delivery systems, imaging technology and oncology therapeutics. Researchers have developed a method to synthesize liposomes, which are tiny bubbles made out of the same material as a cell membrane. This technology does not produce the side effects seen with the current liposome technology. The Department of Microbiology is working to develop new therapies against antibiotic-associated disease. In addition to studying ways to vaccinate against the disease, the research team is working to predict and prevent the devastating reoccurrence and the increased mortality of this disease

COLD STORAGE SPACE AVAILABLE: Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) maintains 2,500 cubic feet of minus-80 degree freezer space and 7,000 cubic feet of minus-20 space in its Biorepository and is now making it available to other Oklahoma bioscience researchers. OMRF is seeking scientists with tissue samples used in scientific research or cells from clinical trials that the Food and Drug Administration requires to be stored for a certain period of time, vaccines or antibiotics that could be stored in case of outbreaks or diseases or even seed stocks for grain. For more information, contact Deborah Moorad-Watts at (405) 271-1741 or email Deborah-Moorad-Watts@omrf.org. BIOMEDICAL EDUCATION: The Tulsa Area Bioscience and Research Consortium is devoted to developing bioscience research in Tulsa through multidisciplinary and collaborative approaches to undergraduate and graduate education and technical training. It provides annual internship opportunities to students that includes a 16-hour laboratory introductory course and work in labs throughout the Tulsa area. Consortium members include Rogers State University, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa, Langston University-Tulsa, Oklahoma State

12

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TOXICOLOGY LAB DRIK, LLC, Drik, LLC, is opening Oklahoma’s first commercial toxicology testing laboratory in the Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park in Oklahoma City. Drik’s laboratory and vivarium will reduce the time and expense for companies that often have to conduct toxicology testing on the East or West coasts for new drugs under development. Contact: Dr. Kumar Sripathirathan, CEO, at (405) 202-0117 or email at kumar@atdrik.com.

OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY Researchers have identified two protein components on the surface of a bacteria known as Shigella that form the basis of a vaccine against the diarrheal disease known as shigellosis. Diarrheal diseases trail only respiratory illness as the leading cause of death in children under 5. Process development is currently being performed on the vaccine components with a nonprofit vaccine development organization known as PATH. Summer 2013 i&E

13


YESSWAY! Clinical-Grade Balance System in the palm of your hand. As a graduate student studying Neuropsychology, Chase Curtiss conducted research into brain injuries while obtaining his master’s degree at Wichita State University. The research experience led him to later conceive the idea of creating a more objective way to determine concussions in athletes than current methods of having coaches or trainer observe and use their judgment. Curtiss’s idea evolved into a smart phone app and a Tulsa-based company called Sway Medical LLC that has made big strides in advancing the technology. Curtiss founded Sway Medical in 2009 as Capacity Sports with the idea of using the sensors inside an iPhone to measure and monitor a person’s sense of balance. He created a Sway Balance app designed to assess the risk of concussions in a significantly more timely and cost efficient way than previous methods that involved expensive machines or subjective judgment of people. “We are giving an exact value for balance as opposed to a trainer or coach saying ‘that player kind of looks like they are off balance,” Curtiss said. “Most other screening tools that are used, especially on the sideline, are all subjective.” Backed by $50,000-plus in concept funding from i2E, Curtiss developed a working prototype that was tested at Wichita State. Sway Medical has since received Food and Drug Administration clearance as a diagnostic tool and outcomes measurement tool of multiple skeletal and neu-

rological dysfunctions. It also has expanded its market from athletic concussions to a much broader market that includes senior care and physical therapy. The company forged a strategic partnership with Impact Applications (the leading firm in concussion management), has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and secured $750K Series A funding, including $300K from the i2E-managed OK Angel Sidecar Fund. Sway Medical is up to seven employees and growing. The Sway Balance application is available as a free app at the iTunes store, although its use requires a paid subscription fee. “It’s been an amazing two years,” Chase said. “We are going to radically change data collection in the healthcare field and the way diagnostics are done. People have no idea what is possible.”

Bio around the State

Oklahoma biotechnology researchers, educators and entrepreneurs are contributing groundbreaking work in the areas of their specialty that includes new ways to treat disease, to make and store biologic materials and innovative programs to educate future scientists. Here is a sample of what’s ongoing in the state:

DRUG MANUFACTURER FOR CLINICAL TRIALS: Cytovance Biologics has shown incredible growth over the past five years, with revenue from its specialized contract biological manufacturing services growing from $1.5 million in 2008 to a projected $22.5 million this year. Cytovance delivers a broad menu of specialized contract biological manufacturing services that help companies such as Oklahoma City’s Selexys Pharmaceuticals manufacture drugs for clinical trials. For more information, contact Valerie McDonnell, VP of Sales and Business Development, at (405) 319-8612 or email at vmcdonnell@cytovance.com.

University-Tulsa, Tulsa Tech Career Center, Northeastern State University-Broken Arrow, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa University and Tulsa Community College. Contact Dr. Diana Spencer, Biotechnology program coordinator, at (918) 595-8605 or email at dspencer@tulsacc.edu.

FIGHTING VIRUSES: Pure Protein, a spin out from the University of Oklahoma, is marketing a genetically engineered form of HLA – human leukocyte antigen – for critical medical procedures and research. The Pure Protein HLA product is marketed to companies that want to prevent transplant rejection and those developing anti-viral and anti-cancer vaccines. For more information, email info@pureproteinllc.com or call (512) 697-8143.

THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER The Department of Pediatrics is focusing on methods to identify and diagnose inherited metabolic diseases. The department developed a bioinformatics tool that enables clinicians, researchers and laboratories to more efficiently identify genes and screen mutations that may be responsible for a certain disease. The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, is conducting research on novel chemistry for drug delivery systems, imaging technology and oncology therapeutics. Researchers have developed a method to synthesize liposomes, which are tiny bubbles made out of the same material as a cell membrane. This technology does not produce the side effects seen with the current liposome technology. The Department of Microbiology is working to develop new therapies against antibiotic-associated disease. In addition to studying ways to vaccinate against the disease, the research team is working to predict and prevent the devastating reoccurrence and the increased mortality of this disease

COLD STORAGE SPACE AVAILABLE: Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) maintains 2,500 cubic feet of minus-80 degree freezer space and 7,000 cubic feet of minus-20 space in its Biorepository and is now making it available to other Oklahoma bioscience researchers. OMRF is seeking scientists with tissue samples used in scientific research or cells from clinical trials that the Food and Drug Administration requires to be stored for a certain period of time, vaccines or antibiotics that could be stored in case of outbreaks or diseases or even seed stocks for grain. For more information, contact Deborah Moorad-Watts at (405) 271-1741 or email Deborah-Moorad-Watts@omrf.org. BIOMEDICAL EDUCATION: The Tulsa Area Bioscience and Research Consortium is devoted to developing bioscience research in Tulsa through multidisciplinary and collaborative approaches to undergraduate and graduate education and technical training. It provides annual internship opportunities to students that includes a 16-hour laboratory introductory course and work in labs throughout the Tulsa area. Consortium members include Rogers State University, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa, Langston University-Tulsa, Oklahoma State

12

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Summer 2013

TOXICOLOGY LAB DRIK, LLC, Drik, LLC, is opening Oklahoma’s first commercial toxicology testing laboratory in the Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park in Oklahoma City. Drik’s laboratory and vivarium will reduce the time and expense for companies that often have to conduct toxicology testing on the East or West coasts for new drugs under development. Contact: Dr. Kumar Sripathirathan, CEO, at (405) 202-0117 or email at kumar@atdrik.com.

OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY Researchers have identified two protein components on the surface of a bacteria known as Shigella that form the basis of a vaccine against the diarrheal disease known as shigellosis. Diarrheal diseases trail only respiratory illness as the leading cause of death in children under 5. Process development is currently being performed on the vaccine components with a nonprofit vaccine development organization known as PATH. Summer 2013 i&E

13


Biopharmaceutical Sector Impact on the Economy of

7,732

OK

JACK ANTHONY is a San Francisco-based Entrepreneur-in-Residence for i2E who specializes in growing and investing in life sciences companies. We asked him for his perspective on the industry in Oklahoma.

Total Jobs Supported

The biopharmaceutical sector supports a total of 7,732 jobs in Oklahoma, including direct jobs, jobs with vendors and suppliers to biopharmaceutical companies such as construction companies and I.T. companies, and jobs generated by the sector’s employees such as day care centers and restaurants.

Economic $1.4B Total Output Supported

$63M

Economic output represents the value of the goods and services produced by a sector. In 2011 the biopharmaceutical sector supported $1.4 billion in economic output in Oklahoma, including the direct output of the sector, the output of the sector’s vendors and suppliers, and the output generated by the economic activity of its workforce.

Workers in Oklahoma whose jobs were supported by the biopharmaceutical sector paid a total of $63 million personal taxes in 2011—$56 million in federal taxes and $7 million in state and local taxes.

Total Personal Taxes Supported

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE U.S. BIOPHARMACEUTICAL SECTOR

Direct Output per Direct Employee

Compensation per Direct U.S. Employee U.S. Biopharmaceutical Sector $110,490

U.S. Biopharmaceutical Sector $461,293

U.S. Economy Overall $54,455

U.S. Economy Overall $149,228

Direct biopharmaceutical sector workers averaged $110,490 in wages and benefits—more than twice the average compensation per U.S. worker of $54,455—an indication of the high-quality jobs the biopharmaceutical industry provides to U.S. workers.

The biopharmaceutical sector’s high output per employee, a measure of productivity, indicates the sector’s important contribution to U.S. economic competitiveness and its potential to drive economic growth.

Types of Direct Jobs T 17% Life, Physical & Social Science

14% Office & Administrative Support

13% Production

11% Management

9% Business & Financial Operations

National Estimates* 8%

8%

7%

5%

8%

Architecture Computer & Sales & Transportation Other** & Engineering Mathematical Related & Material Occupations Moving

*Types of direct biopharmaceutical jobs are estimates and are for 2012. All other estimates are for 2011. **Other occupations include areas such as Installation, Maintenance, & Repair (2%), Healthcare Practitioners (2%), Arts, Design, & Media (1%), and Building & Grounds Maintenance (1%), among others. Source: Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, The Economic Impact of the U.S. Biopharmaceutical Industry, Report prepared for PhRMA, July 2013.

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Q: What do you see as Oklahoma’s role or place in the life sciences industry? A: Oklahoma’s place or role is really no different than any other geographic area where the terrain includes top notch academics, bright students, angel investors, experienced mentors and an entrepreneurial spirit. My guess is that the forefathers of today’s Oklahoma pretty much brought the pioneering “entrepreneurial” spirit with them and, with the richness of state’s resources, have developed the rest. Life sciences takes root wherever bright people/ scientists, universities and funding work together. I see it in my visits.   Q: What opportunities are there for Oklahoma to grow its life sciences industry?  A: The door is wide open. Probably best oriented towards the skill sets present in the state. Life sciences does best where resources are vertically oriented from idea/discovery to developmental skills/funding to clinical expertise. Commercialization skills from global companies will come into play as the data suggests success in areas of unfilled needs. Great ideas coupled with a rational plan and bright people with funding are always in demand.   Q: What is the most important milestone that a new life sciences company in Oklahoma needs to achieve?  A: Begin with a rock solid business plan that gets you to a “proof of relevance” stage as soon as possible. Keep expenses low and energy high. Be fearless in looking for funding.   Q: What is the most important item to get right early? A: Your Elevator Pitch. You cannot spend enough time honing down a 30-45 second pitch that covers idea, goal, IP, stage, market and next step. Practice it in front of a mirror, with your partner, your dog, your Mom.  Not in front of investors. Modify it as progress is made.  Be comfortable in it and know the questions that it will lead to (and answers…). Q: As an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for i2E for the past two years, what have you seen in Oklahoma entrepreneurs or their technologies that makes them distinctive? A: Enthusiasm, honesty (i.e. no BS), not being afraid of hard work and openness with peers. Understanding the markets and how their technologies fit.   Q: How is the life sciences industry as a whole evolving? A: The list of unmet needs remains long but the development path is tougher now that much “low hanging fruit” has been picked. Focus is on results in light of economics and the regulatory pathways that are getting complex due to some groups taking shortcuts. In drugs, the field of regenerative medicine is taking hold and in devices, those which act like drugs are coming to the front.  Creativity and out-of-box thinking still rules.

