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2018 Issue 1

D e ve l o p , I n n ov a t e , P r o s p e r

Startups’ Success Boosted With Business Incubators

Some of Oklahoma’s incubator success stories from the past year p. 2

STATE OF ENTREPRENEURS Highlights from Commerce’s 2017 Certified Incubators Report

Oklahoma Department of Commerce certifies incubators and assures standards of excellence. Since certifying incubators began, the State of Oklahoma has benefited from an increase in the number of start-up and expanding small businesses. These businesses have created jobs and enhanced economic activity in the Oklahoma communities in which they are located.

862 163 full-time jobs provided by incubator tenants


small businesses are currently leasing space in Oklahoma’s small business incubators

31 certified small business

incubators are operating in Oklahoma. Tenants range from small service companies to high-tech research and development operations.

943 small businesses have

located in an incubator- throughout the life of Oklahoma’s certified incubator program.

476 have graduated from the program or relocated to a larger facility.


OF INCUBATOR CLIENTS GRADUATE EACH YEAR A business incubator’s main goal is to produce successful firms that will leave the program financially viable and freestanding.

These incubator graduates have the potential to create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, commercialize new technologies, and strengthen local and national economies.


Oklahomans are currently employed by 241 incubator businesses that remain in the state after graduating.

Contact ODOC’s Small Business During 2017, Oklahoma incubator managers were asked to complete a questionnaire to document their activities for the current reporting period. These results are based on the information received from the responding incubator managers.

Specialist for more information at 405-815-5143 or email

Startups’ Success Boosted at Oklahoma Business Incubators Some of Oklahoma’s incubator success stories over the past year MaxQ’s packaging systems are employed by major hospitals and blood banks across the United States and Canada. The flourishing company was built as a Stillwater-based business, where it has access to students from OSU and Meridian Technology Center that have helped its growth. MaxQ’s founding partners validated their business plan and raised seed capital while still OSU students through a series of collegiate business plan competitions. MaxQ won second place in OSU’s Riata Business Plan competition, then won the Student Generated Technology Interview award in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup, and was named a finalist in the competition.

MaxQ Meridian Technology Center for Business Development Stillwater, Okla. In early 2011, a team of Oklahoma State University (OSU) engineering students conceived the concept of a light-weight, super thin insulation for space-bound “cube” satellites. Operating under the name MaxQ, they took their idea to NASA, only to be turned down. However, NASA softened the rejection by offering some insightful advice to the Oklahoma-based entrepreneurs: Seek more earthly applications. “We were advised to apply our insulation concept on terrestrial packaging needs,” said Saravan Kumar, Ph.D., now CEO of Stillwater-based MaxQ. “The feedback from NASA encouraged us to compete for a different market.” MaxQ’s founders set their sights on a new market, the nation’s blood collection industry. Today, MaxQ offers a comprehensive suite of validated, reusable or one-way systems for the blood collection, vaccine, pharmaceuticals and life sciences industries. “Life-saving biological products like blood, vaccines and pharmaceuticals must be stored and transported within a specific cold chain,” Kumar said. “For instance, a unit of blood, which costs $250 to $500, must be maintained under precise temperatures during transport. Deviation from required temperature range during handling could potentially affect the viability of the blood unit leading to it being scrapped or, worse yet, lead to adverse clinical outcomes during transfusion.”

The Governor’s Cup also introduced the company to Rod Whitson, a member of the SeedStep Angels group who served as a judge in the competition. Whitson was so impressed by the team of entrepreneurs that he is participating in the company’s Series A round as an investor. “They were clearly a sharp team and were putting to use what they were learning in OSU’s entrepreneurial program,” Whitson said. “The progress the MaxQ team has made since OSU is nothing short of amazing. They have pivoted the company several times and now have isolated an uncontested market space.” In 2012, MaxQ entered the Meridian Technology Center Business Incubator program, graduating in 2015 into their own facility located in Stillwater. “Oklahoma represents a resource-rich startup ecosystem for entrepreneurs,” Kumar said. “We have access to vital resources such as technology development and accelerated research support from OCAST, product development and manufacturing support services offered by the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, and most importantly, access to critical growth capital and mentoring resources provided by i2E.” The company recently was awarded investment funds from i2E. “With this capital, our primary goal is to establish MaxQ as the leading total packaging solutions provider in the blood packaging industry” said Kumar. MaxQ recently executed a multi-year purchase agreement with a major blood banking conglomerate and is in the process of establishing a national brand distribution agreement with Cardinal Health, which serves nearly 70 percent of the hospitals in the U.S.


