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Reunion pays off for Muncy

Twisted Rodeo - Sat, 05/02/2015 - 6:17pm
Taos Muncy rides Powder River Rodeo's Miss Chestnut for 88 points to take the lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

Taos Muncy rides Powder River Rodeo’s Miss Chestnut for 88 points to take the lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

BY TRISHA PRICE
Rodeo Media Relations

GUYMON, Okla. – No stranger to winning or the Guymon community, two-time world champion saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy of Corona, N.M., has made a name for himself in the rodeo industry.

“This is where it all started for me,” Muncy said referring to Guymon, home of this week’s Pioneer Days Rodeo.

Muncy rodeoed for Oklahoma Panhandle State University, just 10 miles down the road in Goodwell.

Tuf Cooper competes in steer roping on Saturday afternoon. He leads the five-round aggregate. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

Tuf Cooper competes in steer roping on Saturday afternoon. He leads the five-round aggregate. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

“As soon as I came here for the bronc school my freshman year of high school, I knew where I wanted to go to college and where I wanted to hang out,” he said.

As an Aggie, he won the college and world championships in bronc riding as just a sophomore in 2007, becoming just the third cowboy in the history of the sport to win the two titles in the same event in the same calendar year; he joined bull rider Matt Austin and all-around cowboy Ty Murray.

An 88-point ride aboard Powder River Rodeo’s Miss Chestnut put Muncy in a position to take home his second championship title in Guymon – he won Pioneer Days in that magical 2007 season. He has encountered that horse before while winning the title in Caldwell, Idaho.

“I had a pretty good idea of what he was and I was really excited it was nice weather to get on him,” Muncy said.

The sunny, 80-degree weather made it the perfect saddle bronc riding conditions at the Saturday afternoon performance for Muncy.

He was joined in the winner’s circle Saturday by two other world champions who also took the lead in each of their events. Three-time and defending tie-down roping champion Tuf Cooper of Decatur, Texas, took the lead in the steer roping with an aggregate time of 106.9 seconds on five runs, and reigning bull riding world champion Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Okla., took the lead in the bull riding with a 86-point ride.

Cooper, a seven-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, is excited about taking the lead in the steer roping, an event he began competing in just a year ago.

“To win one of my first big steer roping’s would be a big breakthrough for me and give me a lot of confidence,” Cooper said. “I’ve placed in some rounds won enough to stay in the all-around but nothing big.

“This is one of the bigger steer ropings; it’s a five-header, so you have to keep roping because a lot of guys can go out. My dad has won it plenty of times, my uncle has won it and my brother-in-law so it would be cool to win.”

His father is eight-time world champion Roy Cooper, who won rodeo’s Triple Crown in 1983 by claiming the all-around, tie-down roping and steer roping gold buckles.

Now Tuf Cooper is carrying on a family tradition.

Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo
April 27-May 3
Results through the first performance

Bareback riding leaders: 1. (tie) Zachariah Phillips, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cool Change, and Tim O’Connell, on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Fancy Free, 85 points each; 3. Wes Stevenson, 81; 4. Mason Clements, 80; 5. (tie) Devan Reilly and Richmond Champion, 78 each; 7. Will Martin, 77; 8. Kody Lamb, 74.

Team roping: Third round leaders: 1. (tie) Clayton Hass/Logan Medlin and Luke Brown and Kollin VonAhn, 6.8 seconds; 3. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 7.1; 4. (tie) Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirchenschlager and Calvin Brevik/Wade Masters, 7.2; 6. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 7.5;. Aggregate leaders: 1. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 20.1 seconds on three runs; 2. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 21.0; 3. Calvin Brevik/Wade Masters, 22.6; 4. Jess Tierney/Jace Crabb, 24.6; 5. Turtle Powell/ Dakota Kirckenschlager, 26.3; 6. Brandon Webb/Kaleb Driggers, 29.8; 7. Clayton Hass/Logan Medlin, 30.0; 8. Zayne Dishion/Tommy Zuniga, 30.7.

