Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)

In this month’s newsletter, we announce the close on Cortado’s second investment (okay, it’s more of a tease).  It’s also our distinct pleasure to write that our fund is now nearly 90% raised towards our $10 million goal, after just two months since launching.  We welcome our Entrepreneur In Residence.  See some of our investment insights from what we’re reading and an article and podcast from Managing Partner Nathaniel Harding.  Our first portfolio company, Respond Flow, recently launched the next generation of their software.  And lastly, we are hiring – send us the smartest person you know, or tell us why that’s you (with a touch of humility).

What Lies Ahead

  • Cortado Closes Second Investment
  • Significant Progress For $10 Million Fund Target
  • Entrepreneur In Residence Blake Bixler
  • Cortado Ventures in the News
  • What We’re Reading
  • Respond Flow Launches New Platform
  • Cortado is Hiring!

Cortado Closes Second Investment

Deal flow for Cortado Ventures remains strong, having now reviewed ~95 companies.  Earlier this week we closed on our second investment alongside a world class co-investor. The company has a novel jobtech platform, a top tier team, and dizzying momentum.  Cortado is in a unique position to help this company grow.  We’re working on clearance to be able to fully announce, but consider yourself sufficiently teased.

Significant Progress For $10 Million Fund Target

Exceeding all expectations, our fundraising is now putting us nearly 90% towards our goal of closing a $10 million fund.  This is important for us to focus on investing in disruptive technology companies in Oklahoma, attracting companies here, and helping them grow.  For more information contact

Entrepreneur In Residence Blake Bixler

It’s our pleasure to announce Cortado’s Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR), Blake Bixler, who has experience in agriculture, energy, and venture capital.  Blake recently returned to his home state of Oklahoma after spending six years in West Texas at EagleClaw Midstream, an energy company that he helped build from scratch which was acquired by Blackstone for $2 billion in 2017.  During his time at EagleClaw, Blake became the Chief Commercial Officer and led seven acquisitions and joint ventures totaling approximately $3.7 billion.  Blake has an Agribusiness degree from OSU, and an MBA in Entrepreneurial Finance from Ohio State.  As EIR, Blake will work with accelerators, incubators, stakeholders, executives and entrepreneurs throughout the startup ecosystem to foster the best ideas.  This is a best practice model used by the most successful VC firms around.

Cortado Ventures in the News

Managing Partner Nathaniel Harding wrote about how “Cortado Backs Transformative Companies” and why these uncertain times are ripe for what we do in Oklahoma.  He was also featured in a podcast episode entitled “Spotting the Potential for Explosive Growth” hosted by Rick Hadrava.  Rick’s program, the Over 50 Entrepreneur Podcast, regularly has interesting guests talking about reinvention and entrepreneurship.

What We’re Reading

We recommend “Zero to One,” written by Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and Greek god of venture investing.  One section that really speaks to how Cortado views investments centers around seven questions for product innovation:

  1. The Engineering Question: Can you create breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvements?
  2. The Timing Question: Is now the right time to start your particular business?
  3. The Monopoly Question: Are you starting with a big share of a small market?
  4. The People Question: Do you have the right team?
  5. The Distribution Question: Do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product?
  6. The Durability Question: Will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future?
  7. The Secret Question: Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see?

Respond Flow Launches New Platform

Cortado portfolio company Respond Flow recently released the next generation of their software.  Respond Flow is business texting made simple, driving sales with automated text message conversations that truly embrace the individual.  On July 1st, Respond Flow launched their brand new platform and were awarded the Product of the Day” on Product Hunt. Their new, more scalable product will enable them to grow both nationally and internationally.

Cortado is Hiring!

We’re looking for an experienced venture capital professional for our Associate role.  This person will manage deal flow, work with entrepreneurs, vet and recommend companies, track board management, assist with our communications, and generally help build something special from the ground up.  If you know somebody you just can’t wait to introduce, email

Thank you for reading our July newsletter. We’ll send monthly updates about our progress, entrepreneurship, startups, the local economy, and tech in Oklahoma and beyond. Stay in touch with us through social media, or pitch us your idea.

We are accepting more investors in our fund. For accredited investors wanting to learn more, contact


Email Cortado