E3 is the region’s most robust and reputable learning experience for founders and startups.
What We Do
Move Forward Faster
This six-week intensive micro accelerator explores the product/market fit for new business concepts and helps existing businesses scale and find new customers.
Since 2015, E3 has completed more than 40 cohorts with over 200 companies. E3 provides opportunities for detailed discussion and 1:1 feedback from experts and serves as the first step towards leveraging i2E’s advisory and funding services.
E3 explores the product/market fit of a new business concept and helps an existing business scale and find new customers. To enhance the business-building experience, this 6-week process provides content through videos, live workshops, and one-on-one calls including the following weekly:
- Proprietary i2E tips-and-tricks videos
- Live workshops on Thursdays 4-6 P.M.
- One-on-one phone calls weekly with i2E Program Director and i2E Advisor/Mentor
- Coaching throughout the program, including for customer discovery success
Following completion of the program, each company receives a report with next steps. i2E will recommend resources, programs and potential funding sources that will best suit the needs of the startup, including a possible client and/or funding relationship with i2E.
The cost is $375.
Not sure if E3 is for you?
- Are you an Oklahoma resident?
- Are you creating a new solution to a market problem or disrupting an existing market?
- Do you or your team have industry experience relevant to the new business?
If you answered yes to all of the above, we’d love for you to submit an application.
Types of companies that may be better served by other programs:
i2E serves a specific type of entrepreneur and business. We refer the following applicants to our network partners: Residents outside Oklahoma, Franchises, Oil and Gas Production, Real Estate, Movie Production, Herbal Remedies, Multi-level Marketing, Consulting and Coaching, Financial Services, Retail Business Establishments and Restaurants, and businesses in the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Gaming Industries.
*Note: Technology for the above industries would be considered.
e3 Cohort 43
October 6, 13, 20, 27
September 22, 2022
1. What exactly is the E3?
E3 is designed to explore the product/market fit of a new business concept or help an existing business scale and find new customers. Each program includes four two-hour, in-person workshops, with outside activities to be completed by the participating company/entrepreneur.
2. Who is i2E?
i2E, Inc. is an Oklahoma corporation with the statewide mission to invest in entrepreneurs to build successful, high-growth Oklahoma companies. i2E achieves this by developing and connecting entrepreneurs, providing advisory services and capitalizing ventures throughout the business life cycle.
Is E3 the right Program for me?
1. What can I expect?
To look at your business from your potential customer’s point of view.
To network with other Oklahoma entrepreneurs.
Personalized feedback and guidance from startup experts throughout the program.
2. Do I have to live in Oklahoma?
Yes, i2E exclusively serves businesses with a majority of assets and operations in Oklahoma.
3. What if I haven’t started a business but have an idea?
That’s okay! The business does not need to be operational or have existing customers to participate.
1. Should my co-founder or employees attend the workshops as well?
Yes! We encourage all the founders of a company to attend all in-person workshops. We can accommodate up to 3-4 founders/employees per company.
2. What is the time commitment?
The in-person workshops are two hours each, the phone calls are 30-60 minutes each, and the outside work usually takes 5-10 hours per week.
3. Does i2E or E3 provide funding or investment in my business?
While participation in E3 does not guarantee investment, this program does introduce methods of generating capital outside of i2E funding.
4. Are there opportunities to network with other startups?
Absolutely, there will be other like-minded entrepreneurs attending the workshops and an alumni group for graduates
5. How many companies have done the program and what do they say about it?
The E3 (previously VAP) has served more than 200 companies to date. Please check out their reviews of the program on the Founder Feedback tab.
6. Who is the instructor?
Darcy Wilborn, i2E’s Director of Client Engagement and Entrepreneurial Programs. If you have any questions, contact Darcy at dwilborn@i2E.org.
1. When should I apply?
The application is available year-round, so you may apply at any time. If you would like to see the current class schedules with deadlines to apply, please click the Schedule tab above.
2. How do I apply?
Please fill out our online application.
3. Who sees my application?
Your application is seen by i2E staff only.
4. How many companies are accepted to E3?
The average E3 has 4-6 companies.
5. When will I know if I’m accepted?
You will be notified of acceptance no later than one week before the start date of the first workshop.