Steer roping: Fifth round leaders: 1. Rocky Patterson, 11.8 seconds 2. Chance Kelton, 12.2; 3. Jess Tierney, 13.4; 4. Shay Good, 13.6; 5. Scott Snedecor, 14.3; 6. Wade Shoemaker, 15.0; no other qualified times. Aggregate leaders: 1. Tuf Cooper, 106.9 seconds on five runs; 2. Scott Snedecor, 68.8 seconds on four runs; 3. Chance Kelton, 69.6; 4. Jess Tierney, 74.4; 5. JoJo LeMond, 93.2; 5. Vin Fisher Jr., 110.2.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Taos Muncy on Powder River Rodeo’s Miss Chesnut, 88 points; 2. Isaac Diaz, 85; 3. (tie) Tyler Corrington and Wade Sundell, 78; 4. (tie) Chet Johnson, Cort Scheer, and Zeke Thurston, 77; 5. Jade Blackwell and Tyrel Larson, 76; 6. Chase Bennett, 75; 7. Chanse Darling, 73; 8. Casey Maddox, 70.

Steer wrestling: Third round leaders: 1. Wade Sumpter, 3.9 seconds; 2. Michael Bates Jr., 4.6; 3. Forest Sainsbury, 4.7; 4. Sean Mulligan, 4.8; 5. (tie) Stan Branco and Jon Herl, 4.9; 7. Ace Campbell, 5.1; 8. Dean Stermer, 5.8.Aggregate leaders: 1. Forest Sainsbury, 19.4 seconds on three runs; 2. Darrell Petry, 20.5; 3. Sean Mulligan, 24.0; 4. Wade Sumpter, 25.4; 5. Dean Sterner, 26.2; 6. Dean Boldon, 28.2; 7. Juan Alcazar Jr., 31.4; 8. Hunter Lewis, 8.4 seconds on two runs.

Tie-down roping: Third round leaders: 1. Cade Swor, 7.4 seconds. 2. Shane Hanchey, 7.9; 3. Sterling Smith, 8.3; 4. Trey Young, 8.8; 5. Cory Solomon, 9.1; 6. Jess Woodward and Dane Kissack, 9.7; 8. Robert Mathis 9.8. Aggregate leaders: 1. Shane Hanchey, 24.8 seconds on three runs; 2. Cory Solomon, 26.0; 3. Sterling Smith, 26.0; 4.Jake Pratt, 26.5; 5.Blane Cox, 27.5; 6.Cade Swor, 27.7; 7. Dane Kissack 28.9; 8.Trey Young, 29.8.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Heather Clayton, 16.94 seconds; 2. Mary Walker, 17.12; 3. (tie) Laura Kennedy and Carley Richardson, 17.19; 5. Ivy Conrado, 17.24; 6. Brittany Pozzi, 17.25; 7. Fallon Taylor, 17.29; 8. Rebecca Hughes, 17.30; 9. Lanita Peirce, 17.31; 10.Chelsey Kleinvachter, 17.32. Aggregate leaders: 1. Mary Walker, 34.13 seconds on two runs; 2. Brittany Pozzi, 34.52; 3. Ivy Conrado, 34.70; 4. Jaime Hinton, 34.74; 5. Chelsey Kleinvackter,34.75; 6. Fallon Taylor, 34.81; 7. Natalie Bland, 34.87; 8. Karisa Brookshire, 34.93; 9. Jenna Waggoner, 34.94; 10. Rebecca Hughes, 34.96.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Trevor kastner, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sazerac; 2. Brett Stall, 84; 3. Chris McCombs, 83; 4. Chris McCombs, 82; no other qualified rides.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Claremore rodeo focuses on fans

Twisted Rodeo - Sat, 05/02/2015 - 2:39pm

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Rodeo is much more than a sport.

