Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)

For the last newsletter of the year, we start by highlighting the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST). To follow, our LP highlight features former Oklahoma Governor, David Walters. We announce our recent investment in Access Optics. This month’s blog post featured one of Cortado’s most recent investments: Sensulin. The Builders + Backers Accelerator is coming to Oklahoma. Check out what we’re reading on venture capital. Cortado hosted their Annual LP Meeting this month, kicked off by Governor Kevin Stitt. Read about Republic’s VP7 Cohort and how Nathaniel Harding was selected to join.

What Lies Ahead:

  • Builder Highlight: Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology

  • LP Highlight: David Walters

  • Cortado Funds Access Optics

  • Why We Backed Sensulin: a Win for OKC

  • Builders + Backers Accelerator Coming to OKC & Tulsa

  • What We’re Reading: Venture Capital Insights

  • Cortado Annual LP Meeting Debrief

  • Nathaniel Harding Selected For the Republic VP7 Cohort


Builder Highlight: Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology

The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) was established for the purpose of growing and diversifying Oklahoma’s economy through technology development, technology transfer and technology commercialization. OCAST seeks to foster innovation in existing and developing businesses throughout the state. The center funds cutting-edge science and technology through processes that are recognized nationally and internationally for excellence, objectivity, and economic impact. OCAST works to grow advanced technology companies in Oklahoma in pursuit of making Oklahoma globally competitive.


LP Highlight: David Walters

Part of Cortado’s formula for success is our outstanding investors, or limited partners (LPs). Today we highlight David Walters. As Governor from 1991-95, he was instrumental in several developments enabling and expanding technology transfer and the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, including establishing i2E. This work made possible what we do now at Cortado Ventures.

David Walters is the founder and Chairman of Walters Power International, a global leader in supplying, developing, servicing, and managing electrical generation power plants.

​Governor Walters served the University of Oklahoma as an Executive Officer and after a few years in business, entered politics and was elected the 24th Governor of Oklahoma at age 39.  

​As Governor, he presided over a $7 billion state government employing 135,000 people and aggressively promoted economic development, achieving a 15-year record in job growth. Walters passed the first capital improvements bond issue in Oklahoma in 25 years, investing over $350 million dollars in the State’s Higher Education facilities. Governor Walters led trade delegations to eight nations during his term. 


Cortado Funds Access Optics

Cortado completed their investment in Broken Arrow based Access Optics. The Tulsa World covered the story recently. Access Optics was founded in 2001 and is one of the top precision optics manufacturers in the United States. It is one of very few manufacturers of micro lenses for endoscopic medical tools in the US and the only US-based manufacturer for some of their other products. Access Optics focuses on the design, development, and manufacturing of precision and micro-scale optics, high-reliability subassemblies, and complete devices for the medtech, diagnostic imaging, and analytical instrumentation markets.


Why We Backed Sensulin: a Win for OKC

At Cortado Ventures we are proud to announce closing a major investment in Oklahoma City founded Sensulin. Led by University of Oklahoma graduate Mike Moradi, Sensulin is a biopharmaceutical company that is developing a glucose-responsive insulin for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. As a fellow Sooner and board member of the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, I am proud to mark this milestone of a local venture capital firm backing a homegrown biotech company.

Click here for the full article.


Builders + Backers Accelerator Coming to OKC & Tulsa

Builders + Backers was created to ignite action in communities across the world through entrepreneurial leadership and action and it’s coming to Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The Idea Accelerator is a program to help launch entrepreneurs put their idea into action in a no-cost, no-risk way. For their Winter 2022 Cohort, Builders + Backers with Heartland Forward brought their Idea Accelerator program to Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

What We’re Reading: Venture Capital Insights

At Cortado, we are always looking for resources that will improve our team’s process and provide insight to new startups seeking funding. This month, we wanted to highlight two articles with valuable information on what questions startups are likely to be asked and important factors a Series A founder should focus on.

  • Read insight on standard startup questions here

  • Read more about Series A funding here.

Cortado Annual LP Meeting Debrief

On December 1st, Cortado hosted our first annual investor meeting. Attendees included Cortado’s LPs, portfolio companies, and venture scouts. The day’s agenda included a business meeting, a panel with Oklahoma entrepreneurial ecosystem builders, keynotes with guest speakers Governor Kevin Stitt and Melissa Houston, and a holiday happy hour. Representatives from our portfolio companies had an exclusive executive coaching session with David Woods and Magellan Executive Partners, and presented rapid fire updates on their startups to the group. We enjoyed having so many people crucial to Cortado’s continued success all together for the first time. Thank you to all who attended and to those worked hard to pull off a great event!


Nathaniel Harding Selected For the Republic VP7 Cohort

Nathaniel Harding was selected to join the 2022 Republic VP7 Cohort. Republic curates private investing opportunities with high-growth potential across startups, gaming, real estate, and crypto. The Republic VP7 Cohort consists of VCs, accelerators, operators, and ecosystem builders on board with Republic’s mission to democratize access to capital. Looking to 2022, Republic feel confident that the VP7 cohort will help Republic continue to grow their ability to support founders within and outside of the Republic ecosystem.

Read the full article here.


Here's to new beginnings! Happy Holidays from FCT | The FCT Blog

Happy Holidays from all of us at Cortado Ventures!