NVCA Member Spotlight: Cortado

Welcome to our Member Spotlight series where we give a profile overview of our many diverse members. For this deep dive, we spoke to Nathaniel Harding, Managing Partner at Cortado, to learn more about his firm.

What makes your firm unique?

We’re one of only two traditionally-structured VC firms in the state of Oklahoma, and the only one that is a generalist VC firm. All three of our Partners are former operators who built businesses and had exits in the same industries and sectors that we now look at for investment. Oklahoma is actually an incredibly entrepreneurial state – it was built on the backs of scrappy, hardworking entrepreneurs. Our firm and many of our portcos reflect that spirit.

What inspired the name of your firm?

Funnily enough, our Partner Mike Moradi was drinking a Cortado when filing the initial incorporation paperwork for our management company. A Cortado is a type of espresso drink, similar to a latte or cappuccino but with a higher espresso to milk ratio. So, it also makes reference to the caffeine-fueled grind of startup life.

What defines your portfolio?

Companies solving the underlying intractable problems for the MidCon’s legacy sectors – energy, logistics/transportation, manufacturing, healthcare, fintech/insurtech, etc. We currently have 22 active portfolio companies and ~2/3 of those are based in Oklahoma. We’re often the first institutional capital in a startup, and we’ll branch out of our target sectors for very early-stage Oklahoma-based companies where we feel like we can be a catalyst to their next round or to other institutional investors.

How has your firm evolved from its founding to today?

We’re not even two years old yet but have evolved significantly in that time frame. We’ve really made an effort to build our networks and that has paid off with more proprietary deal flow than we were getting 18 months ago. As we’ve seen more and better deal flow we’ve also been able to refine our thesis, understand what kind of deals really make sense for our firm, and get to yes/no decisions faster.

Why is your firm an NVCA member?

Being an NVCA member is a great tool to keep up with best practices around the industry, to follow constantly changing legislation, and to connect with other firms around the country.

Describe your firm’s culture in 5 words or less?

Authentic, approachable, data-driven, entrepreneurial, creative

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Robin serves as the Communications Manager at the National Venture Capital Association, where she enhances day-to-day external and internal relations for NVCA while utilizing her expertise in content creation, storytelling, and data to elevate NVCA’s long-term communications strategy. As a conscientious leader, Robin is integral to the forward-looking investments NVCA makes in the greater venture capital and startup communities.