i2E’s popular e3 workshop helps Oklahoma startups to determine market fit for their product and gain valuable inside into their concept. If you’re not familiar with e3, the workshop evaluates opportunities, equips entrepreneurs with the tools they need to launch and empowers them to create high growth companies.
This cohort brought together a diverse group of ideas and entrepreneurs working to advance concepts that included educational and banking software, biotechnology and agriculture-based manufacturing of alternative plastics.
Here are short profiles of each of the four participating ventures and perspective from the entrepreneurs who participated in a recent workshop:
Dynos.lo – Founded by Pramod Vadrevu, Dynos is an all-in-one educational technology platform that helps teachers build interactive lessons, build quizzes and collect responses for any field they create. The Dynos platform helps school districts save money by not having to purchase multiple EdTech tools to accomplish the same tasks.
The e3 class helped clarify Vadrevu’s understanding of potential school district needs and buying decisions.
“e3’s methodical approach to the customer discovery interviews helped us greatly in understanding the customers’ pain points as well as their buying cycles,” he said.
GnuPharma – As an R&D and engineering firm, GnuPharma owns intellectual property that provides benefits across three important human health systems. It has formulations around autism, metabolic syndrome, muscular dystrophy, common allergies, pain management, inflammation, mood, focus, energy and sexual function.
Founder and Chief Innovator Chip Paul said the e3 workshop proved more valuable to his venture than the University of Kentucky accelerator that he also attended.
“The cohort class does a very good job of analyzing a business model and finding the hole,” Paul said. “I would highly recommend i2E for their assistance and guidance with startup companies and would further recommend the cohort classes.”
Rivet – Founded as a financial technology company, Rivet emphasizes the importance of traditional community relationship banking while leveraging the efficiencies of modern technologies. It has integrated traditional banking with a suite of financial wellness, spending, credit and savings services through its web and mobile platforms.
The e3 workshop “was valuable in helping us tighten our go-to-market plans,” said Wayne Larkin, CEO. “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.”
Utopia Genetics – For the team of Utopia Genetics co-founders who participated in the e3 workshop, the class helped them provided new ideas and approaches to a venture that already has a product and revenue, said co-founder Deverick Wilder. Utopia Genetics is the exclusive distributor of Utopia Plastix, a trademarked product invented by founder Sharina Perry. She developed a patented process that uses plant composite material in traditional petroleum-based plastics manufacturing. Utopia’s plant-based resin can be used to manufacture a wide range of products, including single-use straws, plastic bags, plastic cutlery, film, diapers and more.
“The e3 program was great!’ Wilder said. “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.”
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.