It’s a true showcase, the perfect piece of family entertainment. That is the mindset taken by the by the volunteers who organize the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo and the staff at Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, which produces the annual rodeo, set for 7:45 p.m. Friday, May 22-Sunday, May 24, at Will Rogers Stampede Arena.

“We try to have the theatrical portion of our show not interfere with the competition side,” said John Gwatney, a production supervisor for Carr rodeo. “We try to run a good, fast, clean performance without interfering with the competition.

“That’s where we’re different from other rodeo companies. If we’re not ready, the cowboy has to wait. When it comes time for that cowboy to compete, we’ve done everything we can to make that animal ready for that cowboy, so all he has to do is nod his head.”

That’s very attractive for everyone involved. Fans love it, which makes the experience perfect for local organizers.

“We have a lot of true rodeo fans in this part of Oklahoma,” said David Petty, chairman of the Will Rogers Stampede, which is the 2014 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Small Rodeo of the Year. “The last few years, we’ve had an outstanding rodeo, and it shows in a lot of things that we’re doing in Claremore.

“It helps a lot that Pete Carr is our stock contractor, because he’s one of the very best in rodeo. Our fans know he has great bucking horses and bulls, and that, in turn, helps us draw the top contestants to our rodeo.”

The overall package is set up for everyone involved. The Carr team works hard with local orgaanizers to make it a fair competition for the cowboys and cowgirls, then puts in a concerted effort to put together a production that will have fans talking long after the final bull is bucked.

“We micromanage our program ahead of time,” Carr said. “We can’t be perfect, but we can dang sure get as close as we can. We’re always striving to be better, identifying the weaknesses and taking constructive criticism. It’s an everyday challenge, but I think trying to be better is just trying to take it to the next level.

“I’m proud of what we do, but I know we can always find ways to improve things. I like that the people I work with have that same mindset, too.”

The proof is in what happens at each rodeo performance.

“We have a weekend full of rodeo that is wild and fun and full of the top cowboys and cowgirls,” Petty said. “That’s what our fans want to see, and that’s what they can expect to see again this year.”

It’s a start-to-finish project for the entire Carr staff.

“What starts the production is our version of Americana,” Gwatney said. “We’re looking to get peoples’ emotions up, get them on the edge of their seats so when that first animal bucks, the height of the excitement is already up.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Diamond Dawgs Drop Game Two Of Home Series Against No. 1 LSU

Bulldog Beat - Sat, 05/02/2015 - 1:22am
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State pitching allowed 17 hits Friday night as the Bulldogs fell 11-4 to No. 1 LSU in a Southeastern Conference baseball contest played at Dudy Noble Field.

Smith, McKinney Chosen In Round Two of 2015 NFL Draft

Bulldog Beat - Sat, 05/02/2015 - 12:15am
CHICAGO – For the second time in three years, Mississippi State football produced multiple picks in the first two rounds of a draft as defensive end Preston Smith and linebacker Benardrick McKinney were selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft on Friday night.

Guymon has been good for Koontz

Twisted Rodeo - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 11:19pm
Colby Lovell, right, and Kory Koontz took the third-round lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo with a 7.1-second run. They also lead the three-run aggregate. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

Colby Lovell, right, and Kory Koontz took the third-round lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo with a 7.1-second run. They also lead the three-run aggregate. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

GUYMON, Okla. – The magic number for Kory Koontz is 20.

He’s one of the greatest ropers in ProRodeo and might just be the best heeler to have never won a world championship. Over the course of his storied career, the Sudan, Texas, cowboy has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 19 times. He’d like 2015 to mark his 20th trip to the sport’s grand finale.

Kory Koontz

Kory Koontz

“For a long time, the number in my mind that I had was that I wanted to make 20 of them,” he said, referring to the 10-round finale that takes place in Las Vegas each December. “I’ve missed it the last three years.”

On Friday night, he made another significant move in his plan to return by taking the third-round and average lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo with header Colby Lovell. The tandem posted a 7.1-second run during the first performance; their cumulative time of 20.1 seconds through three go-rounds gives them a significant advantage with three performances remaining in Oklahoma’s richest rodeo.