EVENTS August 27 Bio Business Solutions Networking Reception September 27 Closing the Deal with Jack Anthony October 11 The Oklahoma Entrepreneurial Summit October 20 BioScience Roundtable Meeting October 29 OKBio Brewfest November 7 Capital Conference in OKC November 8 Capital Conference in Tulsa November 15 BioScience Roundtable Meeting November 20 Tulsa Innovation Forum followed by a networking reception For more information on events, contact Katelynn Henderson at 405.813.2428 or khenderson@i2E.org

WELCOME TO 3 NEW OKBIO MEMBERS Drik, LLC is establishing Oklahoma’s first toxicology testing laboratory that will help researchers and pharmaceutical companies prove the safety of new drugs under development. EpimedX is developing a treatment for blood diseases that include sickle cell disease, beta-thalassemia and malaria. Great Plains Technology is building advanced food safety testing solutions from technology they developed for use in the clinical molecular diagnostics industry.

Summer 2013 i&E

15


Biopharmaceutical Sector Impact on the Economy of

7,732

OK

JACK ANTHONY is a San Francisco-based Entrepreneur-in-Residence for i2E who specializes in growing and investing in life sciences companies. We asked him for his perspective on the industry in Oklahoma.

Total Jobs Supported

The biopharmaceutical sector supports a total of 7,732 jobs in Oklahoma, including direct jobs, jobs with vendors and suppliers to biopharmaceutical companies such as construction companies and I.T. companies, and jobs generated by the sector’s employees such as day care centers and restaurants.

Economic $1.4B Total Output Supported

$63M

Economic output represents the value of the goods and services produced by a sector. In 2011 the biopharmaceutical sector supported $1.4 billion in economic output in Oklahoma, including the direct output of the sector, the output of the sector’s vendors and suppliers, and the output generated by the economic activity of its workforce.

Workers in Oklahoma whose jobs were supported by the biopharmaceutical sector paid a total of $63 million personal taxes in 2011—$56 million in federal taxes and $7 million in state and local taxes.

Total Personal Taxes Supported

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE U.S. BIOPHARMACEUTICAL SECTOR

Direct Output per Direct Employee

Compensation per Direct U.S. Employee U.S. Biopharmaceutical Sector $110,490

U.S. Biopharmaceutical Sector $461,293

U.S. Economy Overall $54,455

U.S. Economy Overall $149,228

Direct biopharmaceutical sector workers averaged $110,490 in wages and benefits—more than twice the average compensation per U.S. worker of $54,455—an indication of the high-quality jobs the biopharmaceutical industry provides to U.S. workers.

The biopharmaceutical sector’s high output per employee, a measure of productivity, indicates the sector’s important contribution to U.S. economic competitiveness and its potential to drive economic growth.

Types of Direct Jobs T 17% Life, Physical & Social Science

14% Office & Administrative Support

13% Production

11% Management

9% Business & Financial Operations

National Estimates* 8%

8%

7%

5%

8%

Architecture Computer & Sales & Transportation Other** & Engineering Mathematical Related & Material Occupations Moving

*Types of direct biopharmaceutical jobs are estimates and are for 2012. All other estimates are for 2011. **Other occupations include areas such as Installation, Maintenance, & Repair (2%), Healthcare Practitioners (2%), Arts, Design, & Media (1%), and Building & Grounds Maintenance (1%), among others. Source: Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, The Economic Impact of the U.S. Biopharmaceutical Industry, Report prepared for PhRMA, July 2013.

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Summer 2013

Q: What do you see as Oklahoma’s role or place in the life sciences industry? A: Oklahoma’s place or role is really no different than any other geographic area where the terrain includes top notch academics, bright students, angel investors, experienced mentors and an entrepreneurial spirit. My guess is that the forefathers of today’s Oklahoma pretty much brought the pioneering “entrepreneurial” spirit with them and, with the richness of state’s resources, have developed the rest. Life sciences takes root wherever bright people/ scientists, universities and funding work together. I see it in my visits.   Q: What opportunities are there for Oklahoma to grow its life sciences industry?  A: The door is wide open. Probably best oriented towards the skill sets present in the state. Life sciences does best where resources are vertically oriented from idea/discovery to developmental skills/funding to clinical expertise. Commercialization skills from global companies will come into play as the data suggests success in areas of unfilled needs. Great ideas coupled with a rational plan and bright people with funding are always in demand.   Q: What is the most important milestone that a new life sciences company in Oklahoma needs to achieve?  A: Begin with a rock solid business plan that gets you to a “proof of relevance” stage as soon as possible. Keep expenses low and energy high. Be fearless in looking for funding.   Q: What is the most important item to get right early? A: Your Elevator Pitch. You cannot spend enough time honing down a 30-45 second pitch that covers idea, goal, IP, stage, market and next step. Practice it in front of a mirror, with your partner, your dog, your Mom.  Not in front of investors. Modify it as progress is made.  Be comfortable in it and know the questions that it will lead to (and answers…). Q: As an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for i2E for the past two years, what have you seen in Oklahoma entrepreneurs or their technologies that makes them distinctive? A: Enthusiasm, honesty (i.e. no BS), not being afraid of hard work and openness with peers. Understanding the markets and how their technologies fit.   Q: How is the life sciences industry as a whole evolving? A: The list of unmet needs remains long but the development path is tougher now that much “low hanging fruit” has been picked. Focus is on results in light of economics and the regulatory pathways that are getting complex due to some groups taking shortcuts. In drugs, the field of regenerative medicine is taking hold and in devices, those which act like drugs are coming to the front.  Creativity and out-of-box thinking still rules.

