Oklahoma non-profit i2E Inc., which mentors many of the state’s technology-based startups, has built a venture assessment pipeline that in FY 2015 helped 31 clients secure over $49 million in private equity capital. The organization’s president and CEO Scott Meacham says in a recent blog post, published in The Daily Oklahoman, that i2E positions companies successfully because it tackles “product/market fit questions first.” He emphasizes that rigorous evaluation is crucial to determining if a startup is viable.
From the i2E website:
“We challenge the entrepreneurs to prove to us that customers want the solution they are building” said Stacey Brandhorst, i2E venture adviser. “We push the entrepreneurs to ask themselves and their potential customers the hard questions. We show entrepreneurs the weaknesses in their market plan and then work with them to mitigate those risks.” Adds Brandhorst: “We try not to discourage, but we do dispense tough love.”