“I think I’ve won it twice,” said Koontz, who just resumed his partnership with Lovell in the last couple of months. “I’ve been here at least 20 times.”

Now he’d like to win his third Pioneer Days Rodeo trophy belt with Lovell; the two roped together in 2010, the first of four straight NFR qualifications for Lovell. Since then, Koontz has teamed with Erich Rogers, Brock Hanson and Chad Masters, while Lovell has partnered with York Gill, Russell Cardoza and Martin Lucero.

Colby Lovell

Colby Lovell

They quickly found success in 2015 as partners, so they decided to stick it out.

“Our plan is to stay in Texas and here in Oklahoma and get some money,” Koontz said. “When it’s time to go to Reno (Nev.) and get going for the summer, we’ll give it a run and try to get back to the NFR.

“Now we’ve got our game face on, and we’re going to give it everything we’ve got to go back there.”

As long as they continue to find success like they have in the Oklahoma Panhandle this week, their chances are good.

“We’re just doing our job,” Koontz said. “We drew just medium-type steers, and we did what we do. My partner did a good job, and I came around there and heeled all three of them. It was almost like we made the same runs three times in a row.”

That seems to be a winning combination.

Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo
April 27-May 3
Results through the first performance
Bareback riding leaders:
1. (tie) Zachariah Phillips, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cool Change, and Tim O’Connell, on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Fancy Free, 85 points each; 3. Mason Clements, 80; 4. (tie) Devan Reilly and Richmond Champion, 78 each; 6. Will Martin, 77; 7. Kody Lamb, 74; 8. Anthony Tomas, 73.

Team roping: Third round leaders: 1. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 7.1 seconds; 2. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 7.5; 3. Bobby Boyd/Johnny Folmer, 11.6; 4. Logan Olson/Jordan Olson, 11.7; 5. Caleb Smidt/Mickey Gomez, 13.0; 6. Brandon Webb/Kaleb Driggers, 13.3; 7. Brett Christensen/Chase Boekhaus, 16.5; no other qualified runs. Aggregate leaders: 1. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 20.1 seconds on three runs; 2. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 21.0; 3. Brandon Webb/Kaleb Driggers, 29.8; 4. Logan Olson/Jordan Olson, 37.7; 5. Bobby Boyd/Johnny Folmer, 41.2; 6. Caleb Smidt/Mickey Gomez, 43.0; Brett Christensen/Chase Boekhaus, 53.0; 8. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 13.3 seconds on two runs.

Steer roping: Fifth round leaders: 1. Chance Kelton, 12.2 seconds; 2. Shay Good, 13.6; 3. Scott Snedecor, 14.3; 4. J. Tom Fisher, 19.8; no other qualified times. Aggregate leaders: 1. Scott Snedecor, 68.8 seconds on four runs; 2. Chance Kelton, 69.6; 3. Tuf Cooper, 90.3; 4. JoJo LeMond, 93.2; 5. Vin Fisher Jr., 110.24; 6. Brodie Poppino, 52.7 seconds on three runs.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. (tie) Tyler Corrington, on Lancaster & Pickett Rodeo’s Wild Flower, and Wade Sundell, on Lancaster & Pickett Rodeo’s Badlands, 78 points each; 3. (tie) Chet Johnson and Cort Scheer, 77; 5. Jade Blackwell, 76; 6. Chanse Darling, 73; 7. Casey Maddox, 70; 8. Nick Shenold, 59.

Steer wrestling: Third round leaders: 1. Wade Sumpter, 3.9 seconds; 2. Forest Sainsbury, 4.7; 3. Sean Mulligan, 4.8; 4. Dean Stermer, 5.8; 5. Billy Boldon, 5.9; 6. Darrel Petry, 6.0; 7. Juan Alcazar Jr., 17.9; no other qualified times. Aggregate leaders: 1. Forest Sainsbury, 19.4 seconds on three runs; 2. Darrell Petry, 20.5; 3. Sean Mulligan, 24.0; 4. Wade Sumpter, 25.4; 5. Dean Sterner, 26.2; 6. Dean Boldon, 28.2; 7. Juan Alcazar Jr., 31.4; 8. Hunter Lewis, 8.4 seconds on two runs.

