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In a nod to the ABC reality television show Shark Tank, eight entrepreneurial teams in Oklahoma City went before a panel of business leaders March 5 to pitch their plans and ideas for a chance at a $5,000 technology package from Cox Business.
The television show
offers contestants the chance to obtain financing for their ideas, but Get
Started OKC was designed to give those with ideas the chance for some feedback
from a venture capitalist, a digital marketing professional and a CEO, as well
as network with other entrepreneurs. About 100 people attended the event at the
Oklahoma History Center.
The television show offers contestants the chance to obtain financing for their ideas, but Get Started OKC was designed to give those with ideas the chance for some feedback from a venture capitalist, a digital marketing professional and a CEO, as well as network with other entrepreneurs. About 100 people attended the event at the Oklahoma History Center.
At the end of the night, and after a series of direct questions by the panel, ScanMed QR was the winner. The Oklahoma City-based company, led by Eric Richardson, is creating medical alert technology to store one’s medical history using QR codes that can be read by a smart phone.
Cox announced the event online and through social media, and had 25 responses. Of those, Cox officials whittled it down to the best eight. For those participating, they did not need to be Cox customers. To be eligible, those interested submitted a 250-word description of their proposal.
The event was a partnership between Cox, Inc. magazine and Mozy. Eric Markowitz, senior reporter with Inc., sat on the panel, and informed the participants that while they would not receive a harsh grilling, there would be some serious questions. Panel members included Phil Busey, chairman and CEO of The Busey Group of Companies, Ann Handley, chief content officer with MarketingProfs, and Josh Linkner, a venture capitalist from Detroit.
In the three minutes allotted for each pitch, Richardson used his time to tell about his mother’s struggles with type 1 diabetes and epilepsy, and his goal to ensure that if she goes to the hospital that her records go with her. He started the company in March 2012, and created a red and white wristband that his mother, Victoria Bill, wears at all times. It is not an electronic device, but rather the silicone gel bracelet includes a QR code stamped on it to provide a link to all her medical information.
“EMTs are typically trained to look at three things: the neck, the wrist and the wallet,” he said, explaining how a paramedic could easily identify the device and then access her health information.
Additional products with a patient’s information include wallet cards and key fobs. Richardson said the children and loved ones who look after their relatives are typically his clients. He said a relative can ensure that the information stays current by keeping up with information and records online, and updating those accordingly. His products can be purchased in existing brick-and-mortar stores where his customers already shop, or can be made available at branded booths to sell directly to those who participate in marathons, cycling or walking events.
The winning package included $5,000 in Cox Business technology that the winner can use to update and enhance their internal technology. Richardson is not a Cox customer, but said he likely soon will be.
“We’re probably switching now,” he said.
Cox officials said the Oklahoma City event was the first in the nation. Similar events in other cities will follow. Randy Chandler, vice president of Cox Business Oklahoma, said the event was designed to get local business leaders and entrepreneurs together to network and learn from one another.
“We may be known for delivering technology, but we’re also committed to helping our business customers grow,” he said. “Their success benefits the entire community.”