Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)

In this month’s Doubleshot Newsletter, you will find:

  • Builder Highlight: OKC Minority Founder Accelerator
  • Team Highlight: Cody Merrill, Venture Executive
  • LP Highlight: Steve Mason
  • Cortado & PortCo Updates
  • Ecosystem News & Events

Builder Highlight: OKC Minority Founder Accelerator

As Oklahoma’s entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to grow and evolve, more opportunities continue to arise for our local founders and founders who are seeking to join the fertile soil that our region has to offer. Our community’s newest accelerator is the OKC Minority Founder Accelerator, a 16-week experience designed to accelerate OKC’s minority entrepreneurship ecosystem by investing in its founders. The accelerator is part of NE OKC Renaissance, Inc. (NEOKCR), an OKC-based nonprofit that works to restore economic activity for residents and stakeholders of Northeast Oklahoma City. Last month, JPMorgan Chase announced a $405,000 grant for this new program. NEOKCR is working i2E and the Oklahoma City Innovation District to bridge the equity gap in entrepreneurship. The program equips founders to scale their concepts into emergent supply chain opportunities, provides one-on-one operational interventions from local entrepreneurs and supporting agencies, and provides their companies with non-dilutive non-recourse grants. To apply or for more information, visit

Team Highlight: Cody Merrill

Last fall, Cody Merrill joined the Cortado Ventures team as our Venture Executive. Cody’s role serves to aid in investor relations, fundraising, and sourcing companies. Cody has the authority to serve on boards and perform diligence on companies. Cody grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is thrilled to bring his startup experience from Dallas and San Francisco to his home state. He was the founder of a VC-backed workforce technology startup and has served as an executive in multiple medical software companies. We are excited to have his expertise as a founder on our team.

LP Highlight: Steve Mason

This month, we are highlighting another Limited Partner, Steve Mason. A well-known entrepreneur, real estate developer, engineer and philanthropist, Steve earned his B.S. in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering from Vanderbilt University and M.S. in Civil Engineering at Stanford University. His name is synonymous with vision and revitalization. Steve’s passion for business, the arts, and the OKC community is felt at the heartbeat of every project he works on. Steve’s firm is known for its monumental placemaking work in Automobile Alley, the Plaza District, the Oklahoma State Capitol, 1200 Penn, Girl Scout Camp Trivera, and Capitol Hill. His unique approach to entrepreneurship has left a mark on Oklahoma in significant ways.

Steve serves as an Executive Partner for Magellan Executive Partners. Every founder of a Cortado-backed company receives executive coaching from the over 20 executive partners at the firm, who each bring decades of executive experiences.

Cortado & PortCo Updates

Ask a VC: What 2023 Will Bring for Venture Capital

The Cortado team shares their predictions for the upcoming year, including where they see the most opportunity. 2022 was a unique year. There are many milestones from the previous year to celebrate, yet our team is always looking forward to what’s next. Read on for the full interview with Managing Partner Nathaniel Harding, General Partner Mike Moradi, and Principal Susan Moring, on what Cortado predicts for venture capital in this new year. Read More.

VCJ: Deal flow will stay slow, with more due diligence and debt deals in the offing

Photo of crystal ball in 2023.

Venture Capital Journal spoke to eight industry experts including our managing partner Nathaniel Harding about the coming year. Here’s what her and others expect to see with dealmaking, fundraising, exits and more. Read more here.

The Oklahoman: Forbes said Oklahoma was a bottom 10 state to start a business. Is it really?

Oklahoma best place to start a business in 2023

Our managing partner Nathaniel Harding shared his insight with The Oklahoman’s Business Editor David Dishman on whether or not Oklahoma is a great place to grow a business and how access to capital plays an integral role in business development. Read more.

New Investment Alert: nSight Surgical

Cortado Ventures is proud to invest in nSight Surgical. nSight is revolutionizing surgery, with the first machine learning platform that ensures hospital patient safety, and streamlines the operative workflow. By recognizing safety moments in the operating room using advanced technology, the platform improves patient safety, and increases efficiency across the entire hospital ecosystem. The company aims to offer a data-driven platform that will detect and track surgical objects and help control the safety, efficiency, and quality of surgical procedures. Learn more here.

Ecosystem News & Events

Oklahoma Venture Forum (OVF) Award Nominations

OVF Awards honor those who do more than run a business. They celebrate the achievement of industrial progress or potential, balanced with innovation, compassionate leadership, and honors those who emphasize investments in the human spirit as well as the bottom line. Due this Thursday, Jan. 19th, nominations for Venture of the Year and Most Promising New Venture categories can be completed online at: Cortado portfolio companies, Watkins Conti Products and Myri Health (then The SnapBack) are previous award recipients.

SheCodesOKC: Build A Portfolio or Project That Will Get You Hired

Join SheCodesOKC for an informative and practical panel on how to build a developer portfolio or project that will get you hired. Whether you’re just starting out in your coding journey or you’re an experienced developer looking to take your career to the next level, this event is for you. More info here.

TechTalk with OKC Innovation District

Join OKC Innovation District for this installment of Tech Talk on January 26th from 11a-12p! Attendance at this event is free, and lunch is provided. This month’s presenter is Jesse McCool, Co-Founder & CEO of Wheeler Bio, speaking on Digital Twin technology and how it can be utilized in multi-industries. Register Here.

Thanks for reading. At Cortado Ventures, we’re backing a new generation of economic prosperity in the Midcontinent by investing in pre-seed and seed startups with a focus on energy, logistics, life sciences, and the future of work. If you are a Midcontinent startup or investor, contact us to learn more.

“Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.