Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)

In this newsletter, we start by highlighting Rick Nagel of Acorn Growth Companies. Next up, we are excited to announce our new Tulsa office location at 36 Degrees North and the launch of our new Venture Scout Program. We also want to share our Portfolio Company 2020 highlights. Following the portfolio highlights, we have three articles to share on venture capital to keep you up to date with information on both the local and national scene. To close, we share a blog post written by Nathaniel Harding on his experience at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.

What Lies Ahead:

  • LP Highlight: Rick Nagel
  • Opening New Tulsa Office Location
  • Venture Scout Program Announcement
  • Portfolio Company 2020 Highlights
  • Article: “You want to be part of something, part of a movement”
  • Article: Operator-Investors: The Future of Venture Capital
  • Article: Venture Capital Performed Better Than Ever in 2020
  • Blog: “It Started In China” — Harding on World Economic Forum Experience


LP Highlight: Rick Nagel

This month we are highlighting Rick Nagel, managing partner of Acorn Growth Companies. Rick recently added former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to his advisory team for his firm. Rick is a current member of the Board of Governors for the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), US Army Association, the US Air Force Association, and the National Defense Industrial Association. He also serves on the Executive Committee for the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce.

Click here to watch the CNBC segment.


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Opening New Tulsa Office Location

We are expanding! We are happy to announce the opening of our new office location in Tulsa at 36 Degrees North City Hall Building.


Venture Scout Program

Cortado is excited to announce the official launch of its Venture Scout program. This program is an effort to increase deal flow while building brand reputation in Oklahoma and around the United States. We are particularly interested in scouts that have access to deals in Oklahoma or in Cortado’s target sectors (Energy Tech, Ag Tech, Biotech/Life Sciences, Aerospace, etc.). A great scout has access to early-stage startups (pre-seed and seed) that Cortado may not otherwise see through its existing networks. If you or someone you know would make a great Cortado scout, find more info and apply here.

Portfolio Company 2020 Highlights

Our portfolio companies had many successes in 2020. Read the highlights below.

  • Over 6 million text messages have been sent on the Respond Flow platform, helping users have hundreds of thousands of conversations with their customers 

  • Received a number of awards including Top SMS Marketing Software by GoodFirms, Best Usability by Software Suggest, and was featured as #1 Product of the day by Product Hunt

  • Launched its first 2 cohorts of sales training bootcamps 

  • The pilot program in Tulsa will set the stage for broadening access to tech jobs across the mid-continent region 

  • Currently in pilot with Miles of Freedom in Dallas, TX. Hear founder Cody Merrill discuss the pilot program and the potential impact of Socialwyze here

  • New sales and utilization continued to grow in 2020, despite sports cancellations due to COVID-19 

  • Now launching new “ReadyCheck” product, which applies Sway’s novel technology to the industrial sectors to increase workplace safety 

  • Debuted a new user interface, optimizing productivity and ease of use for the customer

  • Has now had over 6 million forms completed on their no-code platform

Article: “You want to be part of something, part of a movement”

Oklahoma is becoming a destination for high growth early-stage technology startups.

“Three tech startups recently made big moves in Oklahoma, including one who literally moved here before scoring a multi-million dollar funding round.

The companies are vastly different, and each in a different stage of development. But the founders’ experiences – and thoughts about the future of Oklahoma’s startup ecosystem – demonstrate the state’s opportunity to grow its tech industry.”

Read more The Oklahoman here.


Article: Operator-Investors: The Future of Venture Capital

“Many of the best coaches in history have been players themselves. From the legendary Phil Jackson, who led the Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers to a record-setting eleven NBA championships, to Alex Ferguson who managed Manchester United through 38 trophies, coaches that have been athletes themselves can have a unique ability to outperform.”

A similar dynamic has been growing in venture capital and has the potential to entirely transform early-stage investing.

Cortado was created with this belief, founded by operators and well-positioned to find and help the best startups in our areas of expertise. Read more here.


Article: Venture Capital Performed Better Than Ever in 2020

“Venture capital returns reached an all-time high in 2020, even as global economies were decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.

As of the third quarter — the latest period for which returns are available — venture capital funds globally had delivered “exceptional performance” for the year, according to a report from eFront, a BlackRock-owned financial software and research company.”

Read more here.

Blog: “It Started In China” — Harding on World Economic Forum Experience

Managing Partner, Nathaniel Harding virtually attended the World Economic Forum annual meeting as a WEF Young Global Leader. 

“The World Economic Forum excels in bringing together world leaders in government, culture, science and the private sector to advance big ideas. If Covid showed us one positive possibility, it was in the lightning fast development of a vaccine, made possible by technological breakthroughs, carefully stewarded data, and international cooperation amongst governments and the private sector. For those who are looking, big ideas can inspire local initiative with broad impact.”

Nathaniel reflects on an inspiration for Cortado from the beginning of his World Economic Forum experience. Read more on Medium here.