EVENTS August 27 Bio Business Solutions Networking Reception September 27 Closing the Deal with Jack Anthony October 11 The Oklahoma Entrepreneurial Summit October 20 BioScience Roundtable Meeting October 29 OKBio Brewfest November 7 Capital Conference in OKC November 8 Capital Conference in Tulsa November 15 BioScience Roundtable Meeting November 20 Tulsa Innovation Forum followed by a networking reception For more information on events, contact Katelynn Henderson at 405.813.2428 or khenderson@i2E.org

WELCOME TO 3 NEW OKBIO MEMBERS Drik, LLC is establishing Oklahoma’s first toxicology testing laboratory that will help researchers and pharmaceutical companies prove the safety of new drugs under development. EpimedX is developing a treatment for blood diseases that include sickle cell disease, beta-thalassemia and malaria. Great Plains Technology is building advanced food safety testing solutions from technology they developed for use in the clinical molecular diagnostics industry.

Summer 2013 i&E

15


WOR L D C L A S S

CAMPUS Noble Foundation pursues groundbreaking agriculture research in stunning Ardmore facilities

T

urn left off of Veterans Boulevard onto Sam Noble Parkway on the east side of Ardmore, and in less than a mile you will drive past what appear to be the ivory towers of academia. Well, yes … and no. For a first-time visitor to this southern Oklahoma community of 25,000, the initial glimpse of the stunning campus that is the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation on the outskirts of town can be quite misleading. The campus certainly has a collegiate look and feel. But it’s not a university.  The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation is the largest private foundation in Oklahoma and the largest non-profit, indepen-

16

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Summer 2013

dent agricultural research institute in the nation. It occupies 800 acres of beautifully manicured property on both sides of Sam Noble Parkway. The centerpiece is a 500,000 square foot main campus that offers research, program, infrastructure and administrative space. The primary focus is plant science research, which is conducted in more than 20 primary research laboratories where scientists undertake everything from basic genetic and genomic plant research to advanced plant breeding and production agriculture research. The organization looks to improve crop productivity and value to enhance agriculture.

The Noble Foundation was founded in 1945 by Oklahoma oil man Lloyd Noble with a mission to advance agriculture through land stewardship and resource conservation. It continues to pursue that mission and over the years has evolved into three operating divisions – Plant Biology, Forage Improvement and Agricultural – as well as philanthropic endeavors. “We have a great history, and we are building a great future story,” said Noble Foundation President and CEO Bill

Lloyd Noble circa 1945

Buckner. “I enjoy talking about it. We are following a strategic research plan to impact agriculture, its producers and, ultimately, consumers — and, we are doing it in a manner to protect the soil. This is exactly what Lloyd Noble wanted us to do. If you are going to do things, do them well and make sure they have monumental outcomes.” Today, the Noble Foundation employs almost 400 people, including more than 110 Ph.D. scientists, agricultural consultants and research associates who come to Ardmore from more than 25 countries and six continents. It owns eight farms, totaling more than 13,000 acres of research and demonstration land in southern Oklahoma. The Noble Foundation’s research scientists work to create new drought and disease-resistant plant varieties that improve forage for cattle herds and ranches throughout Oklahoma and around the world. It also employs experts in livestock, pasture and range, soils and crops, horticulture, wildlife and fisheries management and agricultural economics who work closely with farmers and ranchers to improve their operations and build sustainable businesses. The Noble Foundation is both an economic driver and intellectual leader for Ardmore and the entire state. “The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation is a key entity, creating a scientific center of gravity for our region,” said Brian Carter, interim President and CEO of the Ardmore Development Authority. “Through its programs targeted to students, the general public and for agricultural producers, it is literally seeding and cultivating the intellectual growth of our community”

“Through its programs targeted to students, the general public and for agricultural producers, it is literally seeding and cultivating the intellectual growth of our community”

visitor to Buckner’s Ardmore office wanted to know how an organization located in a rural area of southern Oklahoma – midway between Oklahoma City and Dallas – could lure so many international scientists to its campus. Buckner offered a simple explanation. “Our researchers have a strong reputation,” he said. “Through their scientific publications and global presentations, they’ve become known to the scientific community around the world. Visiting scientists and our research employees want to be associated with and contribute to the research of Noble’s established and respected scientists – it makes them better. As our research programs advance in-line with our mission and purpose, the Noble Foundation and its goal of delivering purposeful outcomes benefits.”

The Noble Foundation also has an educational component to its mission. It annually welcomes hundreds of school children, visiting scientists and agri-business leaders to its campus for academies, workshops and scientific presentations, said Buckner, who has led the foundation as its President and CEO since January 2012. Its recruitment of international scientists has provided diversity to the community and enhanced its reputation as center for world class research ongoing in its laboratories. Earlier this summer, a

Summer 2013 i&E

17


WOR L D C L A S S

CAMPUS Noble Foundation pursues groundbreaking agriculture research in stunning Ardmore facilities

T

urn left off of Veterans Boulevard onto Sam Noble Parkway on the east side of Ardmore, and in less than a mile you will drive past what appear to be the ivory towers of academia. Well, yes … and no. For a first-time visitor to this southern Oklahoma community of 25,000, the initial glimpse of the stunning campus that is the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation on the outskirts of town can be quite misleading. The campus certainly has a collegiate look and feel. But it’s not a university.  The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation is the largest private foundation in Oklahoma and the largest non-profit, indepen-

16

i&E

Summer 2013

dent agricultural research institute in the nation. It occupies 800 acres of beautifully manicured property on both sides of Sam Noble Parkway. The centerpiece is a 500,000 square foot main campus that offers research, program, infrastructure and administrative space. The primary focus is plant science research, which is conducted in more than 20 primary research laboratories where scientists undertake everything from basic genetic and genomic plant research to advanced plant breeding and production agriculture research. The organization looks to improve crop productivity and value to enhance agriculture.