Being part of the incubator has been integral to our success. We now have a sales and marketing strategy providing results in the form of a growing number of PERFEQTA clients in multiple industries. Having expert business advice on demand and regular meetings to report our progress have helped immensely. Being a CEO is a lonely job and being able to share and learn from someone with many years of experience has proven effective and extremely valuable. We appreciate the opportunity to be part of the incubator and recommend it to others with ideas to nurture and grow.

modules to fit each requirements, Productive Technologies set out to build a next generation platform to manage any quality control process for any industry. The incubation process helped to eliminate many products and focus on developing PERFEQTA, a flexible platform that would allow business to translate their daily activities into business applications extremely fast without the need for software developers to code specialized software to address that need. “Being part of the incubator has been integral to our success,” said Doleh. “We now have a sales and marketing strategy providing results in the form of a growing number of PERFEQTA clients in multiple industries. Having expert business advice on demand and regular meetings to report our progress have helped immensely. Being a CEO is a lonely job and being able to share and learn from someone with many years of experience has proven effective and extremely valuable. We appreciate the opportunity to be part of the incubator and recommend it to others with ideas to nurture and grow.”

~ Max Doleh Owner, Productive Technologies Productive Technologies Launch Pad at FT Edmond, Okla. In 2005, entrepreneur Max Doleh built the first software to manage quality control for blood products in the U.S. The company then specialized in helping automate other areas of the blood industry. The effort was sustained with multiple grants from the state of Oklahoma including the Oklahoma Applied Research Support (OARS) program from Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) and the Edge grant. This helped the company conduct more research and integrated blood management system. The funding also helped the company experiment with different approaches to new methods in quality control and compliance management. By 2016, Productive Technologies had too many products and did not focus on profitability. There was no concentrated sales effort to capitalize on previous successes. The company had an opportunity to engage with MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and help them with their quality control requirements for products and expanded to manage the quality management system for equipment and reagents. Instead of building

SCiO 3D Sports Strate Center for Business Development Enid, Okla. Jim Shaughnessy, Master of Sports Science, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), is currently completing his Doctorate at The United States Sports Academy. He is a 25-year veteran United States Professional Tennis Association coach of professional players and international coaches, as well as NCAA team and individual champions. His expertise and love for the game led him to pursue his own business, SCiO 3D Sports. But to transition to the business world, Shaughnessy turned to the Strate Center for Business Development located at Autry Technology Center in Enid. There, he participated in the Entrepreneurs Inspire Bootcamp, an annual multi-session training designed to educate those interested in starting, expanding or operating a small business. “The classes at Autry and the support of the Strate Center staff

helped me develop a business plan which helped me organize what I was doing into something at which could make money,” said Shaughnessy. Under Shaughnessy’s guidance, SCiO 3D Sports utilizes data analysis of 3D kinematics and visuals comparing the emerging player’s technique to the SCiO Digitized Library of the world’s top ranked ATP/WTA pros. SCiO 3D sports quantitative analysis reveals technique flaws that cannot be measured by super slow motion video or the naked eye, including measurements of motion at every instant of the action. Analysis is done during live competitive tournament play or on a private court. The player’s action is never restricted in any way with wires or markers. Once the emerging player’s strokes are captured and digitized into 3D, a scheduled consultation with Shaughnessy guides coaches and players through the 3D biomechanical analysis of the player’s swing and a prescription for technique adjustments and, if necessary, technique specific strength and conditioning exercises are developed. The 3D analysis from SCIO’s tennis scientists reveals information about a player’s game with quantities – not opinions. Log 10, LLC Pioneer Technology Center Ponca City, Okla.

Log 10, LLC was formed in 2013 by Dr. Siobhan Reilly, and is a comprehensive food safety company. Their focus is food microbiology, and their name reflects the way microbe numbers are expressed (i.e., log base 10). The company produces probiotics that eliminate food-borne illness causing bacteria (pathogens such as, Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli, etc). Their products are utilized by both the human food and pet food industries for use in food and food processing environments. The company’s operations include manufacturing and fermentation, as well as a state-of-the-art ISA 17025 accredited laboratory. In addition to probiotic production, Log 10 also offers microbiological analyses and a full range of HACCP and food safety consultation, research and auditing services. Log 10, LLC graduated from the Pioneer Technology Business Incubator on September 15, 2017. They attributed a big part of their success to the incubator.

