The tech sector is revolutionary because, for the first time in history, people from all corners of the earth have the opportunity to take part in entrepreneurship. Many of the most valuable and influential companies today were developed in garages with minimal investment. The technology created by these companies has played an even broader role by breaking away from traditional models and allowing for unconventional systems of collaboration and marketing. This idea of bringing people with independent backgrounds and ideas together for the greater good is a passion for Mike Slack, one of the partners at StarSpace46.
Mike Slack became a part of SS46 through his fundraising work with Techlahoma. Through a project he began in the winter of 2015, Slack got plugged into the grassroots technology community in Oklahoma City. “The 404, what we sometimes refer to as the predecessor of StarSpace46, was a tech-oriented coworking space of limited square footage. Some of the principal parties involved in the 404 and the Techlahoma campaign got together to establish the plan for StarSpace46.”
Outside of his involvement with SS46 and Techlahoma, Slack spends his days helping corporate teams navigate the sometimes complicated path of custom applications and software. He is the Vice President for Sales and Marketing at Clevyr, an innovative local company who creates organization products designed to improve community and collaboration. Slack’s team at Clevyr ensures that clients enjoy a smooth experience throughout the sales process, and beyond.
“Enterprise/Custom software development decisions are fairly complicated, typically involving senior company leadership, marketing and or sales leaders, IT leadership, and software developers,” Slack said. “The enterprise software sales leader is like the conductor of an orchestra. My job is to help decision makers work through the struggle of buying something big, expensive, and nebulous.”
Slack is recognizable to many people due to his role in a variety of community projects. Each year, he takes on on a select number of nonprofit consulting projects. He is an active volunteer at his church, Grace United Methodist, and on the advisory board of the Downtown YMCA. He’s also influenced several generations of Oklahoma City’s entrepreneurs through his part-time gig in education. Professor Slack is part of the adjunct faculty at Oklahoma City University, teaching a course on Program Evaluation for the Nonprofit Leadership program.
So what is the driving force that keeps him motivated? “I want to be involved in work where I make a measurable impact. I’d be miserable at a company where my job was to keep the status quo or lead nominal growth. Sales is a perfect fit for my personality because I want the awards of my work to be tied to my achievements.”
This ceaseless drive seems to have been instilled at a very young age. “One of the more impactful symbols of America that I remember from civics class as a kid is the melting pot. A place where myriad people, backgrounds, and ideas come together. That amalgamation of diversity in the melting pot is what makes this soup we call America. I believe StarSpace46 is a microcosm of the American experiment - with a particularly strong flavor of technology, entrepreneurship, and startups. Insofar as OKC is interested in having a thriving startup ecosystem, StarSpace46 will be here, making our soup, and sharing it with all who wish to partake.”