The Noble Foundation was founded in 1945 by Oklahoma oil man Lloyd Noble with a mission to advance agriculture through land stewardship and resource conservation. It continues to pursue that mission and over the years has evolved into three operating divisions – Plant Biology, Forage Improvement and Agricultural – as well as philanthropic endeavors. “We have a great history, and we are building a great future story,” said Noble Foundation President and CEO Bill

Lloyd Noble circa 1945

Buckner. “I enjoy talking about it. We are following a strategic research plan to impact agriculture, its producers and, ultimately, consumers — and, we are doing it in a manner to protect the soil. This is exactly what Lloyd Noble wanted us to do. If you are going to do things, do them well and make sure they have monumental outcomes.” Today, the Noble Foundation employs almost 400 people, including more than 110 Ph.D. scientists, agricultural consultants and research associates who come to Ardmore from more than 25 countries and six continents. It owns eight farms, totaling more than 13,000 acres of research and demonstration land in southern Oklahoma. The Noble Foundation’s research scientists work to create new drought and disease-resistant plant varieties that improve forage for cattle herds and ranches throughout Oklahoma and around the world. It also employs experts in livestock, pasture and range, soils and crops, horticulture, wildlife and fisheries management and agricultural economics who work closely with farmers and ranchers to improve their operations and build sustainable businesses. The Noble Foundation is both an economic driver and intellectual leader for Ardmore and the entire state. “The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation is a key entity, creating a scientific center of gravity for our region,” said Brian Carter, interim President and CEO of the Ardmore Development Authority. “Through its programs targeted to students, the general public and for agricultural producers, it is literally seeding and cultivating the intellectual growth of our community”

“Through its programs targeted to students, the general public and for agricultural producers, it is literally seeding and cultivating the intellectual growth of our community”

visitor to Buckner’s Ardmore office wanted to know how an organization located in a rural area of southern Oklahoma – midway between Oklahoma City and Dallas – could lure so many international scientists to its campus. Buckner offered a simple explanation. “Our researchers have a strong reputation,” he said. “Through their scientific publications and global presentations, they’ve become known to the scientific community around the world. Visiting scientists and our research employees want to be associated with and contribute to the research of Noble’s established and respected scientists – it makes them better. As our research programs advance in-line with our mission and purpose, the Noble Foundation and its goal of delivering purposeful outcomes benefits.”

The Noble Foundation also has an educational component to its mission. It annually welcomes hundreds of school children, visiting scientists and agri-business leaders to its campus for academies, workshops and scientific presentations, said Buckner, who has led the foundation as its President and CEO since January 2012. Its recruitment of international scientists has provided diversity to the community and enhanced its reputation as center for world class research ongoing in its laboratories. Earlier this summer, a

Summer 2013 i&E

17


The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation President and CEO Bill Buckner recently took time out to discuss issues that the organization is tackling, ranging from newly introduced legislation to the future of biotech in Oklahoma. Here are excerpts of that conversation.

Q: I understand that the Charitable Agricultural Research Act was recently introduced into Congress. What would the legislation do? A: The legislation would create a new type of 501(c)(3) charitable organization, agricultural research organizations, to enable philanthropic giving to build U.S. agricultural research capability in conjunction with the nation’s agricultural universities. Q: Why is the legislation important? A: It provides a vehicle for people, like our founder Lloyd Noble, to create non-profit research institutions focused on conducting agricultural research. If someone – like Mr. Noble – wanted to create the Noble Foundation today, it would be an incredible task. While the U.S. Tax Code enables private wealth to create non-profit, human medical research institutions, this ability does not extend to animal or plant sciences. The Charitable Agricultural Research Act would level the playing field across the life sciences. This legislation enables a free-market, non-traditional approach to growing our nation’s research capacity. Agriculture faces many challenges that demand advances in technology and innovation. If we continue to rely on diminishing public funds to spark and sustain an innovation engine, we will likely miss our mark. This legislation will open new doors to use private wealth to ensure safe and plentiful food, feed and fiber; encourage new public-private

The Noble Foundation’s main areas of research are in the areas of nitrogen, phosphorous, drought tolerance and the abilities of plants to fight off disease. That research flows from the Plant Biology Division through the Forage Improvement Division, which translates it into tangible plant varieties, on to the Agricultural Division and ultimately to the farms and ranches in southern Oklahoma, north Texas and beyond. Here’s how it all meshes together in a specific area such as alfalfa. “Our three divisions collaborate to identify target traits, such as drought tolerance, and insert them into valuable crop species, alfalfa, that are optimal for the Southern Great Plains,” Buckner said. “Noble’s scientists, plant breeders and applied researchers work together through each phase from discovery to traditional and advanced plant breeding to testing in greenhouse and field conditions. The end result is an improved plant variety that offers better outcomes for farmers and ranchers.” 18

i&E

Summer 2013

The outcome of that workflow will be a new variety of alfalfa that Oklahoma ranchers can plant that will tolerate drought conditions, offer unique disease resistance and be a more efficient feedstock for grazing cattle. Through its relationship with the nation’s leading alfalfa seed company, it has access to advanced breeding stock and the ability to deliver new technologies to the marketplace. Of course, the Noble Foundation’s impact goes far beyond new plant varieties. It provides millions of dollars in grant awards to non-profits and educational institutions annually. It provides ag education to school aged children through a new initiative known as the Noble Academy. And it employs teams of agricultural consultants who work one-on-one with individual farmers and ranchers to help improve their operations. The Noble Foundation professionals will create a plan of action that producers can use as a blueprint for building sustainable agricultural businesses.