“The E3 program grounds you in the basics. Talking to potential customers is crucial for product market fit validation. It’s equally important to remember that no matter how much you love your product, you’re not the customer!” Charles Thuo, CEO and Founder, Apexloads
“i2E provided an extremely knowledgeable team of professionals who kept us laser focused on the important aspects of start-up business basics. You could feel the growth and development of your plan with each meeting. Great asset for the state of Oklahoma and for start-ups needing direction and funding. Thank you very much i2E. Strong start……..amazing finish!!!!” Richard Cranford, CEO, BoxSPINE
“The E3 is an incredibly valuable experience for anyone – experienced or not – looking for brilliant minds to push back and make you answer the hard questions you need to determine if your business or idea will fly. The executives were warm, inviting, challenging, encouraging, and most of all – excited to see you!” Melissa Decker, Founder & Owner, The Attic
This quality program grants founders the ability to think dynamically and critically.” Tony Gao, CEO, Variables Intelligence Corporation
“E3 provided an excellent rubric for flushing out and highlighting a business’s viability to grab investor attention. Interestingly enough the cohort customer exercises led my partner and me to restructure our marketing efforts and niche down on an existing but otherwise underrated target customer. I appreciate that i3 was able to make our team look inward and ultimately confirm the direction we are taking our company.” Jacob Weaver, Managing Partner, Cathedral Payments
“I have learned it is crucial to work with Darcy, and the E3 team to build credibility and momentum if you want to be a successful startup or business in Oklahoma. My team is grateful for their support, and we are glad to be collaborating with i2E as we become the alchemists of the senior housing industry.” CJ Swanson, Founder, ConciergeTech
“Even though we are not a new business, there were many techniques we learned that are helping us perform better market analysis and to create commercial opportunities for our business.” Alberto Aguirre, Chief Operating Officer, CRISALIS, LLC
“i2E’s E3 program is perfect for early-stage startups looking to refine their mission and better understand their customer. I was amazed at how much hard data I gathered using their customer discovery program. This data has been instrumental in focusing my company’s marketing and continues to be helpful to this day.” Bryan Meador, CEO, Plant Seads
“I strongly recommend startup companies attend E3 as it provides a collaborative environment in which they can think about and find solutions to challenges most new entrepreneurs will encounter.” Seif Azadi, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer, PurMA Biologics
“The I2E process has been helpful to IV Ensure in our planning stages as we prepare to roll out our monitoring device and service. They have helped us find answers to tough questions and position our product in the market where it is most needed. We are committed to healthcare in rural Oklahoma, and it has been a pleasure working with I2E.” Mitchell Berenson, Founder, IV Ensure
“The E3 program was a great way to refine our launch strategy for OROS Analytics and target our future prospects with more precision. The exercises we went through with our target prospects gave us valuable insight and data on what they care about and how they will be making buying decisions around our product.” Kym Koch Thompson, Founder & CEO, Oros Analytics, LLC
“We really appreciated the mentorship i2E provided during our time in the E3 program. The part of the program we found most helpful was the customer discovery outreach. Through talking with customers, we were able to validate our product, add features to our development roadmap, and refine our strategy. It was also helpful to connect with and learn from other founders in the program.” Jordan Green, Founder & CEO, Remble
”It would be unfair and incomplete to single out one component of E3 to highlight, unless of course you frame the entire process that forces you to rethink your business, market and customer assumptions.” Brian Carpenter, Managing Partner, 4DSales
“The best aspect of the E3 program is the product-market fit investigation, which will anchor the many critical assumptions for the business going forward, especially who will buy, why they buy, their alternatives, and what they value. Most of us entrepreneurs find it uncomfortable to hard-test our assumptions, but the truth found sooner can prevent disaster for some and sharpen the spear for others.” Mark Whitaker, CEO, PUrioLabs, LLC
“The E3 program has been invaluable in understanding our market and how to best programmatically create a game plan for our business. The best part is the value we are receiving continues each day as we implement what we learned in the E3 program and explore business opportunities with our E3 mentors.” Mark Steele, Founder, SalesVizion
“Being a start-up is very challenging, and one of the great fundamentals for every new company is to connect with those who have already gone along that road, made mistakes, and succeeded. Through the E3 program, we were able to gain the knowledge of how to build a company from scratch and more importantly to find out what customers are essentially looking for to solve their problems.” Samuel Greedharry, CEO, Founder, WISO
“E3 brings an intensity and clear focus to where you are and where you need to be. From customer discovery to considering a realistic successful business future, they push you to get things organized. Lots of talented people who are willing to share!” J. Ross Vanhooser, M.D., AIPAGS, LLC.
