On Wednesday, January 24, the inaugural cohort of startups from i2E’s Bridge2 Pre-Accelerator program presented their groundbreaking innovations during the Bridge2 Demo Day at Sailor & The Dock in Oklahoma City.
During Demo Day, attendees heard pitch presentations from five founders who participated in the initial Bridge2 cohort. Each founder showcased the innovative business ideas they developed and refined throughout the Bridge2 program.
“The Bridge2 Program has been fundamental to the next phase of my business. Before this program, I had the desire to pursue venture capital funding but lacked the clarity on what steps to take. This program changed everything for me,” Danielle Melton, Bridge2 participant and MOTHERboard® founder, said. “The learning sessions were game changers that provided me with all the necessary details on how to approach and attract venture capitalists. The knowledge and insights gained from these sessions felt like I was unlocking the cheat code to the entire venture capital ecosystem.”
The Bridge2 program is an 8-week pre-accelerator designed to prepare scalable, tech-enabled startup companies for Oklahoma-based accelerator programs and to pursue funding from private and public investment sources. Participants in the program engaged in weekly workshops and coaching calls, refining their revenue models, competitive strategies, and customer acquisition. With a $50,000 convertible note and personalized founder mentorship, Bridge2 lays the foundation for promising entrepreneurs to thrive in a competitive landscape.
“i2E’s E3 and Bridge2 programs give you, the entrepreneur, the tools to communicate the problem, solution, and market opportunity — in multiple formats. You’ll be prepared for a 5-minute pitch, a 15-minute presentation, and all the questions that might follow from interested investors and potential customers,” Sam DuRegger, Bridge2 participant and founder of Barista Bot, said.
i2E Vice President of Operations Darcy Wilborn reflected on the outcomes of the program and its initial cohort of companies.
“The success of this first Bridge2 Demo Day underscores the impact of our pre-accelerator in nurturing and propelling innovative startups. We are thankful to partner with the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST), a driving force behind innovation and technological-based advancement, as well as the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, for the funding and support to make this program happen. Together, we’re shaping a brighter future and making a significant impact in Oklahoma,” Wilborn said.
Bridge2 Cohort 1 Companies
- MOTHERboard®: MOTHERboard® is a SaaS company providing a comprehensive burnout and wellness solution specifically crafted for working mothers. By integrating this program as an employee benefit, MOTHERboard® helps visionary organizations create exceptional workplaces for their mom employees while simultaneously enhancing employee retention and positioning their company as an attractive destination for talented professionals. (Founder – Danielle Melton) joinmotherboard.com
- Apexloads: A cutting-edge SaaS provider within the spot market freight matching sector, specializing in linking cargo owners with transporters, enhancing the efficiency of the freight-truck matching process, and expediting payment processes for seamless transactions. (Founder – Charles Thuo) apexloads.com
- My Marketing Assistant: An AI-empowered business marketing platform providing fractional marketing services to early-stage companies and small to mid-sized businesses. (Founder – Lindsey Miller) mymarketingassistant.com
- FanFair: A mobile app that’s revolutionizing fanbase growth, providing artists with the platform they need to flourish. FanFair also orchestrates events, offering creative professionals a gateway into the vibrant world of the music industry. (Founder – Michael Ude) fanfairapp.com
- Barista Bot: Revolutionizing the ordering experience with their text-based platform powered by Natural Language Processing and menu-based AI. (Founder – Sam DuRegger) baristabot.app
More information about the Bridge2 program, visit i2e.org/bridge2.