“Our consultation program is offered at no cost for the producers,” Buckner said. “Every bit of it.” Noble will send its specialists out to work one-on-one with ranchers in a 100-mile radius of Ardmore, which means it provides much of its expertise to Texas producers as well as in Oklahoma. Noble experts will also consult with producers virtually anywhere. “Through our ag helpline, we’ve had people from 48 states contact us for assistance,” Buckner said. “But our reach is much broader than that. The impact of the Noble Foundation crosses the country and circles the globe every day. Our consultants, research scientists and staff are sending out invaluable information, speaking at conferences and working with collaborators to advance the areas of plant science and animal research.” The outcomes from The Samuel Roberts Noble flow across Oklahoma and around the world. It all begins on an 800-acre campus in southern Oklahoma that has the look and feel of a great research university.

partnerships; and appropriately, move us down the road to feed an increasingly hungry world. Q: Is there support for the legislation? A: Yes. The legislation, introduced in both the House and the Senate just a few weeks ago, enjoys bi-partisan support with more than 15 co-sponsors in the House and nearly 10 co-sponsors in the Senate. These numbers are growing. Interestingly, because it is a tax measure, the legislation has both non-agricultural and agricultural appeal. Outside of Congress, almost 70 universities and agricultural industry support organizations are supporting the legislation. Q: What is your vision for the Oklahoma Bioscience Association and ag bio in Oklahoma? A: I think Oklahoma has focused well on one side of the life sciences – human biopharma area. Oklahoma agriculture is another area that we can excel in. Human biopharma has benefited from a tight cluster of resources and operations in the Oklahoma City area; agricultural, by definition, tends to be more rural and spread out. One could argue that the horse has left the barn relative to Oklahoma’s competitiveness in the ag biotech sector. If we are to be successful and competitive in attracting and retaining talent, we need a comprehensive plan. The Noble Foundation, Oklahoma State University, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and others need to come together and create a vision for the agricultural biosciences in the state. We need to define a strategy, which is achievable, and then put it into action. Agriculture means a lot to Oklahoma, its people and its history. Through technology development and science, we have a great opportunity to see it continue to prosper today and into the future. Summer 2013 i&E

19


The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation President and CEO Bill Buckner recently took time out to discuss issues that the organization is tackling, ranging from newly introduced legislation to the future of biotech in Oklahoma. Here are excerpts of that conversation.

Q: I understand that the Charitable Agricultural Research Act was recently introduced into Congress. What would the legislation do? A: The legislation would create a new type of 501(c)(3) charitable organization, agricultural research organizations, to enable philanthropic giving to build U.S. agricultural research capability in conjunction with the nation’s agricultural universities. Q: Why is the legislation important? A: It provides a vehicle for people, like our founder Lloyd Noble, to create non-profit research institutions focused on conducting agricultural research. If someone – like Mr. Noble – wanted to create the Noble Foundation today, it would be an incredible task. While the U.S. Tax Code enables private wealth to create non-profit, human medical research institutions, this ability does not extend to animal or plant sciences. The Charitable Agricultural Research Act would level the playing field across the life sciences. This legislation enables a free-market, non-traditional approach to growing our nation’s research capacity. Agriculture faces many challenges that demand advances in technology and innovation. If we continue to rely on diminishing public funds to spark and sustain an innovation engine, we will likely miss our mark. This legislation will open new doors to use private wealth to ensure safe and plentiful food, feed and fiber; encourage new public-private

The Noble Foundation’s main areas of research are in the areas of nitrogen, phosphorous, drought tolerance and the abilities of plants to fight off disease. That research flows from the Plant Biology Division through the Forage Improvement Division, which translates it into tangible plant varieties, on to the Agricultural Division and ultimately to the farms and ranches in southern Oklahoma, north Texas and beyond. Here’s how it all meshes together in a specific area such as alfalfa. “Our three divisions collaborate to identify target traits, such as drought tolerance, and insert them into valuable crop species, alfalfa, that are optimal for the Southern Great Plains,” Buckner said. “Noble’s scientists, plant breeders and applied researchers work together through each phase from discovery to traditional and advanced plant breeding to testing in greenhouse and field conditions. The end result is an improved plant variety that offers better outcomes for farmers and ranchers.” 18

i&E

Summer 2013

The outcome of that workflow will be a new variety of alfalfa that Oklahoma ranchers can plant that will tolerate drought conditions, offer unique disease resistance and be a more efficient feedstock for grazing cattle. Through its relationship with the nation’s leading alfalfa seed company, it has access to advanced breeding stock and the ability to deliver new technologies to the marketplace. Of course, the Noble Foundation’s impact goes far beyond new plant varieties. It provides millions of dollars in grant awards to non-profits and educational institutions annually. It provides ag education to school aged children through a new initiative known as the Noble Academy. And it employs teams of agricultural consultants who work one-on-one with individual farmers and ranchers to help improve their operations. The Noble Foundation professionals will create a plan of action that producers can use as a blueprint for building sustainable agricultural businesses.

“Our consultation program is offered at no cost for the producers,” Buckner said. “Every bit of it.” Noble will send its specialists out to work one-on-one with ranchers in a 100-mile radius of Ardmore, which means it provides much of its expertise to Texas producers as well as in Oklahoma. Noble experts will also consult with producers virtually anywhere. “Through our ag helpline, we’ve had people from 48 states contact us for assistance,” Buckner said. “But our reach is much broader than that. The impact of the Noble Foundation crosses the country and circles the globe every day. Our consultants, research scientists and staff are sending out invaluable information, speaking at conferences and working with collaborators to advance the areas of plant science and animal research.” The outcomes from The Samuel Roberts Noble flow across Oklahoma and around the world. It all begins on an 800-acre campus in southern Oklahoma that has the look and feel of a great research university.

