Here's a great story about a local Oklahoma man that started a new business based on demand he saw that wasn't being fulfilled. Pretty amazing story.
Did you ever have an idea that just wouldn't go away?
That's the story behind iRecommend Software, a Tulsa-based artificial intelligence and machine learning startup. Founder and CEO John Morad started writing software when he was 8 years old, and has been writing software ever since.
While he was bootstrapping and building a very successful software consulting business in Tulsa, he had the vision for the software that is now iRecommend.
It started with personal assistant software that Morad coded to collect information from the public domain to help individuals make decisions. By 2010, Morad had progressed to a recommendation engine that reached about 60 percent accuracy in its recommendations.
He kept at it, developing an artificial intelligence agent that creates models dynamically, achieving better than 80 percent accuracy.
“As a human I am imperfect, and as a software developer, I cannot define and build something that is perfect,” Morad said. “But if I can build an artificial intelligence agent — basically a robot without the physical appearance — that AI agent can build precisely the software I need.”
Early iRecommend customers are in retail, employment recruiting, and real estate. Sophia (the AI agent kept her original name) provides algorithms that put the right product, job, or house in front of the right person at the right time. That's a plus for consumers, job seekers and employers, and families looking for a place to live, with iRecommend supplying as many as 10 to 20 million matches per month.
These days, everything is smart — our devices, our cars, our home security systems. We have come to expect that whatever we need will be at our fingertips instantly — whether it's a show on Netflix, a book on Amazon, or that special gift we are looking for online. However, it requires complex analytics for online retailers to quickly and accurately determine what we want.
Search engines provide generic results. There are so many options online, from products, to entertainment, to jobs, that neither buyers nor sellers can assimilate it all. Imagine if instead of generic results, you received information that was specifically (and reliably) tailored just to you — information that matched your needs or desires better than 75 percent of the time.
“There is so much public data available today that we should be able to recommend things at the right time and price that people need in every area of their lives,” said Morad. “Most of data analytics gives business and consumers the map to find the gold. We want to skip the map and just give the gold.”
Scott Meacham is president and CEO of i2E Inc., a nonprofit corporation that mentors many of the state's technology-based startup companies. i2E receives state support from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.
Bricktown is a very popular destination near downtown Oklahoma City. It hasn't always been so popular, but in recent years it has seen a revival as new businesses including bars and restaurants have moved into the area. There are also a handful of fun nightclubs that can be enjoyed by the over 21 crowd.
The area that we now call Bricktown, which lies just to the east of the downtown business district, was Oklahoma City's first warehousing and distribution district. It was founded just days after the Land Run of 1889. Bricktown was the central railway hub for not only the state but for the entire country, connecting via railroad, and later, major interstate highways. It was an area full of all sorts of diverse business activity, housing furniture and hardware stores, a biscuit company, a dairy, cotton producers, wholesale grocers and even a school.
Bricktown began a steady decline in the 1960s and 70s as Urban Renewal took hold and industry and residents began to move further out of the central city. The area became nearly vacant as buildings became dilapidated or were torn down.
But much of this has now changed. It's become a popular spot for those looking for a night out on the town.
Let's take a look at some of the more popular destinations.
Fuzzy's Taco Bar
At Fuzzy's you can order a wide variety of tacos in the tradional Tex Mex format. They come with a wide variety of toppings and are truly delicious and satisfying. For those looking to quench their thirst you can also order ice cold beer to go along with you tacos. This is the perfect way to cool off on a hot OKC summer night.
Fuzzy's Taco Bar
208 Johnny Bench Dr Suite C
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Texadelphia is another popular spot with the "in" crowd in Oklahoma City. This sports bar offers a wide range of food on their menu with most of it being quite delicious. They have a full bar that features some of the best drinks in the area. If you're looking for a good spot to watch some college football or NFL, this is a great spot. They offer all sorts of specials throughout football season to bring in the crowds.
200 S Oklahoma Ave #110
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
The brewery craze that has taken over the entire United States has in no way skipped over Oklahoma City. Bricktown Brewery has several world class beers that you can get on tap whenever you like. They also offer a wide variety of excellent food that goes beyond just pub fare. You can get burgers, pizza, and a number of other options.
They have private rooms available for events like wedding receptions, bachelor parties, or corporate events. And of course you have access to all of the great beers.
1 N Oklahoma Ave,
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Of course there are a number of excellent bars in and around Bricktown as well. Here you'll find nightlife that lasts well past dark. If you're staying around the downtown OKC area you should most definitely check this area out.
There's even a river that runs through the area on which you can take boat rides. It's kind of corny and kind of charming all at the same time.
There are a few more businesses in the area worth mentioning. One is Phillips & Associates. Their website is http://www.oklahoma-criminal-defense.com. They are located in the northern area of the city. Here is a map showing their location.
Will the clean energy bill effect the Oklahoma energy industry? Most don't seem to think so.
The Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to repeal the Clean Power Plan likely will have little effect on Oklahoma, the state's largest utility companies said Monday. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said he plans to repeal the plan Tuesday.
The Barack Obama-era environmental regulation was designed to reduce emissions from the country's power plants. Under the plan, the EPA has said it expected Oklahoma to cut its greenhouse gas emissions rate from power plants 32 percent by 2030.
As Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt fought the Clean Power Plan at every stage, including in the draft stage before the rule was finalized in 2015.
But Oklahoma's electric utilities already have taken steps to reduce their emissions in effort to comply with other regulations, including Regional Haze and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).
"We've already started down the path," Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman Kathleen O'Shea said. "We have an early January 2019 deadline to be in compliance for Regional Haze, and we're continuing down that path."
OG&E earlier this year received preapproval from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to install scrubbers on two coal units at its Sooner power plant near Red Rock. The utility is in the process of installing the scrubbers.
Tulsa-based Public Service Co. of Oklahoma already has closed a portion of its coal-fired Northeastern power plant near Oologah, and has announced plans to close the remaining coal unit by 2026. The company also has said it recently spent $225 million on emissions controls at Northeastern and at its natural-gas fired Comanche Power Station near Lawton.
"We had already taken measures to address Regional Haze and MATS," PSO spokesman Stan Whiteford said. "Regional Haze hasn't been rolled back, and we've already done all the work at Northeast Station to comply with that."
State and regional plans had not been finalized under the Clean Power Plan, but PSO was expected to be in compliance.
"We really had not anticipated much effect on us if it went through, so when it's rolled back, we don't anticipated that change to have much affect on us either," Whiteford said.