The i2E e3 Series helps Oklahoma startup founders perform market validation of their ideas and solutions before they start creating products that their customers may not want to buy.
This program is the most robust in the region and boasts more than 170 participating companies, comprised of both seasoned founders and first-time entrepreneurs, all of whom have gained valuable insight from e3.
i2E concluded the latest virtual e3 cohort featuring five new startups from across the state. Among them was a winner from the 2019 Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup business plan and pitch competition, Babel Analytics based in Tulsa.
Babel Analytics is creating an artificial intelligence enabled eye imager for primary care physicians to effectively identify and refer rare eye diseases. As college students, Catherine Ha, CEO and William Booker, CTO won third place in the graduate division of the 2019 Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup competition and earning initial seed capital which helped begin their journey as a startup company. Since then, they launched the company in Tulsa and successfully pursued a $250,000 grant from the Defense Health Agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
They attended the e3 to better understand their market and customers to create useful and impactful products. Ha said, “Customer discovery and market understanding is crucial to the success of any business; e3 teaches you the questions you need to be asking and stresses the necessity in finding answers to move your company forward.” HerdFinder, located in Edmond, produces a patented solar powered GPS ear tag primarily used for cattle and other livestock. Their product offers real-time tracking, geofencing/theft alerts, Herd Health records, and behavioral monitoring such as, calving, breeding, and temperature alerts all via text message and in one easy to use app. The HerdFinder tag can also be put on any equipment, trailers, vehicles etc.
The HerdFinder founders are cattle ranchers in Oklahoma and saw a huge need for this type of tracking which saves money, time, energy and provides peace of mind. They have been working on the development of their product for 5 years and found the e3 program showed them what they need to focus on and provided the information their team needed for making their startup a success. They look forward to starting HerdFinder in 2021.
“I would suggest any startup in Oklahoma take the e3 course, i2E has been wonderful for us.”
Andy Jones, Founder and President
PollVerified’s aim is to deliver a single polling solution to the intersection of individual and business needs through a simple to use mobile application and platform that plugs into the most popular social media and digital platforms that fits in an individual’s pocket via their smartphone or online connected device. Their vision is a technology platform that allows anyone with a question to poll anyone for an answer.
Broad user adoption of the platform and rich (opt-in) demographic data will raise the bar on the value proposition to businesses and organizations and enable more timely and valuable market research and target marketing.
Tulsa co-founders, Jim Craddock and Lance Laubach attended the e3 course and Lance shared that they entered the e3 program with the hope to validate and mature their business concept by testing assumptions, absorbing fresh perspectives, and cranking up the flywheel and they departed with that and more.
Houston Johnson, Jay Johnson, and Derek Sing, co-founders of Caddie 514 located in Oklahoma City, plan to provide a customized food and beverage delivery service to players on the golf course. Currently, not all golf courses have cart service and those that do are random and often disturb pace of play.
Houston Johnson shared the e3 gave their team the tools to discover what their customers truly want and how they can build a product that fits those needs.
Their goal is to give players the ability to order food and beverage, hard goods, and even set up tee times all from their iPhone or Android device and through geolocating those products can be delivered to them exactly when and where they want them.
“The e3 course opened the curtain to what investors are thinking and looking for in start-ups. I would certainly recommend this course to others who are building their businesses.” Houston Johnson, Co-founder
Also from Tulsa, Brennan Murphy, founder of Asmblrs, had an idea to start a company that would assemble various items like wheelbarrows, bikes, grills, etc for large retail stores like Home Depot, Walmart, and Lowes at a faster build rate and lower cost. After the e3 course, Murphy said the best part was learning, developing, and experiencing a customer discovery process. The course taught him you cannot validate your idea on your own. He added, by getting to know his customer persona through a combination of interviews and research, he received real feedback from potential customers.
“This customer discovery process resulted in me deciding to not pursue this business. I now know how to evaluate an idea quickly and am excited to move onto new opportunities and ideas.” Brennan Murphy
The staff at i2E looks forward to assisting these startups grow into successful Oklahoma businesses. If you are starting a scalable company, please consider applying to the e3 program. Learn more about e3.