Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)
In this month’s Doubleshot Newsletter, you will find:
- New Blog: Ask a VC: How Can Startups Thrive in an Economic Downturn
- Builder Highlight: Oklahoma Biotech Innovation Cluster
- LP Highlight: Dr. Sam Dahr, MD
- Team Highlight: Intern Lauren Roberts
- PortCo Updates
- Cortado In The News
- Events in the Ecosystem
Ask a VC: How Can Startups Thrive in an Economic Downturn
Facing a bear market as a startup or a VC investor can be daunting, but with preparation, opportunity can be found even in challenging economic times. Our Principal Susan Moring explains how startup teams can build resiliency during this time and find themselves ahead of their competition. Read More.
Builder Highlight: Oklahoma Biotech Innovation Cluster awarded $35 million in Build Back Better Regional Challenge
The Oklahoma Biotech Innovation Cluster (OBIC) Initiative has been awarded $35 million through the Build Back Better Regional Challenge of the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The OBIC coalition is supported by more than 40 partners across academia, tribal nations, government, industry, community, investors, and other key stakeholders involved in the continued development of the burgeoning biotechnology cluster in Oklahoma. The OBIC coalition will utilize the grant funding for six core investment projects that will strengthen the biotech innovation ecosystem in Oklahoma and create opportunity for the state.
These collective grants will help develop a larger biotech ecosystem from a product development pipeline and translational research capabilities and capacity, to testing and manufacturing while providing support to the workforce with training, entrepreneurial start-ups, and partnerships. Learn More.
LP Highlight: Dr. Sam Dahr, MD
Cortado Ventures would like to highlight Sam Dahr, M.D., one of our LPs. A native of Oklahoma City, he earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences and M.S. in Management Science/Engineering-Economic Systems at Stanford University and his MD at the University of Oklahoma. His ophthalmology residency and fellowship training respectively followed at the University of Cincinnati and the National Institutes of Health. He founded Retina Center of Oklahoma in 2006 and served as Chairman of Ophthalmology at Integris Baptist from 2013 to 2018.
He has been deeply involved with the FDA, serving as an FDA Medical Device Fellow 2011-2014 and as the primary internal retinal consultant to the Ophthalmic Devices Division of FDA since 2007. He was a member of the FDA MDAC (Medical Devices Advisory Committee) during 2017-2020.
Dr. Dahr has helped teach ophthalmology residents at the Dean McGee Eye Institute complex autoimmune eye disease (uveitis) and was named Clinical Professor at the OU College of Medicine in 2018. He has also been an advocate for patients, developing the concept for reform to the health insurance appeals process. He built a coalition of medical organizations to advocate for the bill, which was signed into law by the governor in 2021. He received the Ed Calhoon MD Leadership in Medicine Award from the Oklahoma State Medical Association in 2022.
Dr. Dahr was recently recruited to the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Texas Houston McGovern School of Medicine to serve as Professor and Retina Division Director in December. Congrats Dr. Dahr!
Q: With your investment in Cortado Ventures, what type of innovations are you seeing or looking forward to seeing in life sciences in Oklahoma?
Dahr: When Ph.D. students develop in an environment that properly balances rigorous basic science and innovation, a virtuous cycle can develop where both academic departments flourish and new companies are born. Subsequently, those expanded and empowered academic departments and now established companies then foster subsequent generations of students who become scientific innovators. We are starting to put that cycle into motion here in Oklahoma. The foundation is the health and vitality of our education institutions, with important assists from government and the venture capital community.
Team Highlight: Lauren Roberts
Lauren Roberts has joined Cortado Ventures as one of our fall investment interns. She joins our intern Aaron Salazar Latham, who extended his internship from this summer. Lauren is an Oklahoma native who is currently a senior Finance and Entrepreneurship Pre-Law student at the University of Oklahoma. With a passion and interest centered around the financial markets, disruptive tech, and public policy, Lauren is focused on learning how these three can intersect to solve real world problems. Her past experiences include internships with Atento Capital as both a Summer Analyst and Fellow, Boyd Street Ventures, and PIMCO. With Cortado, she has the opportunity to engage with some of the brightest change makers within Oklahoma’s tech and VC ecosystem. During her free time, you’ll most likely find her at a nearby coffee shop, running, or listening to a new episode of the Freakonomics podcast. Upon graduation, she will join PIMCO as an Account Analyst within their Global Wealth Management group in Austin, TX.
Applications Now Open: Cortado 2023 Internships
Looking to gain valuable experience in the venture capital industry? Learn from experienced entrepreneurs at Cortado through our internship program — you’ll interact with high growth startups, conduct research, support investment decision-making and support day-to-day needs of the firm. Apply now.
Ox featured by Business Insider
Business Insider, along with Dell Technologies, featured Forbes 30 Under 30 and Ox CEO Charu Thomas, highlighting their innovative, human-centered automation approach for supply chain logistics using augmented reality. Check it out here.
New Investment Alert: oPRO.ai
Cortado Ventures is proud to invest in oPRO.ai. This tech company provides AI software to optimize processes in O&G, petrochemical, chemicals, and metals industries. They use advanced AI software to provide higher yields, lower energy use, reduced emissions, safer and stabilized operations.
New Investment Alert: Payfactory
Along with our friends at Atento Capital, Cortado Ventures is proud to announce an investment in Payfactory, a Tulsa-based B2B software platform that offers a payment-facilitation-as-a-service solution to software companies. Payfactory provides the technology infrastructure that enables software companies to become payment facilitators and integrate payments as a feature into their applications. This enables software companies to effortlessly accept and support payments within their applications. As payment facilitators, software companies can shorten the onboarding time for merchants and increase their share of the revenue from payment fees charged to merchants. Payfactory was founded in 2020 by Tulsa resident Ruston Miles. Ruston is the founder of Bluefin Payment Solutions, a leader in the payment security space.
Cortado in the News
Mike Moradi Selected as Emerging Manager Showcase Winner at EMex Americas
Cortado General Partner Mike Moradi recently participated as one of the 10 most exciting emerging managers at the Emerging Manager Showcase at EMex Americas, where he medalled in both the Judge and Audience vote. The Showcase, which required participants to present a four minute elevator pitch and field a Q&A session, was judged by some of the top allocators in the investing space. Read more.
Moat Biotechnology developing intranasal COVID-19 vaccine
Moat Biotechnology, an Oklahoma-based company funded primarily by Oklahomans — including Cortado Ventures, is developing a needle-free COVID-19 vaccine. The intranasal vaccine will allow for easier administration, benefiting patients and providers. Read more from KFOR. We thank Sensulin for sponsoring our recent reception with Moat Biotechnology.
Events in the Ecosystem
Global Entrepreneurship Week: November 14-20
Have you heard about Global Entrepreneurship Week in Oklahoma? Global Entrepreneurship Week empowers nascent entrepreneurs and those who face systemic barriers to starting and scaling their own companies. Get ready for some amazing events hosted all over Oklahoma by support organizations and ecosystem resource partners. You won’t want to miss the kickoff events happening in OKC and Tulsa on November 14. The week will kick off on Nov. 14 with a Sip, Snack & Stroll entrepreneurship networking event in the Innovation District. Register Today