“The E3 discovery calls were a great opportunity to have Body Flexor’s processes not only be reviewed and critiqued by experienced E3 staff, but also by very talented entrepreneurs who have the same goals as Body Flexor. This learning experience I believe is invaluable and we would not have had this structured environment most likely anywhere else … The biggest value we received were the tools, structure and strategy to move our products closer to the market desiring the results and solutions Body Flexor products provide.” Jessica B. Knotts, Co-founder, Body Flexor, LLC
“E3’s methodical approach to the customer discovery interviews helped us greatly in understanding the customers’ pain points as well as their buying cycles.” Pramod Vadrevu, Founder, Dynos.lo
“The cohort class does a very good job of analyzing a business model and finding the hole. I would highly recommend i2E for their assistance and guidance with startup companies and would further recommend the cohort classes.” Chip Paul, Founder and Chief Innovator, GnuPharma
The E3 workshop was valuable in helping us tighten our go-to-market plans. We see huge opportunity in front of us and planning and being accountable to achievable first steps are crucial to achieving our longer-term vision.” Wayne Larkin, CEO, Rivet
“The E3 program was great! While we were not a pre-revenue company or in the early start-up phase like other companies, we found the program to be very helpful. Our business was moving quickly and E3 forced us to slow down to discuss areas of the business that needed our focus, but for which we had not taken the time to discuss fully. Thank you all for the time and effort you put into helping Oklahoma companies.” Deverick Wilder, Co-founder, Utopia Genetics
Note: the e3 program was formerly named the Venture Assessment Program (VAP). You may see it referenced in the following testimonials.
”It would be unfair and incomplete to single out one component of e3 to highlight, unless of course you frame the entire process that forces you to rethink your business, market and customer assumptions.” Brian Carpenter, Managing Partner, 4DSales
“The best aspect of the e3 program is the product-market fit investigation which will anchor the many critical assumptions for the business going forward, especially who will buy, why they buy, their alternatives, and what they value.” Mike Whitaker, CEO, PURioLABS
“Through the e3 program we were able to gain the knowledge of how to build a company from scratch and more importantly to find out what customers are essentially looking for to solve their problems. Samuel Greedharry, CEO, WISO
“The best part is the value we are receiving continues each day as we implement what we learned in the e3 program and explore business opportunities with our e3 mentors.” Mark Steele, CEO and Co-Founder, Salesvizion
“The e3 program starts with a broad view of the market then narrows down the ideal customer that would pay and utilize our products. With this in mind, this strategy could potentially save a company thousands of marketing dollars and save valuable time.” Jesse Bar, Co-Founder, Body Flexor
“e3 brings an intensity and clear focus to where you are and where you need to be. From customer discovery to considering a realistic successful business future, they push you to get things organized. Lots of talented people who are willing to share!”
J Ross Vanhooser, MD, Founder, AIPAGS
“Thank you all for the time and effort you put into helping Oklahoma companies. You are an invaluable resource for the state and for up-and-coming businesses within the state. – Deverick Wilder, Co-Founder, Utopia Genetics
“Our work with i2E was valuable in helping us tighten our go-to-market plans. We see huge opportunity in front of us and planning and being accountable to achievable first steps are crucial to achieving our longer term vision.” Wayne Larkin, CEO, Rivet
“I would highly recommend I2E for their assistance and guidance with start up companies and would further recommend the cohort classes.”
Chip Paul, Founder and Chief Innovator, GnuPharma
“e3’s methodical approach to the customer discovery interviews helped us greatly in understanding the customers’ pain points as well as their buying cycles.” Pramod Vadrevu, Founder, Dynos.io
“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 in order to move your company forward.” – Catherine Ha, CEO, Babel Analytics
“The e3 course opened the curtain to what investors are thinking and looking for in start-ups. It gave our team the tools to discover truly what our customers are wanting and how we might build a product to fit their needs. The content and delivery in the course was smooth and very useful for our company especially as an early stage startup. It was also a great experience getting to connect with other founders. I would certainly recommend this course to others who are building their businesses.” – Houston Johnson, Co-founder, Caddie 514
“The e3 program at i2E was truly a wealth of valuable information/direction for our startup, e3 was very clear to understand, the program helped show us what we need to focus on, there was so much great information that we as a team truly needed for making HerdFinder a success. I would suggest any startup in Oklahoma take the e3 course, I2E has been wonderful for us here at HerdFinder.” – Andy Jones, Founder & President, HerdFinder
“The best part of e3 is learning, developing, and then experiencing a customer discovery process. Before e3, I would mentally put myself in the shoes of potential customers. Every time I did this thought experiment, the customer in my head loved the product. e3 taught me you cannot validate your own ideas on your own. By truly getting to know my customer persona through a combination of interviews and research, I got real feedback from potential customers. This customer discovery process resulted in me deciding to not pursue this business. This may sound sad, but it is not sad at all! I now know how to evaluate an idea quickly and am excited to move onto new opportunities and ideas.” – Brennan Murphy, Founder, Asmblrs