Tie-down roping: Third round leaders: 1. Shane Hanchey, 7.9 seconds; 2. Cory Solomon, 9.1; 3. Robert Mathis, 9.8; 4. Tyson Durfey, 10.2; 5. (tie) Jake Pratt and Cheyenne Stanley, 11.2 each; no other qualified times. Aggregate leaders: 1. Shane Hanchey, 24.8 seconds on three runs; 2. Cory Solomon, 26.0; 3. Jake Pratt, 26.5; 4. Robert Mathis, 32.5; 5. Cheyenne Stanley, 34.8; 6. Tyson Durfey, 34.9; 7. Tyler Prcin, 16.6 seconds on two runs; 8. (tie) Blane Cox and Reese Reimer, 17.6.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Heather Clayton, 16.94 seconds; 2. Mary Walker, 17.12; 3. (tie) Laura Kennedy and Carley Richardson, 17.19; 5. Brittany Pozzi, 17.25; 6. Fallon Taylor, 17.29; 7. Rebecca Hughes, 17.30; 8. Lanita Peirce, 17.31; 9. Jaime Hinton, 17.33; 10. Sherrylynn Johnson, 17.34. Aggregate leaders: 1. Mary Walker, 34.13 seconds on two runs; 2. Brittany Pozzi, 34.52; 3. Jaime Hinton, 34.74; 4. Fallon Taylor, 34.81; 5. Natalie Bland, 34.87; 6. Rebecca Hughes, 34.96; 7. Andrea Busby, 35.11. 8. Kaylee Gallino, 35.19.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Trevor kastner, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sazerac; 2. Brett Stall, 84; 3. Chris McCombs, 83; 4. Chris McCombs, 82; no other qualified rides.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Bulldogs Conclude Day One Of Jace LaCoste Invite

Bulldog Beat - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 11:05pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Opening night of the Jace LaCoste Invitational led to success for the Mississippi State track and field teams, capturing its first win of the invite from Sydney Rodkey in the pole vault

Bulldogs Unable to Contain Hot South Carolina Bats

Bulldog Beat - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 8:40pm
A four-run fourth was too much for Mississippi State to overcome vs. South Carolina on Friday night.

McDonald, Peng Tabbed All-SEC In Women's Golf

Bulldog Beat - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 4:00pm
Starkville, Miss. – Success on the golf course has parlayed into deserving recognition for Mississippi State standouts Ally McDonald and Jessica Peng, as the two earned All-SEC accolades on Friday.

Ketcham leads Guymon barrel racing

Twisted Rodeo - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 1:22pm
Sabrina Ketcham

Sabrina Ketcham

First round: 1. Sabrina Ketcham, 17.00 seconds, $2,115; 2. Mary Walker, 17.01, $1,813; 3. Cassidy Kruse, 17.03, $1,511; 4. Shali Lord, 17.07, $1,310; 5. Andrea Cline, 17.08, $1,007; 6. Calyssa Thomas, 17.18, $806; 7. Callie DuPerier, 17.25, $604; 8. Brittany Pozzi, 17.27, $403; 9. Britany Diaz, 17.28, $302; 10. Kasey Etbauer, 17.29, $201.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

MSU Drops 14-Inning Heartbreaker To No. 1 LSU

Bulldog Beat - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 2:11am
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State took the nation's top-ranked baseball team to the wire Thursday night.

