MRO Magazine

Stillwater Event to Welcome Unmanned Aerial Systems

September 24, 2015
By Business Wire News


At last year’s Stillwater forum on unmanned aerial systems, Oklahoma State University’s startup incubator, Cowboy Technologies, demonstrated an unmanned aerial vehicle prototype. As the protected spherical device soared over the heads of those attending the first-ever WBT Open Innovation Forum on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), viewers watched the design provide safe, protected flight and the ability to land, roll and return to flight — perfect for the needs of industrial facility inspections, first responders and others.

Now, the second annual forum is planned for Sept. 28-29, again in Stillwater’s Wes Watkins Center and again with an unmanned aerial demonstration. Only this time, the commercially available product dubbed ATLAS™ will be flown, productized and marketed through Cowboy Technologies’ spinout company, Unmanned Cowboys.

The Open Innovation Forum was designed to benefit products and ideas like ATLAS™, bringing together developers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, government officials and experts to help the industry grow — especially here in Oklahoma.

“Oklahoma State University and Unmanned Cowboys are focused on solutions that meet the industry’s need for safe, protected flight of unmanned aerial systems that provide real value for customers,” Daniel Will, executive director of Cowboy Technologies, said.

The WBT Open Innovation Forum on UAS will kick off the evening of Sept. 28, followed by a day-long program on Sept. 29 featuring international and national industry experts, leaders and venture capitalists for a look at where the rapidly evolving unmanned aerial industry is today and where it’s going tomorrow.

Research institutions and startups will be seeking partnerships to license, sell and develop their innovations; and, industry leaders will give insight into how communities are building development hubs, the mindset of capital investors and the state of public policy and regulations.

Networking opportunities will be central in an evening kick-off event Sept. 28, followed by a similar evening to conclude the event on Sept. 29.

Featured presenters for the Sept. 29 day-long agenda include:

  • Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma’s secretary of science and technology as well as the former vice president for research and technology transfer at Oklahoma State. McKeever believes Oklahoma has the potential to become a world leader in the unmanned aerial industry.
  • Shawn Bullard, president of the Duetto Group LLC and a Capitol Hill-based government relations strategist, consultant and lobbyist specializing in public policy impacting innovative and disruptive technologies. His luncheon presentation will focus on what’s working and what’s on the horizon in public policy.
  • Venture capitalists Michael A. Tharp, managing director of Cimarron Capital Partners; Carter Williams, president, chief executive and investment committee for iSelect Fund Management LLC; James P. Hughey, managing partner of NEXA Capital Partners Inc.; and Rick Nagel, managing partner of Acorn Growth Equities.

Event hosts are the City of Stillwater, Oklahoma State University and the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce. Sponsors are the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce and the Cowboy Technologies, Cowboy Technology Angels, Development Capital Networks LLC, Enid Regional Development Alliance, Oklahoma EPSCoR, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce; the Oklahoma Business Roundtable; the Meridian Technology Center; Electronics Valley; and the city of Ponca City.

For more information about the event and registration, visit

About WBT Open Innovation Forum™

A product of Development Capital Networks LLC, WBT Open Innovation Forum(WBToi) is a full-day event hosted by regional economic development organizations. WBToi introduces the concepts and methods of Open Innovation to local companies with a focus on an existing or emerging sector of strength within the region. More about WBToi-Unmanned Aerial Systems at

About Development Capital Networks LLC

For more than 20 years, the team at Development Capital Networks (DCN) has provided specialized products, management and training to development associations and entrepreneurial networks. Its sector expertise includes regional economic development, technology transfer, development finance, entrepreneurship, venture capital and capital formation. More about DCN at

Media Note: The unmanned aerial demonstration will be from 8-8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, in the Wes Watkins Center.

WBT Open Innovation Forum
Gypsy Hogan, 405-831-7183
Ryan Aasheim, 701-499-6994