The Oklahoma City Coworking Collaborative, LLC dba okcCoCo
704 W. Sheridan, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102 http://www.okccoco.com
okcCoCo forced to close due to legal actions taken by US Fleet Tracking
OKLAHOMA CITY (October 1st, 2012) – The okcCoCo is announcing that its is being forced to cease operations and dissolving the company. A lawsuit brought by US Fleet Tracking against the okcCoCo and individually against Derrick Parkhurst, on of the founders of the okcCoCo, has brought the company’s operations to a halt by depleting all it’s funds. okcCoCo founders argue that while they would likely win the lawsuit, the funds to do just are just not available. okcCoCo founders believe that the actions of US Fleet Tracking have been motivated purely by the business interests of US Fleet Tracking owner Jerry Hunter to launch a new business accelerator Blueprint for Business and increase visibility in the okcCoCo community of technology entrepreneurs.
Since 2009, the okcCoCo’s mission has been centered on improving the technical, creative and entrepreneurial opportunities, resources and community in Oklahoma City. “Through our efforts we have helped to find members freelance work and employment, we have promoted and fostered well over 100 startup companies, held dozens of events for technology professionals and entrepreneurs, and have provided meeting space for tens of professional groups.” says Tommy Yi, an okcCoCo co-founder. The okcCoCo is recognized as having created a technology and entrepreneurial hub in Oklahoma City.
While the okcCoCo collects coworking fees, it relied on the generous support of community members, user groups, and sponsoring businesses in order to open a new location on Film Row in Downtown Oklahoma City.
The campaign raised more than $29,000 through the online website IndieGoGo. “The outpour of support was incredible. The community has really rallied behind the okcCoCo.” says Chad Henderson an okcCoCo co-founder. The Film Row location opened and has been in operation since July 15th, 2012 after their previous Midtown location closed on March 15th, 2012.
The legal dispute between okcCoCo and US Fleet Tracking is over a sponsorship agreement made on January 25th, 2012 for $23,000. Some four months later, on May 15th, US Fleet Tracking demanded the return of the funds even though the return of funds was not required by the terms of the sponsorship agreement. okcCoCo was unable to return any funds because of financial decisions and commitments already made at that late date, which were necessary to secure the new location on Film Row. In spite of multiple attempts at settlement, terms of which included both sponsorship opportunities and repayment of the original sum plus interest, no settlement has been reached.
US Fleet Tracking is a large technology service company owned and operated by Jerry Hunter at 2912 NW 156th Street in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Publicly available data show annual revenues in excess of 24 million dollars per year. Jerry Hunter and Guy Madison are partners in a newly formed business accelerator Blueprint for Business.
okcCoCo founders claim that when an offer made by Guy Madison to collocate the okcCoCo with Blueprint for Business at a North Oklahoma City location was declined after review of the location by the okcCoCo membership, US Fleet Tracking demanded the return of the sponsorship funds. okcCoCo was unable to comply or otherwise resolve the situation. US Fleet Tracking filed suit to recover the funds on June 4th, 2012.
“It’s such a shame that after we’ve worked so hard to build an open and inclusive community of entrepreneurs and technology professionals in Oklahoma City where none existed five years prior, that ego and profit could cause all of that hard work to come to naught.” says Derrick Parkhurst, managing member of the okcCoCo.
“We’ve always communicated the importance of openness and trust in business at our events and seminars and it’s a real shame to see our trust and the trust of our community violated like this.” says Tommy Yi, co-founder of the okcCoCo.
“It’s sad to be at the end of a journey, not because we weren’t on the right path, but because we were unexpectedly pushed off the path by someone bigger.” says Chad Henderson, co-founder of the okcCoCo.