Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)
This month we have exciting news to share about our firm. We will start with a Q&A with Percy Kirk. Following the Q&A, we announce our new investment in PrivacyBrain and a few portfolio highlights. Next up is our big announcement about surpassing our $20 million extended goal and some information on updates to our website and internship program. Be sure to check out the infographic to learn about how venture capital opens the door to growth by impacting revenue and economic activity, jobs, and innovation. To close this month’s newsletter, we share some articles with helpful tips on entrepreneurship and the book we are currently reading.
What Lies Ahead:
- LP Highlight Q&A: Percy Kirk
- New Investment Announcement: PrivacyBrian
- Portfolio Highlights
- Cortado Reaches $20 Million
- Website Updates: Applications for Scouts & Internship Program, Jobs
- Venture Capital Economic Impact Infographic
- Oklahoma Magazine’s “How to Succeed in Business” and TechCrunch Tips
- What We Are Reading: Originals
LP Highlight Q&A: Percy Kirk
Part of Cortado’s edge is our deep bench of expertise across our investors (limited partners, or LPs). For our next LP highlight, we ask questions of Percy Kirk, senior vice president and region manager for Cox Communications Central Region, and the immediate past chair of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. Selected sections are below; follow here for the full Q&A.
What are the pros/cons of doing business and entrepreneurship in Oklahoma?
There are only pros! First and foremost, the work ethic of our labor market is one of the best. On top of this, our business community, our local governments, and our non-profit organizations are pretty much in lockstep when it comes to progress and working together for a stable business environment and an excellent quality of life for residents here. You don’t see that everywhere and it certainly makes a difference.
What upcoming projects in Oklahoma are you excited about?
After seeing the new convention center and the Omni open, one can’t help but be excited about the projects in Maps 4! There is so much taking place including work on the Chesapeake, the new Coliseum at the fairgrounds, the Multipurpose Stadium and the Innovation District. In addition, there is the plan for the Freedom Center and the Clara Luper Civil Rights Center, the Family Justice Center, and Youth Centers. What am I most excited about? The entire plan!
New Investment Announcement: PrivacyBrain
Cortado Ventures is excited to announce its new investment in PrivacyBrain. PrivacyBrain is a technology startup founded by Elliott Adams with a product in the security and privacy space. Adams is a proven technology entrepreneur and executive who has significant experience related to startups and corporate innovation.
PrivacyBrain offers software that continuously locates and removes personal-identifying information (“PII”) data from 100+ broker sites to prevent the weaponization of the information. Privacy Brain’s platform protects corporations and reduces the threat of PII weaponization against its executives and employees.
This month, we’re sharing some social impact highlights of our portfolio to date.
Gender diversity: 33% of our portfolio companies are female-led. This is nearly 2X the industry standard for VC investments in female-founded companies. 67% of Cortado’s funds distributed to date have been to female-led companies.
Cultural diversity: 1/3 of portfolio company founders are 1st or 2nd generation immigrants
Oklahoma impact: 2/3 of the portfolio are Oklahoma-based companies
Job creation: 40 new jobs have been created by our portfolio companies since investment, and 25 of those are in Oklahoma
In other portco news, Array CEO Matt Doyle was inspired after visiting with Richard Branson. Read more about him here.
Cortado Reaches $20 Million
Cortado Ventures is excited to announce that we have reached $20 million raised for Fund I. In reaching $20 million, we doubled our original goal in half the time. Cortado has invested in nine category-defining and disruptive companies, and we look forward to continued investment into such companies over the coming many months. Our team is made up of founders and operators who have built companies in different sectors in Oklahoma. We bring that perspective to our hustle and support of our portfolio companies. Cortado is one of the most active VC funds in the Midwest, and proves that Oklahoma is serious about building the future.
Website Updates: Applications for Scout & Internship Programs, Jobs
We now have applications available for our Venture Scouts program and our internship program. We are excited to announce that we are starting an internship program. Cortado summer 2021 interns will have the opportunity to experience the venture capital industry, interact with high-growth startups, and learn from experienced entrepreneurs. Interns will assist with research, due diligence, financial modeling, and portfolio company support. Students of all majors and academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Click here to apply for the scout or internship program.
Also, be sure to check out our job postings page for recent job openings with our portfolio companies. You can view the job board here.
Venture Capital Economic Impact Infographic
Oklahoma Magazine’s “How to Succeed in Business” and TechCruch Tips
Oklahoma Magazine recently featured an article on Claudia Chambers Beach and how she became a successful entrepreneur through grit and determination. The article focuses on the importance of planning and differentiating your business in order to find success. Read the article here.
TechCruch shares a few tips on how to make your pitch deck impactful. On average, you have 170 seconds to catch the attention of potential investors. With all that pressure to make an impact quickly, founders spend an incredible amount of time on the design of their slides. Less consideration, however, is usually spent on the words of the slide. In this article, TechCrunch has 11 words and phrases for you to avoid. Be sure to check it out here.
What We’re Reading: Originals
Originals is a book by Adam Grant that explores how to recognize a good idea and how to make it grow. He shows how innovators see the world differently and how to bring about success. Grant’s studies and stories range from business to politics to entertainment and more. He discusses how to speak up when silenced, how to choose the right time to act, and how to manage doubt.
Be sure to check it out here.