Shabby Chick Duncan Center for Business Development Duncan, Okla. In August 2016, the Duncan Center for Business Development (DCBD) welcomed Shabby Chick Smart Clean, LLC. The DCBD renovated existing shop space for them to manufacture their all natural cleaning products, which they first sold at farmers markets then expanded to boutiques and mom-andpop shops. Since then their business has continued to grow. In 2017, Shabby Chick hired four employees and moved into a 6,000-square-foot facility with a large shop space to manufacture their products, along with multiple offices, a breakroom and conference room. Since relocating, they have remodeled their office space to fit their spunky personality and their building is now used to show off to other members of the community. In the last year, Shabby Chick won the REI Women in Business Innovate Her Challenge, as well as the SCORE Championship. On October 23, 2017, Shabby Chick launched their all natural laundry soap on the Home Shopping Network and Amber Malcom, owner, got to present her product on national television. When they needed the extra workforce to manufacture the line needed for the HGTV launch, they hired individuals from The Power Shop, a company that helps handicapped individuals find jobs. Shabby Chick Smart Clean has been a great asset to the Stephens County community. Owners, Jason and Amber, have told many people that starting their business in the DCBD incubator provided them with contacts to help with the advancement of their manufacturing process, and the owners have been speaking with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance to help find equipment for their production process. They said that without the help of the DCBD they would not be as advanced in their process as they are now.


Kingfisher County Receives Block Grant The Oklahoma Department of Commerce’s Community Development department announced that Kingfisher County is the recipient of a Community Development Block Grant - Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (CDBGEDIF) award totaling $1,000,000. The award will be used for roadway improvements to support the expansion of Solaris Oilfield Infrastructure, LLC. This award allocation will help support Oklahoma’s continuing commitment to job creation and diversification of Oklahoma’s economic base. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce manages the federally funded CDBG-EDIF program in the State. Additional funding for the project will be provided by Solaris Oilfield Infrastructure, LLC and Pope Corporation. The CDBG-EDIF program helps eligible cities, towns, and counties with the financing of infrastructure improvements for new companies or industries locating to Oklahoma or expanding Oklahoma businesses. The purpose of the program is to stimulate long-term job creation and investment. Solaris Oilfield Infrastructure, Inc., (NYSE: SOI) which was formed in 2014, is a provider of supply chain management and logistics solutions designed to drive efficiencies and reduce costs for the oil and natural gas industry. The company is a leading manufacturer and provider of a patented mobile proppant management system that

unloads, stores and delivers proppant at oil and natural gas well sites. SOI will construct the first independent, highspeed, unit-train capable transload facility in Kingfisher County dedicated to the STACK and SCOOP plays in central Oklahoma. This facility will be designed to serve multiple large-volume proximity to well sites as well as offer speedier frac sand delivery and storage. SOI entered into a contract with an exploration and production company to provide proppant transloading services which has caused the need for the expansion to construct a facility in Kingfisher County, Okla. In order for the company to expand, an existing gravel county road must be improved to industrial road capacity. Therefore, the county is requesting CDBG funds for concrete roadway improvements from Highway US 81 to the SOI East exit, approximately 0.4 miles and then on another 1,833.4 feet for a portion of the gravel access roadway improvements. As a result, the company will be able to create 29 positions with at least 15 jobs being made available to low- and moderateincome persons over the next three years. The company is also investing $34,000,000 in the project as well as $25,000 from Pope Corporation, a site selection, real estate services firm. To request a CDBG-EDIF application, contact Karen Adair, Commerce at or call 405-815-5363.

Industrial Park Celebrates 40 Years, Room to Grow Four decades ago, the City of Tulsa was ready to see economic development increase, but needed the ideal place for businesses to locate. The Tulsa Regional Chamber (then the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce) worked to develop a large industrial site on the north side of Tulsa.

The park was nearing capacity when Macy’s was in search of a new site for a distribution facility. Developers expanded the park and Macy’s purchased 72 acres before constructing and opening its 1.3-million-square-foot distribution center which led to the creation of more than 1,000 full-time jobs.

The Cherokee Industrial Park (CIP) is more than 1,300 acres and is home to more than a dozen companies. Located close to two federal highways, U.S. 75 and U.S. 169, and near to a metropolitan area, airport, railroads and the Tulsa Port of Catoosa, the park hits the mark on location.

More than 60 acres of land are still available for development. To view the Cherokee Industrial Park and other Oklahoma sites, visit

Multiple large employers operate at CIP. Verizon (1,300 employees), Whirlpool (1,600 employees), NORDAM (1,500 employees) and Macy’s (1,890 full-time employees) are the largest employers at the park and have also seen expansions in the past few years. Other companies, Central Tube and Bar, Taylor Forge Industries and American Alloy Steel, have undergone new construction in the past five years.

