4 mins read

What has Octane Learned from the Pandemic and How has it Changed the Services Octane Provides?

Featuring Bill Carpou, CEO of Octane

I wanted to talk to you about Octane and what we’ve been doing for the last 13 weeks. It’s been crazy. I hope everybody’s been safe and healthy- our team has. I want to start by talking about high impact opportunities that we see as we move forward.

1. For us to execute multiple channels of content distribution. Octane has always been, but it’s never been more apparent that we are a provider of content.

2. Build a movement around creating and retaining jobs. It already fits in terms of our primary goal, which is to create 55,000 jobs by the year 2030. I don’t think it’s ever been more important to create jobs and retain jobs than it is today.

3. Accelerate our OES platform. For those of you that are not familiar with that yet it’s a platform that enables companies to access growth capital and growth resources. So, they move up the revenue curve that much faster, they become productive organizations locally here, and they add jobs.

4.  Discussing a new fund and an opportunity for investors to really take advantage of the LaunchPad program and the success that LaunchPad companies have had.

5. This one is kind of unique. It’s increasing our philanthropic leadership through Octane Foundation of Innovation or OFI specifically in four areas. The first would be our nonprofit accelerator. Second would be Women Leaders of Octane. Third would be STEM Fellows, and the fourth is something we call the Orange Movement.

Let me talk about them for a second. The nonprofit accelerator increases the impact for local nonprofits. It increases their impact, their funding, and increases their sustainability. What it does is we’ve taken two cohorts already of five companies or five organizations each, and run them through our LaunchPad Accelerator and put business purpose and operational cadences into nonprofits to have them perform and operate more efficiently and effectively.

It’s had overwhelming success and the organizations that have gone through it have just been thrilled. Our Women Leaders of Octane the second, exists because there’s an unacceptable disparity with women entrepreneurs and their access to funding. So what we want to do is create more women led startups, more funding for women led entrepreneurs, more support so women can grow their businesses and more women on boards. That’s an important one for Octane our community.

The third is STEM Fellows and it’s entrepreneurship for underserved communities. It’s to provide access, to networking, access to innovation, access to talent, but really the ability for us and our advisors to reach deep into some of the underserved communities and inspire the youth in terms of what they could become and what innovation really looks like and how it’s being molded in Orange County and how they can contribute to that.

And the last is something relatively new. We haven’t announced this yet. And while it started as an Octane initiative, it’s now a community led initiative with several high profile CEOs that have started their own businesses, and our leaders here in our community. Orange Movement: The intent is to bring the soul back to Orange County and provide next generation leaders as well as support and culture to retain our gen Z employees. We want to build a corridor, a creative corridor. We want to create cultural gathering places. It needs to be engaging to the entire community and create a creative economy, meaning arts and music, food, and all of that needs to be a part of it. We talk so much about innovation, but innovation without any of those is kind of one dimensional. So what we’ve done is we’ve gotten together a terrific group of individuals, and the idea has been to take these CEOs and help prepare them to be the next generation of community leaders, philanthropic leaders and industry leaders here in Orange County.

We’ve been blessed with so many individuals running great corporations and businesses that have made Orange County a very special place. While as time goes on, those individuals are going to move on and do other things. And it’s time for the next generation to be able to step up and succeed. You know, it’s almost succession planning in terms of our community from that standpoint. The other portion of that is really what can we do to retain and attract the gen Z population. We’ve got the greatest university ecosystem in the country here in Southern California. And so how can we keep them, align them with jobs, but more importantly, create cool places that they’d like to live here in Southern California. So we don’t lose them to Austin, to Denver, to New York, to San Francisco. Um, so that’s really what we’ve been up to. It’s been a lot, we’re entering the back part of the year and it’s just going to be jam packed with a lot of activity. And I just want to thank everybody that’s been supportive of what we do at Octane our partners, our sponsors, and especially our members. Thank you very much. Stay safe, stay healthy.


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