First and foremost, thanks to everybody who has come to be a part of the Cortado Ventures community. We are excited to build the startup ecosystem together, and look forward to the journey ahead. But first let us take a look back.
As some of you will remember, tech transfer was illegal in Oklahoma until 1998, when the voters passed State Questions 680 and 681. These minor changes were not that long ago (22 years), but were truly transformative for our state. To put it another way, if our tech sector were a person, it is finally old enough to enter a bar! But in the early years, one of the bright spots was the life sciences sector, which has spawned companies such as Alexion ($24B market cap – started out of OMRF before going public, now headquartered in Boston), Novazyme (acquired for $137.5 million up-front by Genzyme, plus two milestone payments of $87.5 million each), Cytovance (acquired for $206m by HepaLink), and most recently, Selexys (acquired for $660m by Novartis).
We believe that Oklahoma will spawn a new generation of life sciences and medtech success, and have already made investments in the area (Sway Medical). We believe in the power of technology to improve healthcare. For those of you who have a deeper interest in the medical / healthcare sector, we invite you to read this article I wrote for the World Economic Forum’s 2020 annual meeting. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/01/how-will-stem-cells-impact-the-future-of-medicine/
Lastly, we call upon Oklahoma’s medical entrepreneurs to get in touch. The needs in healthcare are vast, which means that the opportunities are also vast. Together, let us build a better future.
Mike Moradi, Venture Partner at Cortado Ventures