Oklahoma City Business Raises Money for Childhood Education

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Oklahoma City Business Raises Money for Childhood Education
EO Staff

EO Oklahoma City member David Matthews’ company, Trailblazer Capital, recently launched its first venture philanthropy investment, Toyscapes Inc., which designs, builds and operates exhibits that raise money for causes related to early childhood education. In partnership with Inasmuch Foundation, Toyscapes’ first exhibit, called OK CityScape, will be on display at Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City 14 November to 3 January with net proceeds benefitting Oklahoma City Educare.

“Most of our investments support young companies that generate profits for the investors and new jobs for the community,” said David, managing partner of Trailblazer Capital and founder of Toyscapes Inc. “This investment is designed to have an even greater impact on the community, supporting educational resources for local children in need.”

The design and construction of OK CityScape was funded with US$100,000 of initial underwriting from Trailblazer Capital, which was matched by Inasmuch Foundation. With current sponsorships and high projected ticket sales, OK CityScape is on-track to raise US$200,000 for Educare’s operational budget.

“The beauty of OK CityScape is that it turns the raising of hard-to-get operating dollars into more of a ‘bricks and mortar’ campaign – except the bricks are LEGO bricks and the mortar is superglue,” Matthews said.

In addition, Matthews arranged for one of the world’s top brick artists, Kurt Zimmerle, to build the OK CityScape exhibit. Zimmerle used more than 1 million LEGO bricks to build immense models of Oklahoma City buildings, all showcased at a child’s eye level with moving elements and sounds incorporated into the street scenes.

Several EO Oklahoma City members worked with Matthews and contributed to OK CityScape. Brian and Lu Eyerman, owners of Skyline INK, created the graphics and animation used to sell the initial sponsors, and they are overseeing all non-LEGO components of the exhibit, such as sound, lighting and animation. Ashley Amend and her company, DigiTouch Innovations, provided a digital screen for a video and interactive display at the exhibit. Mark Hammond, owner of Classic Tile, provided a 3,500-square-foot studio space, where the exhibit was constructed.

“So many people want to get involved in non-profits, but we don’t know how,” said Mark Hammond. “This project was very accessible, and it shows that we are in this community for a reason. We’re here to improve the lives of all individuals.”

Other EO Oklahoma City members, including Ryan Samples, Brian Eyerman, Mark Hammond, Jim Bennett and Piyush Patel, contributed financially to the project.

“Entrepreneurs will fix problems when they have a goal and a mission,” said Piyush Patel. “Having an entrepreneurial mind helps with the business aspect of this project.”

For more information, go to www.trailblazercap.com. For details about the event, visit www.okcityscape.com.

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