It’s difficult as a startup to stay focused. There may be only a few of you or perhaps even one of you that is essentially wearing all the hats. In some ways that’s sort of exciting; you get to dip your hand in an area of expertise you have never really experienced before but it can also be very distracting. Today, I thought it might be helpful to look at some resources and startup tools that are helpful at maintaining focus or at the very least accomplish all areas of the startup board in a more efficient way.
The Amazing Online Startup Tool List by Steve Blank
I’d say at least once a week I take a look at Steve Blank’s Startup Tools List. This list covers literally EVERYTHING you could possibly be facing at the moment. All the way from startup methodology, to collaboration tools, market research, manufacturing, customer development, bug tracking, wireframing tools, payment systems and so much more. I had an idea to list all of the categories out on this post but it was way too long, just take a look at his list and scroll all the way to the bottom. You’re sure to find something useful on there and bookmark it to refer back to it often. Steve Blank is also the author of The Startup Owner’s Manual.
Tulsa-Specific Entrepreneurial Resources
Cultivate918 obviously is a great place to start if you’re looking for support or a way to find supporting resources for your new company. We’re trying to bridge all these great entrepreneurial efforts to create a more cohesive startup community spanning across all industries. Cultivate918 meets the second Wednesday of every month at 5pm. It’s a great place to come and meet other people in the entrepreneurial community and ask questions or offer up suggestions. Make sure and follow them on Twitter as they are making an active effort to create a Twitter list of entrepreneurs in the area and spread the word about entrepreneurial efforts. Additionally, if you send me an email with information about your new company I’d be happy to write about it on this blog. It really does help with both search engines and organic audience to have other people write about your venture so don’t be shy.
This summer I wrote a guest post on Women2.com about the great resources here in Tulsa for entrepreneurs and I’ll paraphrase from that post because I think it offered helpful information on some great local resources.
- The Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth (CCEW): University of Oklahoma researchers and students are paired with the private sector creating a mutually beneficial relationship.
- The Forge: This organization is designed to help young professionals who are entering the startup world and need access to office space, advisors and general guidance.
- The Mine: This an organization applies the startup approach to social innovation and entrepreneurialism.
- 1 Million Cups Tulsa: Every Wednesday morning local entrepreneurs, advisors, mentors and members of the community meet at Foolish Things Coffee shop for the 1 Million Cups Tulsa meeting. It’s an opportunity for a local startup or entrepreneur to get in front of peers and discuss their business and ask questions. In turn, the audience can ask questions of the speaker. It’s a simple but highly effective way of forging new and important relationships.
- i2E: This not-for-profit organization aims to grow innovation within Oklahoma. They do this in the form of angel and seed funding and by offering an accelerator program. They also offer new companies’ help in the form of CFO and general advising services. They are a great resource that we’re lucky to have here in Tulsa.
Resources for Developers in Tulsa
- Local groups such as The Tulsa Web Devs meet every Friday at the Fab Lab (a multi-use facility for all forms of businesses starting up). There they simply share work space or collaborate on code. They also meet once a month at i2E and have a very active Facebook group. Check them out!
- The wildly successful OK Coders Boot Camp that started in Oklahoma City is also coming to Tulsa. Originally this was a hands-on class designed to fill the need of more developers that OKC tech startups had. Within hours, the class had 27 applicants demonstrating the desire to learn to code and they realized they needed to expand.
Girls Who Code in Sand Springs
I learned on the Tulsa Web Devs Facebook page that there is a Girls Who Code session coming to Sand Springs on September 15th. It sounds like they’re going to meet for two hours once a week. If anyone has any more information on this, please leave a comment. I’d love to write more about this awesome opportunity!
One Million Cups Tulsa
I know this was listed above but they really are a great resource here in Tulsa. If you’re just thinking about starting something or just started there’s no better welcome to the startup community than heading to Foolish Things on Wednesday morning. Not only are the organizers friendly but the sessions are always very informative. Additionally, they keep a curated list of all their past speakers which is a very valuable resource in itself. Make sure and check it out!
The Tulsa Public Library
The public library has a wealth of entrepreneurial and small business information on their web portal. Get yourself a library card if you don’t have one and take advantage of all they have to offer. In particular they have a great market research section that is incredibly helpful. The library is also great for working space if you need it. My favorite is the Hardesty Library out south because they have lots of places to sit, free Wifi, conference rooms for working with others and lots of natural light!
Angel List & Crunch Base
If you’re undertaking a tech startup Angel list and CrunchBase are great for doing competitive research. I refer to them often for all sorts of things, from looking at various business models to finding out traction and length of time the company has been around. Both are great resources that can be utilized for free.
Are there any other resources, whether they be local or online, that has helped you in the early days of your startup?