Cherokee Insustrial Park Top Employers Whirlpool: 1,600 Nordam: 1,500 Verizon: 1,300 Macy’s: 1,089 full-time (5,000 seasonal) Sources: Tulsa Regional Chamber, NORDAM

Rock Falls Wind Project Completed 154-megawatt project consists of Siemens wind turbines The Blackwell Economic Development Authority (BEDA) and EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) are pleased to announce the completion of the Rock Falls Wind Project, located in Kay and Grant Counties, northwest of Blackwell, Okla. The 154-megawatt project consists of Siemens wind turbines manufactured in their Iowa-based facilities. The project has created more than 150 jobs since the start of construction, along with millions of dollars injected into the local economies. EDF RE will operate the 154-megawatt project under a long-term lease agreement with BEDA, the owner of the project. The project was

We were in a unique situation which allowed us to work with EDF RE to make this project a reality, while meeting our objectives of growing our local economy with significant investment, job creation, and long-term commitment to our region with an international company in EDF RE

~ John Robertson BEDA executive director

financed by bonds issued by the BEDA. Upon commencement of commercial operations, on December 8, 120 megawatts of the 154 megawatts of renewable energy produced will provide KimberlyClark with a significant portion of the electricity needs of its North American manufacturing operations. Kimberly-Clark joins EDF RE’s growing North America portfolio of corporate purchasers including Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Proctor & Gamble, Walmart, and Yahoo.

BEDA is a public trust, whose purpose is to promote, stimulate, encourage, and finance the growth and development of the economy of Blackwell and the surrounding area. This project adds to the current portifilo of business assets including commercial buildings, land, and the local rail services all enhancing investments and job creation in our region. EDF Renewable Energy, a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, based in France, is a leading U.S. independent power producer boasting over 30 years of experience in the power industry.

“The Blackwell Economic Development Authority has been working for nearly a year, and with EDF RE for several months, in bringing this model to fruition. The agreement with EDF RE will assist in BEDA’s mission to invest in Blackwell and the surrounding area’s economy in many different areas including attracting industry, new housing, education, health, and job creation,” says Darrel Grossardt, chairman of the trustees for BEDA. “We were in a unique situation which allowed us to work with EDF RE to make this project a reality, while meeting our objectives of growing our local economy with significant investment, job creation, and longterm commitment to our region with an international company in EDF RE,” commented BEDA executive director John Robertson.


Upcoming Events and Important Dates COMPLETING RFPS WITH CENSUS AND OTHER DATABASES Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 10:00 AM – Noon Tri County Tech Center, Bartlesville, Okla. Costs: Free to attend, registration required Filling out Requests for Proposal (RFPs) can be a daunting task, but is critical in attracting businesses to your location. Learn how to find the data you need with a free two-hour interactive workshop with direct application for business recruitment and development in your community. The workshop will include an overview of the RFP and site selection processes, followed by a hands-on tutorial with Department of Commerce researchers on sources, databases, and strategies to help you fill out RFPs for your own community. Registration and additional details at:

WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM PUBLIC HEARING Wednesday, February 8, 2018, 10:00 AM Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies 605 Centennial Blvd., Edmond, Okla. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce has administered Oklahoma’s lowincome Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), funded by the United States Department of Energy, since 1977, and contracts with 15 Community Action Agencies to provide this service to every Oklahoma county. One of the purposes of the WAP is to reduce the amount of money low-income families spend on energy-related expenses in order to allow them the opportunity to make more efficient use of their limited incomes. In addition to reducing household expenses, the WAP decreases the amount of energy consumed in the state and contributes to overall national energy conservation. The program also improves the living conditions of households with low income by making their homes more comfortable places to live and maximizes the economic benefits to the state. Commerce has a commitment to obtaining public input before finalizing the annual application and State Plan for the Department of Energy. Per 10 CFR 440.14, copies of the draft 2018 WAP State Plan will be made available upon request beginning January 18, 2018, and comments will be accepted on the State Plan through February 16, 2018. To request a copy of the State Plan, or to comment, please submit all inquiries to Linda Goode at or call 405-815-5351. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY Monday, January 15, 2018 State Offices Closed PRESIDENTS’ DAY Monday, February 19, 2018 State Offices Closed

NEW PIONEER A PRODUCT OF THE OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE EDITOR: Kimberly Hickerson, Project Manager CONTRIBUTORS: Stefanie Appleton, Bryan Boone, Rana Steeds PHOTO CREDITS: Meridian Technology Center for Business Development, Pioneer Technology Center, Strate Center for Business Development

FOR NEW PIONEER SUBMISSIONS AND STORY IDEAS CONTACT: Kimberly Hickerson Editor-in-Chief - New Pioneer Oklahoma Department of Commerce 900 N. Stiles Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73104 (405) 815-5240 @OKcommerce

Issue 1 2018  

Startups’ Success Boosted With Business Incubators, Kingfisher Country Receives Block Grant, Rock Falls Wind Project Completed, Industrial...

Issue 1 2018  

Startups’ Success Boosted With Business Incubators, Kingfisher Country Receives Block Grant, Rock Falls Wind Project Completed, Industrial...