Tulsa’s Entrepreneurial Landscape

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Tulsa’s Entrepreneurial Impact Report (2014)

Cultivate918 was formed and is currently sponsored by the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, which is a grant making non-profit organization. Because of the entrepreneurial spirit of their founders, they truly believe supporting all types of entrepreneurship from restaurants to tech startups is one of the most effective ways to increase the quality of life in Tulsa.

In 2013, Joey Wignarajah and Jordy Albert conducted a study that would assessed both the impact of the TCC StartUp Cup powered by Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation during the past 7 years of its existence and conduct a gap analysis to determine what was lacking in the entrepreneurial community. Click here to view the Impact Report!

Results

LTFF was thrilled to learn that the $254,000 invested since the beginning of StartUp Cup has resulted in over $11 million of follow-on investment and created 300 full time jobs as well as over 2,000 part time and contract jobs with an average income of $48,847. The total economic impact of the competition thus far is $57,729,297. See full report here!

For the gap analysis, Joey and Jordy conducted a high level assessment of Tulsa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by reviewing and assessing the sum of Tulsa’s entrepreneurial assets. They conducted interviews and conversations with entrepreneurs and stakeholders in the community and surveyed secondary research on entrepreneurial communities.  The surprising outcome of the study was the emergence of several themes, many of them unanimously expressed, of non-programmatic solutions that would bring about a more robust community.

Every single interviewee expressed frustration at the silo-ed nature of the entrepreneurial community. This is a significant risk standing in the way of launching Tulsa’s entrepreneurial community and inhibits the community from developing a cohesive culture and using resources efficiently. Most importantly, it makes entrepreneurs who should be the rock stars–feel isolated from their peers, their support and the rest of the community.  Another contributing factor to this feeling of isolation was the lack of robust communication between entrepreneurial programs, entrepreneurial peers and entrepreneurial opportunities.  Beyond the silos and communications problems, the study found a lack of a clear, go-to physical space for entrepreneurs, a misalignment between investors and entrepreneurs, and an inability to connect with mentors and advisors are also holding back the growth and development of the entrepreneurial community.

Essentially, you, the entrepreneurs and stakeholders told us that instead of bringing more programs to Tulsa, we needed to work together to strengthen the community currently in existence. We need to focus on methods and mechanisms that break down silos, improve communication and increase alignment in the community. Based on these needs, you gave eight actions that would offer solutions for some of the most pressing issues facing the entrepreneurial community in Tulsa.

Asset Map

LTFF turned the study into an asset map that clearly exposes where Tulsa is plentiful in programs and where it is lacking. We tried to put all programs in every domain and category on the map but we are certain we missed some programs. If you see a program we missed, please tweet @cultivate918 with the name and website of the program and we will add it. Click here to view the Asset Map!

Annual State of Entrepreneurship Report

LTFF will continue to produce an annual State of Entrepreneurship Report in partnership with 36°N to be released during Global Entrepreneurship Week. The report will serve as an update to the prior year’s report and as a way to reflect on the progress and goals for our community. Read the 2015 Report Online or Download the PDF. The 2016 Report is now available online as is the PDF for Download as well as a one page 2016 Fact Sheet.

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