Second round complete in Guymon

Twisted Rodeo - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 5:32pm

Guymon Pioneer Days Logo-100Steer wrestling: Second round: 1. Darrell Petry, 4.0 seconds, $1,946; 2. Jacob Talley, 4.3, $1,692; 3. Rowdy Parrott, 4.4, $1,438; 4. Ryan Swayze and Ty Erickson, 4.5, $1,058 each; 6. San Branco, 4.6, $677; 7. (tie) Forest Sainsbury, Josh Frost, Jordan Wiseman, Les Shepperson and Tyler Pearson, 4.8, $118 each. Average leaders: 1. Hunter Lewis, 8.4 seconds on two runs; 2. Stan Branco, 9.0; 3. (tie) Jason Lahr, Dean Gorsuch and Tyler Pearson, 10.2; 6. (tie) Glen Clark and Tommy Cook, 10.4; 8. Jacob Talley, 10.6.

Team roping: Second round: 1. (tie) Brian Dunning/Jesse Jolly and Joel Bach/Allen Bach, 5.6 seconds, $1,799 each; 3. Bubba Buckaloo/Ryan Motes, 5.9, $1,422; 4. Jesse Stipes/Billie Jack Saebens, 6.2, $1,171; 5. Tyler Milligan/Brady Norman, 6.3, $920; 6. Tom Richards/Cesar de la Cruz, 6.5, $669; 7. (tie) Justin Turner/Chase McAlvain and Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 6.6, $293 each. Average leaders: 1. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 13.0 on two runs; 2. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 13.3; 3. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 13.5; 4. Dustin Davis/Will Woodfin, 13.8; 5. Jess Tierney/Jace Crabb, 14.4; 6. (tie) Tom Richards/Cesar de la Cruz and Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 14.6; 8. Chace Thompson/Richard Durham, 14.7.

Tie-down roping: Second round: 1. Blain Cox, 7.3 seconds, $1,989; 2. (tie) Dillon Holder and Shane Hanchey, 7.4, $1,600 each; 4. Josh Peek, 7.6, $1,211; 5. (tie) Blake Deckard, Jake Pratt and Trevor Brazile, 7.7, $692 each; 8. (tie) Reese Riemer and Ace Slone, 7.9, $86 each. Average leaders: 1. Jake Pratt, 15.3 seconds on two runs; 2. Tyler Prcin, 16.6; 3. (tie) Cory Solomon and Shane Hanchey, 16.9; 5. (tie) Reese Reimer and Blaine Cox, 17.6; 8. Tyler Milligan, 17.8.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Bulldogs Conclude Regular Season At Home

Bulldog Beat - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 4:39pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. – After earning spots in the Top 25, both Mississippi State track and field teams look to improve as they host the Jace LaCoste Invitational this Friday and Saturday, May 1-2.

Women's Hoops To Play In SEC/Big 12 Challenge In 2016, 2017

Bulldog Beat - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 3:44pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State will participate in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge for both the 2016 and 2017 seasons, the league offices announced Thursday.

High OCTANe Event Comes to Calif., Brings Businesses, Investors Together

Lifestyles - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 3:17pm
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - California has always been the "it" state. The go-to location for creativity and the birthplace of innovative ideas, and successful companies. While not always the case (think: more than a decade of economic and social troubles), it remains the eighth largest economy in the world.

Supporting the idea that the Golden State is still the place to see and be seen, is that high-tech companies employ approximately 1 million people with a payroll of about $100 billion, and that 66 percent of new jobs come from companies younger than five years old.

So, what does all this mean? For OCTANe, a startup accelerator, it's an opportunity to connect people and ideas with capital and resources to fuel technology and growth in Orange County. Through its LaunchPad SBDC program, the Orange County-based company has seen tremendous initial investment in affiliated startups. With follow-up funding and equity exit activity, total investment in OCTANe LaunchPad companies now approaches more than $780 million since 2004.

In the spirit of continuing its mission to help companies raise capital, OCTANe Launch Pad will be holding its Technology Investor Forum on May 5 in Irvine, Calif.

