The Norman Transcript

Editorials

February 26, 2014

Lack of venture capital

NORMAN — Access to capital fuels entrepreneurial growth. It takes products and opportunities from concept to reality.

Unfortunately, Oklahoma’s venture capital funding is on the decline, according to a recent newspaper column from Oklahoma i2E Inc., president and CEO Scott Meacham.

That forum mentors many of the state’s start-up technology and biotechnology companies. Meacham writes that in 2008, $17 million in venture capital was invested here. In 2013, that had fallen to $8 million.

Nationally, investment capital grew about 7.5 percent from 2012 to 2013, but in Oklahoma, that number declined 79 percent. Meacham, a former state treasurer, said Colorado had 79 deals last year, while Oklahoma counted eight.

“Venture capital attracts venture capital, and there isn’t enough VC money here to prime the pump,” he wrote. “Venture capitalists are opening offices and writing checks in states around us — notably Texas and Colorado — but only a handful of VCs have been active in Oklahoma at all — and most of those fly in from some other state.”

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