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Panel Features Sec. Pollard and Leading Innovators

If you work hard, success is sure to follow - this motto is no exception for the program alumni, also known as founders, featured on the 2021 Founders Panel debuting at Roadmap weekend, Nov. 5-7. Roadmap weekend is an opportunity for OK Catalyst to inspire tomorrow's innovation leaders to take the first step in commercializing technologies that could change the trajectory of success for Oklahoma's innovation infrastructure.

The panel will be moderated by Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Innovation, Elizabeth Pollard. Secretary Pollard is paving a path to equalize opportunity in the heartland by putting a strategy in place that will effectively move Oklahoma out of the bottom percentile in respect to innovation.

Roadmap weekend will allow participants the opportunity to hear the shared success stories of tech entrepreneurs who have prevailed in innovation since their involvement with OK Catalyst programs. Our team has recruited, mentored, and advised a variety of researchers who have developed products and systems for biotech, aerospace, and renewable energy. According to the 2021-2026 Science & Innovation Strategic Plan, Secretary Pollard is determined to...

transform our state economy to an innovation economy that reflects the pioneering, entrepreneurial and resilient spirit of our state.

Through the mission of economic development programs like OK Catalyst, and collaboration with champions of applied science, the objectives of Oklahoma's Office of Science and Innovation will change the narrative and showcase the power that comes from uplifting underserved and underrepresented communities.

The Founders Panel

Secretary of Science and Innovation

A leader within our innovation ecosystem, Secretary Pollard places a strategic emphasis on enabling science and innovation to impact health, commerce, and STEM education for Oklahoma. Prior to her appointment by Governor Stitt, Pollard served as Deputy Secretary of Science and Innovation under Secretary Kayse Shrum.

Excitant Therapeutics

An ophthalmic researcher, “Henry” Shin, has 10+ years of experience leading basic & translational research projects on various ocular pathologies including Diabetic Retinopathy and Age-related Macular Degeneration. Enthusiastic about ophthalmic drug development with relevant industry experience that includes strategic planning of pre-clinical R&D roadmap, designing and execution of proof-of-concept studies, management of personnel, resource, and budget, and establishing multi-disciplinary teams to synergize and maximize pre-clinical R&D outcomes.

Utopia Genetics

A woman and minority-owned business based in the USA, Utopia Genetics, provider of Utopia Plastix, is a plant-based alternative for petroleum-based plastics. Through research and development, Utopia has patented a process that allows the resin to be used in any plastic application. With manufacturers across the country, Utopia Plastix has produced samples of finished goods including straws, bags, spoons, forks, knives, film, and a variety of containers.

MaxQ Research

Saravan is a technology enthusiast who loves solving complex problems and creating value through innovation. MaxQ is reimagining the shipping of temperature-sensitive biologics with advanced breakthroughs in thermal insulation sciences. Saravan has successfully led several R&D projects involving Material Sciences, IoT, edge computing, real-time predictive intelligence, and delivered high-impact products and services at scale.


Roadmap weekend participants will have the opportunity to ask founders and Sec. Pollard questions, following the panel event, drinks and desserts will be served on the 21C hotel rooftop. Program participants can download the weekend agenda using this link.

Roadmap Fall 2021 applications are closed. To apply for the Spring 2022 Roadmap, click this link. For regular updates about OK Catalyst, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter and subscribe to our e-newsletter.

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