partnerships; and appropriately, move us down the road to feed an increasingly hungry world. Q: Is there support for the legislation? A: Yes. The legislation, introduced in both the House and the Senate just a few weeks ago, enjoys bi-partisan support with more than 15 co-sponsors in the House and nearly 10 co-sponsors in the Senate. These numbers are growing. Interestingly, because it is a tax measure, the legislation has both non-agricultural and agricultural appeal. Outside of Congress, almost 70 universities and agricultural industry support organizations are supporting the legislation. Q: What is your vision for the Oklahoma Bioscience Association and ag bio in Oklahoma? A: I think Oklahoma has focused well on one side of the life sciences – human biopharma area. Oklahoma agriculture is another area that we can excel in. Human biopharma has benefited from a tight cluster of resources and operations in the Oklahoma City area; agricultural, by definition, tends to be more rural and spread out. One could argue that the horse has left the barn relative to Oklahoma’s competitiveness in the ag biotech sector. If we are to be successful and competitive in attracting and retaining talent, we need a comprehensive plan. The Noble Foundation, Oklahoma State University, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and others need to come together and create a vision for the agricultural biosciences in the state. We need to define a strategy, which is achievable, and then put it into action. Agriculture means a lot to Oklahoma, its people and its history. Through technology development and science, we have a great opportunity to see it continue to prosper today and into the future. Summer 2013 i&E

19


FY2013 i2E Investments in Oklahoma Emerging Small Businesses

PROFIT

Concept Fund invested $552,000 This fund is designed to provide Oklahoma start-up companies with pre-seed, proof-of-concept funding, in incremental stages, to develop a marketable concept or product. Oklahoma Seed Capital Fund invested $1,025,000 This seed stage fund targets companies that may or may not already have customers, some revenues and a scalable product. This investment enables companies to build a business infrastructure around their concept or product.

TIME

StartOK Fund invested $1,950,000 This fund invests in companies that are in the earliest stages or startup stage that have not yet generated any revenue or completed a market launch. This capital will enable them to take their concept or product prototype into beta test phase with potential customers or first sales. OKAngel Sidecar Fund invested $1,525,000 This fund overlays all four of the i2E companion funds, providing leverage and capital to angel investment in Oklahoma companies at any stage of the continuum of business development. This fund essentially doubles the size and

scope of angel investment in Oklahoma because it requires a one-to-one co-investment from angel investors and/or angel groups. SeedStep Angels invested $1,025,000 This is a network of more than 30 successful Oklahomans who provide capital, strategic advice and mentoring to emerging growth companies to help them succeed. Typical investments range from $50,000-$500,000 with individual members making investment decisions.

GrowOK Fund is looking for established companies with existing products or services that are generating revenue in the market place. These funds will enable these companies to expand new products or services and allow growth in both revenue and employees.

GROWTH

BREAKEVEN

CONCEPT

VA L L E Y OF D E ATH SEED EARLY

SEED TO START UP START TO EARLY START UP

20

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Summer 2013

Summer 2013 i&E

21


FY2013 i2E Investments in Oklahoma Emerging Small Businesses

PROFIT

Concept Fund invested $552,000 This fund is designed to provide Oklahoma start-up companies with pre-seed, proof-of-concept funding, in incremental stages, to develop a marketable concept or product. Oklahoma Seed Capital Fund invested $1,025,000 This seed stage fund targets companies that may or may not already have customers, some revenues and a scalable product. This investment enables companies to build a business infrastructure around their concept or product.

TIME

StartOK Fund invested $1,950,000 This fund invests in companies that are in the earliest stages or startup stage that have not yet generated any revenue or completed a market launch. This capital will enable them to take their concept or product prototype into beta test phase with potential customers or first sales. OKAngel Sidecar Fund invested $1,525,000 This fund overlays all four of the i2E companion funds, providing leverage and capital to angel investment in Oklahoma companies at any stage of the continuum of business development. This fund essentially doubles the size and

scope of angel investment in Oklahoma because it requires a one-to-one co-investment from angel investors and/or angel groups. SeedStep Angels invested $1,025,000 This is a network of more than 30 successful Oklahomans who provide capital, strategic advice and mentoring to emerging growth companies to help them succeed. Typical investments range from $50,000-$500,000 with individual members making investment decisions.

GrowOK Fund is looking for established companies with existing products or services that are generating revenue in the market place. These funds will enable these companies to expand new products or services and allow growth in both revenue and employees.

GROWTH

BREAKEVEN

CONCEPT

VA L L E Y OF D E ATH SEED EARLY

SEED TO START UP START TO EARLY START UP

20

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Summer 2013

Summer 2013 i&E

21


i2E PARTNERS

GrowOKC Fund OCAST Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology www.ocast.state.ok.us

U.S. Economic Development Administration www.eda.gov

New financing options for small business

A

unique partnership between the City of Oklahoma City and i2E, Inc., has expanded the financing options by $2 million for Oklahoma Citybased small businesses seeking capital to grow their ventures and create new jobs. The city, i2E and the Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust created the $2 million GrowOKC Fund through a Memorandum of Understanding, which was unanimously approved by the City Council on August 13. i2E committed $1 million to the new fund from its GrowOK Fund, which is part of the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funds it manages on behalf of the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Oklahoma City and the Economic Development Trust committed $1 million to the fund from its Strategic Investment Program (SIP) low interest loan program. “We believe this partnership will help Oklahoma City-based small businesses close a critical capital gap they need to finance expansion projects and create new jobs,” said Scott Meacham, i2E President and CEO. “GrowOKC won't compete with local banks, but leverage bank financing to ultimately help create jobs and wealth that benefits all of Oklahoma.”

