Tom Love Center for Entrepreneurship Faculty, Staff & Community Partners
Jim Wheeler, PhD - Stanley White Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship
Jim Wheeler received his BBA in Marketing from the University of Oklahoma in 1992. He is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and holds the Stanley White Directorship of the Entrepreneurship Center. Wheeler created the Student Venture Capital Fund and an annual Business Plan Competition - a statewide contest for undergraduates and graduate students. He participated in Governor Brad Henry's EDGE program, sitting on the Entrepreneurship Committee and also sits on the University of Oklahoma's President's Coordinating Committee on the Research Campus. He was a 2003 University of Texas and the Kaufman Foundation MOOT CORP Fellow.
Wheeler was a 10-year sports media, marketing, and licensing executive. His clients included the Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup, the Cotton Bowl, The Big Ten Conference, Post Season College Football, and the NCAA Tournament.
Drew Hendricks, MBA - Program Manager
Drew started his professional career three days after high school when he shipped off for Marine Corps recruit training. He would enter service as a communication strategy and operations specialist; serving across the country and around the world in support of: combat, humanitarian, recruiting, and marketing operations. Through his 14 years of service he received more than 500 combined hours of academic instruction in strategic communication, media relations, journalism, digital design, crisis communication, advertising, and public relations.
His academic career focused on consumer insight development, account planning, and the anthropology of media. He holds a B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California. In his post military career, Drew has served in various communication roles for startups, as well as consumer insight research projects for large scale agencies.
Craig Shimasaki, PhD, MBA - Senior Entrepreneur in Residence
Dr. Shimasaki is co-founder and CEO of Moleculera labs, a neuroimmunology diagnostic laboratory focused on neuropsychiatric and behavioral disorders triggered by autoimmune response, based upon the research of Dr. Madeleine Cunningham at the University of Oklahoma. He has over 35 years of biotechnology industry experience, starting his career at Genentech. His research and development work included epitope mapping for an HIV vaccine, SNP-based genetic breast cancer risk prediction biomarkers, a rapid influenza diagnostic, and therapeutic and biologic products for infectious and neuropsychiatric diseases. He co-founded nine companies and led five clinical diagnostic tests through FDA 510(k) approval and is a co-inventor on several patents. He was involved in raising over $30 million for these companies and participated in taking five companies public in the U.S. and Canadian stock markets.
Dr. Shimasaki received his BS in Biochemistry from University of California at Davis, his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Tulsa, and his MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business. He an Adjunct Professor at the University of Oklahoma, Price School of Business and teaches biotechnology entrepreneurship. Dr. Shimasaki has authored and edited two books “The Business of Bioscience: What Goes Into Making a Biotechnology Product” and “Biotechnology Entrepreneurship: Starting, Managing and Leading Biotech Companies.” His passion is to help translate scientific and medical discoveries into acutely needed products so that more patients can live healthier lives.
Mike Beckham - Senior Entrepreneur in Residence
Mike graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Oklahoma Business College and Honors College in May of 2003. His undergraduate degree was a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a Finance major.
Mike’s first 9 years out of college, he joined the worldwide non-profit Christian ministry CRU. He led the ministry at the University of Oklahoma from 2009-2012. In 2009 he was a part of the founding team for an online auction business called QuiBids. During his time at QuiBids Mike served as Chief Analytics Officer and then Chief Operating Officer and helped lead the company to nearly 800 million in cumulative revenue. From 2015 to present Mike has served as a co-founder and CEO of Simple Modern.
In addition to his work in the business world, Mike also has served in an adjunct capacity at the University of Oklahoma. Currently he is a Senior Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Tom Love Entrepreneurship College.
Brady Sexton - Entrepreneur in Residence
Following many years as a manager for the Hal Smith Restaurant Group, Brady changed careers to manage leasehold acquisitions for oil & natural gas companie before returning to his passion and opening Scratch Kitchen & Cocktails in Historic Downtown Norman, bringing craft cocktails to the market for the first time. He now owns a second location in the Paseo Arts District in OKC. Brady has a passion for the arts, serves on the Norman Arts Council, and lives in Norman with his family. BA in Multi-Disciplinary Studies from OU.
Shaun Tilford - Entrepreneur in Residence
Shaun Tilford, Vice President of Engineering for SpringServe in New York City, leads engineering for the global ad-tech platform. He is responsible for architecture and implementation, optimization of distributed data centers across the world, and security against constant threats. SpringServe serves over 30 billion ads daily and is a major player in the rapidly growing video ad space.
Shaun is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for high growth tech startups. A self-taught engineer, he has worked in the tech industry since the dot-com boom perfecting a knack for driving success across a broad range of industries. He has a strong focus on developing cutting edge web applications that boost revenue, demand high availability, and spur interaction in high traffic environments. A hands-on approach by combining deep technical knowledge with a unique blend of business intellect leveraging the power of what can be accomplished with tomorrow's technology.
Prior to SpringServe in 2016, Shaun was Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for QuiBids. A wildly successful e-commerce startup, QuiBids grew to one of the largest e-commerce players in the world with its novel approach to shopping and entertainment with over 1.3 billion auction bids placed to date. Shaun also served as CTO for ViralNova, an originator of sharable news with over 100 million monthly unique visitors, and oversaw a wildly publicized sale to Zealot in 2015.
Shaun is based in Norman, Oklahoma with a love for his family, running, current events, and staying active. An avid traveler, he is always looking for an adventure across our inner-connected world.