OVF: Trang Nguyen, Douglas Sorocco & Craig Shimasaki
The Oklahoma Venture Forum is a non-profit organization providing entrepreneurs and growing ventures in Oklahoma access to capital and management development through education, networking, and other resources. I’ve partnered with The Golding Group to record and host the podcast series. These are the first two episodes that feature me as the host.
Dr. Nguyen launched Mimosa Health in May 2017 with a mission to provide expert advice on the use of medications by older adults. Mimosa Health utilizes specialized knowledge in geriatrics and the unique medication-related needs of the senior population. Dr. Nguyen helps seniors reduce medication-related problems, reduce healthcare costs, and improve their quality of life through our community medication education seminars and personalized senior health services.
Douglas Sorocco is an owner of Dunlap Codding in Oklahoma City, an intellectual property attorney, PHOSITA blogger, chemist, visionary, social entrepreneur and creator of DC on Film Row. He’s also one of the volunteer co-directors of the new Oklahoma Entrepreneurship Mentoring Program (OKEMP). Modeled after MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service (MIT VMS), OKEMP matches an entrepreneur with a team of unbiased, experienced mentors.
“This type of commitment is what’s been missing in Oklahoma,” he says. “OKEMP provides mentoring teams who follow entrepreneurs throughout their whole career. Because true entrepreneurs don’t stop with just one idea.”
“One of the beauties of the program is that no matter where the entrepreneurs are in their life cycle, they’re getting matched up with mentors who can offer unbiased, unconflicted advice.”
What mentors also offer is access to their experiences as successful entrepreneurs, delivered during regularly scheduled 90-minute meetings. “There is a curriculum,” explains Sorocco, “but it is driven by the entrepreneurs who are coming with questions and concerns.”
“For example, the first entrepreneur may already have a prototype without ever looking at markets. So it’s backward! So the mentor helps identify who’s going to buy the product. Whereas the second entrepreneur may be a programmer who’s never sold anything. So the mentoring team teaches how to develop relationships that don’t seem too transactional.”
“Most entrepreneurs are going to fail with their first or second company. What we need for them to do is learn along the way so that when they get to number three or four, they’re more likely to succeed.”