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The GrowOKC Fund will support existing Oklahoma City small businesses with growth capital financing of $100,000 to $250,000 per investment through low interest loans and equity and convertible debt investments. It will require a dollar-fordollar co-investment from the small businesses which can be in the form of cash, borrowed funds or new equity invested by the participating companies. In many cases the fund will supplement bank financing to achieve specific levels of investment capital. Funds will only be available for companies retaining or creating primary jobs in areas such as manufacturing, distribution and warehousing and business services. Retail businesses will not qualify for funding under applicable SSBCI and SIP guidelines. “Let's say an Oklahoma City-based manufacturer is developing a quality strategy to expand its business and new production equipment is required to accomplish this strategy,” said Scott Meacham, i2E's President and CEO. “That means they have to make a pretty heavy capital investment. The GrowOKC Fund provides an excellent avenue to obtain the funding needed to make the investment.” GrowOKC is a unique partnership designed to effectively deploy federal and state

funds to help small businesses in the Oklahoma City area. “We’ve been looking for ways to help small businesses, and this partnership has created an exciting program for that purpose,” said Cathy O’Connor, chief executive officer of the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City. “We expect this new source of capital will fill a need and help spur more small business expansion and job growth throughout the city.” Qualified companies must be generating revenue from sales of products or services and have positive cash flow. “The new GrowOKC Fund adds another source of funding for Oklahoma City small businesses that complements bank loans or equity investments,” said Brent Bryant, Economic Development Program manager for the City of Oklahoma City. “With the one-to-one matching requirement, the new program will effectively double the economic impact for participating companies.” i2E will manage the initial due diligence and underwriting and will provide quarterly reports on investment activities. The GrowOKC Fund partners will jobs created or retained by funded companies and private investment leverage over the life of the partnership.

Greater Oklahoma City Chamber www.okcchamber.com

City of Oklahoma City www.okc.gov

Presbyterian Health Foundation www.phf.com

Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance www.okalliance.com

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation www.dwreynolds.org

OKLAHOMA EPSCoR The Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research www.okepscor.org

Oklahoma Department of Commerce Oklahoma Business Roundtable www.okcommerce.gov www.okbusinessroundtable.com

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation www.omrf.org

America Fidelity Foundation www.americanfidelityfoundation.org

U.S. Department of Treasury www.treasury.gov

State Small Business Credit Initiative www.treasury.gov/resource-center


i2E PARTNERS

GrowOKC Fund OCAST Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology www.ocast.state.ok.us

U.S. Economic Development Administration www.eda.gov

New financing options for small business

A

unique partnership between the City of Oklahoma City and i2E, Inc., has expanded the financing options by $2 million for Oklahoma Citybased small businesses seeking capital to grow their ventures and create new jobs. The city, i2E and the Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust created the $2 million GrowOKC Fund through a Memorandum of Understanding, which was unanimously approved by the City Council on August 13. i2E committed $1 million to the new fund from its GrowOK Fund, which is part of the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funds it manages on behalf of the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Oklahoma City and the Economic Development Trust committed $1 million to the fund from its Strategic Investment Program (SIP) low interest loan program. “We believe this partnership will help Oklahoma City-based small businesses close a critical capital gap they need to finance expansion projects and create new jobs,” said Scott Meacham, i2E President and CEO. “GrowOKC won't compete with local banks, but leverage bank financing to ultimately help create jobs and wealth that benefits all of Oklahoma.”

22

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The GrowOKC Fund will support existing Oklahoma City small businesses with growth capital financing of $100,000 to $250,000 per investment through low interest loans and equity and convertible debt investments. It will require a dollar-fordollar co-investment from the small businesses which can be in the form of cash, borrowed funds or new equity invested by the participating companies. In many cases the fund will supplement bank financing to achieve specific levels of investment capital. Funds will only be available for companies retaining or creating primary jobs in areas such as manufacturing, distribution and warehousing and business services. Retail businesses will not qualify for funding under applicable SSBCI and SIP guidelines. “Let's say an Oklahoma City-based manufacturer is developing a quality strategy to expand its business and new production equipment is required to accomplish this strategy,” said Scott Meacham, i2E's President and CEO. “That means they have to make a pretty heavy capital investment. The GrowOKC Fund provides an excellent avenue to obtain the funding needed to make the investment.” GrowOKC is a unique partnership designed to effectively deploy federal and state

funds to help small businesses in the Oklahoma City area. “We’ve been looking for ways to help small businesses, and this partnership has created an exciting program for that purpose,” said Cathy O’Connor, chief executive officer of the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City. “We expect this new source of capital will fill a need and help spur more small business expansion and job growth throughout the city.” Qualified companies must be generating revenue from sales of products or services and have positive cash flow. “The new GrowOKC Fund adds another source of funding for Oklahoma City small businesses that complements bank loans or equity investments,” said Brent Bryant, Economic Development Program manager for the City of Oklahoma City. “With the one-to-one matching requirement, the new program will effectively double the economic impact for participating companies.” i2E will manage the initial due diligence and underwriting and will provide quarterly reports on investment activities. The GrowOKC Fund partners will jobs created or retained by funded companies and private investment leverage over the life of the partnership.

Greater Oklahoma City Chamber www.okcchamber.com

City of Oklahoma City www.okc.gov

Presbyterian Health Foundation www.phf.com

Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance www.okalliance.com

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation www.dwreynolds.org

OKLAHOMA EPSCoR The Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research www.okepscor.org

Oklahoma Department of Commerce Oklahoma Business Roundtable www.okcommerce.gov www.okbusinessroundtable.com

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation www.omrf.org

America Fidelity Foundation www.americanfidelityfoundation.org

U.S. Department of Treasury www.treasury.gov

State Small Business Credit Initiative www.treasury.gov/resource-center


OKLAHOMA CITY DELIVERS D OW N T OW N O K L A H O M A C I T Y

OPPORTUNITY:

For generations, it is what has defined

America. Today, it is what Oklahoma City delivers. Whether you’re looking for the best city to build a business, raise a family or find a job, OKC’s your place to be. In Oklahoma City, we make it easy to find your own success. Check us out and see why we say in OKC, it’s a better living and a better life.

For mobile users

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Explore OKC’s digital magazine and channel at GreaterOKC.tv


i&E Magazine Summer 2013