“As a founder, going through the e3 process was well worth the resources spent. It was validating at times, challenging at times, and always enjoyable. I relished the chance to talk about my passion project with experts and peers—my family and friends are thankful for being spared! Something particularly helpful was i2E’s take on assessing the market in a realistic way. In previous research, I had found competing opinions on how to come up with the right figures. Yet i2E’s approach equipped me with a better understanding of the kind of numbers investors would be most interested in.” – Dr. Terrie Shipley, CEO and Founder, Apply U
“Participating in the e3 program was a fantastic experience for our company. As an early stage start-up, access to the knowledge and experience of the e3 team proved extremely valuable. The rigorous process allowed us to quickly evaluate our company’s potential in a new market, while avoiding common pitfalls that can cause new companies to struggle. With the guidance from the e3 advisors, we have been able to align our product to solve specific customer problems and identify risks to our business model. This information will position our company for success” – Ron Goff, CEO and Co-Founder, ForeSource
“The e3 program is an on point, top notch program for startups. The intentional instruction, coursework and professional advice will keep startups focused and on track to achieve their goals. e3 is the first tool for any startup toolbox in moving their business forward.” – Jared Boehs, CEO and Co-founder, HyQ Technologies
“The e3 program forced us to define, evaluate, and get feedback from our target customers allowing us to eliminate some of the pitfalls of the traditional build-measure-learn feedback loop. Through this process we learned valuable insights into the wants of that target demographic and was able to determine before a waste of time and resources that our initial target, although a sales driver, was not willing to pay for the technology and identify the true economic buyer in the model. It changed our mentality on how we approached the product development and allowed us to share those insights with our channel partner.” – Brendon Quick, COO, Rabble Corp
“The e3 program taught us an efficient and reliable way to discover our customer’s needs. Combined with the advice from expert mentors, we were able to firm up our value proposition, find the perfect first-customer, and plan a plausible path to success. We are the most confident we have ever been in our business and are excited to move forward with the knowledge and connections e3 and I2e brought us.” – Marc LaManque, Cadenzo
“We have been really grateful for the opportunity to participate in the e3 program. We have always known that our product had the legs to be something great, but there has always been a struggle to identify which aspects needed immediate focus. We have been able to accomplish more from a target market perspective in 3 months than we did in the previous year. The instructors are knowledgeable and invested not only in our success through the course, but our success as an entity. 10/10 would recommend!” Micheal Ude, Fan Fair
“The e3 Program was extremely helpful from a growth and learning standpoint for our business. Both of our co-founders learned a lot while going through the program. The process of truly figuring out product-market-fit through customer discovery as well as competitive analysis and fine tuning our pitch proved to be very valuable. The videos and assignments prepared us for each class, but ultimately prepared us to be successful moving forward. The 4 weeks of classes, assignments, and discovery calls were tough, but helpful. However, we found the 1-on-1 sessions to be the most beneficial as we received encouragement, insight, and tough love from Darcy and Stacey. We highly recommend this course as it helped us a great deal.” Jay White, Focal Software
“The team at i2E, and specifically pertaining to the e3 program, is incredibly willing to help entrepreneurs succeed in all levels of their business. The course itself provided me with more clarity in how to better guide my business, better prepare ourselves for scaling within the right market, and how to tailor the product to the proper customers based on deep insights. I really enjoyed the e3 program as well as the people involved with it.” Cole Stevens, Hiike
“e3 is the founder’s map and compass: the program lets you confirm where you’ve gone in the right direction and provides the tools and guidance to help you reorient where you are off course. In four weeks, you gain an understanding of how to go from good idea to a good startup and primes you to take your business to the next level.” Richard Jackson, ConnecTix
“The e3 program was incredibly helpful to us. It forced us to reassess assumptions underlying our marketing analysis, as well as to refine our business model and launch strategy.” Jason Davenport, Imperial Bioworks
“The i2E staff did a great job of using their extensive knowledge and experience to guide us in a rigorous, but friendly, manor toward a better business design.” Jason Davenport, Imperial Bioworks
“The e3 program was a powerful distillation of the things we didn’t know we didn’t know. It taught us to start asking the right questions, and where to look for the answers. The E3 program has dramatically shortened our learning curve, sharpened our business acumen, and greatly accelerated our progress.” Jason Davenport, Imperial Bioworks