"The Technology Investor Forum presents a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs, investors, local universities' faculty and staff and corporate CEOs to come together in one place to build upon the strong foundation of resources in Orange County," said Bill Carpou, OCTANe CEO.

One award-winning technology company selected by OCTANe to be showcased at the event is MovoCash, Inc.

"We are excited to be a part of what OCTANe is doing to promote economic growth in Southern California, and it is an honor to present along side of the other terrific startup companies hand picked by OCTANe," said Eric Solis, president and CEO of MovoCash.

MovoCash will be presenting their groundbreaking payments technology in front of over 700 in attendance. The premise of MovoCash is to provide a secure app for consumers to take control of their finances by turning their smartphones into their very own digital banks, generating fraud-preventing one-time-use payment tokens on demand for shopping online or in store.

A total of 10 hand-picked companies will be showcased at the event. To date, past companies that have been selected to present have gone on to raise over $418 million.

"This event serves as a source for capital creation for emerging companies and businesses within the California region and gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to connect with investors from all over the country," said Carpou.

Attendees will have access to investment panel discussions, a "fast pitch" competition with prominent regional investors, and an innovation showcase demo.

Sponsors of the event include Microsemi, UL, Stradling, Silicon Valley Bank and Microsoft among many others. For more information, visit www.octaneoc.org and www.movocash.com.

A Novel Innovation Hub for Africa

Lifestyles - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 3:15pm
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - On April 13, 2015 Angola's Sovereign Wealth Fund announced the launch of five Investment Funds, targeting economic and social development in Sub-Saharan Africa. These will be accompanied by the establishment of a commercial vehicle to set up micro-business incubators for Angolan entrepreneurs.

The inspirations for these projects include the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Media Lab in the United States and African projects like Gearbox (Kenya) and AMP (Ghana). Three targeted platforms -- African Accelerator Markets, 'Sopa de Sab?o' Culture Hub and Cabinda Port Tech Hub & Prototyping Lab -- will deliver cultural, economic, social and technology goods and services that capitalize on human capacities and capacity building. The 'Sopa de Sab?o' Culture Hub will be supported by the Swiss-based African Innovation Foundation.

Project director and curator Emeka Okafor is enthusiastic about the possibilities this project can offer for economic development and peace in Angola.

Q: Mr. Okafor, why are you so enthusiastic about this project?

A: The intention is to create interlocking innovation hubs that will harness innovation, creativity and the existing entrepreneurial ability within Angola. We will bring in the best practices with high impact, adapt them to the local environment and create the basis for what will be the leading example for an African creative innovation hub. Our vision is to help unfold Africa's innovation potential and to contribute to peace and stability through prosperity and best business practices.

Q: What is the current status of the project?

A: We are in the process of launching a management company that will provide advice and support to all teams involved with the development of the three different incubators, which will be deeply engaged with their surrounding local communities. We are going to open up opportunities for people and accelerate the incubation of new ventures. Another objective is to diversify the economy in Angola by using non-conventional manners.

Q: What does that mean?

A: We will bring in experiences from outside Angola, look at what is on the ground already and then blend these approaches with what we think can work in Angola. It is going to be bottom-up. We are looking to build something that nobody ever before has built in Angola.

Q: Your plans sound very positive but are they also realistic?

A: Similar projects have been successful in the past, in the United States as well as in Africa. We studied the success stories of 'Maker' type projects of various scales internationally and across Africa to combine the best lessons of these projects as guidelines for this new venture.

Emeka Okafor is a Venture Catalyst and Entrepreneur whose past and current projects include Maker Faire Africa, Serengeti Tea, Africa Innovation Foundation, TED Fellows and the X Prize Foundation. His insights and initiatives are at the forefront of emergent systems, maker innovation incubation and the creative industries.

Baseball Ticket Update: MVSU & Northwestern State

Bulldog Beat - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 1:27pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State baseball fans with tickets from the canceled Feb. 17 home game against Mississippi Valley State may exchange ticket for a general admission ticket.

 

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