State making strides

Investors, entrepreneurs find solid ground in Oklahoma

published in The Journal Record | October 27, 2009

McAfee & Taft intellectual property attorney and Chairman of Oklahoma Venture Forum Mike LaBrie was interviewed for a Journal Record feature about the recent shift in Oklahoma’s investor community that has put Oklahoma in a very pro-business climate.

The recent biennial Bricktown Capital Conference, hosted by Oklahoma Venture Forum, drew more than 300 investors and entrepreneurs and generated about $2 billion in development capital from its first two events. “In the last 10 years, and especially in the last five, we’ve seen a network put into place to raise capital, and a business-friendly environment grow up around that,” LaBrie told The Journal Record. He noted Oklahoma’s favorable business environment is even attracting out-of-state businesses.

Mike went on to say that venture money has tightened recently, but he credits Oklahoma’s strong economic position to the established business community that is now investing in others’ success. He also credits the national attention Oklahoma has received, including being named Fortune magazine’s best large metropolitan area in which to start a small business. “It shows we have a surprising level of big-investment capital here and it’s attracting attention, even now,” Mike said.

The Bricktown Capital Conference concluded with an awards dinner recognizing businesses including PL Studios and Acorn Growth Cos. who tied for the Venture of the Year Award. Mike told The Journal Record “this year we had a large number of high-quality award applications, which is also a testament to the business climate in Oklahoma right now.”