“We found the e3 process to be immensely valuable in moving our company forward. I was particularly impressed that the e3 process deals with specific methodologies to analyze the opportunity, not generalities! Additionally, it is real world, the i2E team had no issues challenging us along the way which demonstrated their commitment in getting it right. We thank the i2E team for their counsel, advice and personal interest in helping us move forward!” Bob Chamberlain, MedTech Partners
“We had extensive research, documents, business details, potential customers, a great team and felt like we were moving along well. We could not figure out why we could not get any traction, until i2E walked us through their proven program. Their team walked us through precisely each step to take before bringing our product to market. Although we had most of the information their team was looking for, i2E completely organized us in a way we did not even know needed to be done. We now feel very confident going to market knowing we have a team of proven experts behind us.” Devin Brown, NexMuv
“It has been such a learning experience for our entire team. This process has increased our confidence in being able to identify and market to our customers with precision.” Devin Brown, NexMuv
“See your business through investors eyes!” Leon Fowler, Enfluencer
“This program helps you know for sure that your venture is worth your time, effort and money before you take the risk.” Annie Bowles, Sugarfree Media
“Worth the time and money for any founder at any stage in their startup. The class offers great framework to position you for success!” Kate Birtch, Property Protect
“This program pushed me to think about aspects of my business I had not considered, allowing me to open my thought to much needed changes.” Chantelle Loft, Concept C
“Be prepared to do your homework and spend the time required to complete the seminar.” Debra Edwards, Concept C
“This program is densely packed with great information. It can feel overwhelming at times, but it teaches perseverance.” Lucy Kimani, Universal Cuisine
“This program is very organized and helps you to prepare and know the process and how to achieve a pitch and what to expect.” Todd Nelson, Trakyr
“If you are going to find what you need, be prepared for a long road and a constant reality check. This program is a great start.” Charlie Schmitz, Workour
“Customer discovery of paint identification are critical for the viability of a venture. This program puts it front and center!” Shoaib Shaikh, Chemexpose
“This class really helped my team reevaluate our customers and value proposition. I would recommend any entrepreneur to take this class as it makes the chance of succeeding that much greater.” Beau Blanchard, Paldara Pharmaceuticals
“This class process gave me the road map and direction we needed at the critical conceptual phase of our business.” Chris Hahn, Applique
“This class helped me hone in on my target market and gave me the tools to gather unbiased feedback.” Jonathan Welliver, Lyfe
“I used to run a sales organization, and I would have hired Darcy to help train my sales people!” Cameron Owen, Aevus Precision Diagnostics
“The VAP experience helped us understand that limiting our focus to just one vertical would allow us to put all our efforts into excelling in that space, differentiating ourselves from other companies and offering a superior product fit for that specific market.” – Laura Fleet, CEO & Co-Founder, SendaRide
“i2E’s VAP is extremely valuable for businesses of all types to help owners focus. Focus on awareness, focus on customers, and focus on action. VAP gives you the tools to define your company’s core customers. Done properly, defining these customers allow business owners to find what truly motivates their early adaptors. VAP is not just a course, but a well-developed process that can be applied to any new project or business endeavor.” – Chris Wilson, When In Roam
“Working with i2E is like having NOS in your racecar.” – Casey Murray, Protosynthesis Design, LLC
“A great program for Oklahoma.” – Carter Wright, Protosynthesis Design, LLC
“The VAP will help you set the wheels in motion to getting your venture off the ground. This program allows you to narrow your focus so that you can become invest-able in a timely and efficient manner.” – Keinan Smith, Protosynthesis Design, LLC
“The i2E VAP helped me to identify and test the underlying assumptions that will make or break my business. I gained useful insights on the strengths and weaknesses of my business model. This will enable me to pivot or fix them before spending hundreds of thousands of dollars ineffectively.” – Donna Miller, PursePower
“As a technical person, this is an eye-opening experience to learn how to launch a new product and succeed at business. The entire learning experience is challenging but pleasant, very rewarding.” – Dr. Li Song, BENEFF, LLC
“I would recommend the Venture Assessment Program to any tech startup that is serious about building a successful company. The insights gained from their team of experienced professionals saves time, provides clarity of focus, and connects founders with the knowledge and resources needed to maximize the potential for success.” – Johnathan Torkelson, Virtuoso Software
“I am very busy trying to build my business and so I was very concerned about the time I would have to invest in the VAP class. Now that was are done with VAP, I would say to any entrepreneur that they should make the investment. It was one of the most productive investments of time and money I have made since I started D6 Labs.” – Steve Montgomery, Digital Six Laboratories
“This is a tough-love class that is both supportive but also shares the reality of the path forward for a successful business. It’s definitely great to attend the earlier the better in starting any company.” – Rachel Hiraldo, Oct8ne
“Detail oriented and customer/sales driven despite the brevity (3 weeks) of the