Mayor Kathy Taylor founded the Tulsa Entrepreneurial Spirit Award in 2007 as a way to spur innovation, growth and creativity. Since that time, this business plan competition pivoted into Tulsa Startup Series, a bi-monthly pitch competition culminating in a demo day during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Since inception, the competition has generated more than 2,300 full time, part-time and contract jobs. A 2014 study reported an economic impact for Tulsa of more than $57.7 million.
Have an idea?
The same study that proved the economic impact of Tulsa Startup Series also identified a glaring gap in Tulsa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. In 2014, Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation formed Cultivate918 as a support network for entrepreneurs to access resources, mentors and peers. Attend one of our monthly meetings, and you’ll find high-energy, fearless entrepreneurs who work together to support and implement innovative ideas that work – and pivot together when they don’t. In short, it’s about collaborating, acting fast, showing results, and coming back for more.
A former foodtrepreneur herself, Elizabeth knew the challenges food and restaurant startups face. It’s risk-laden. According to Restaurant Startup & Growth Magazine, only one in four food businesses have a chance at success. Often, food makers specialize in making incredible products but lack the business acumen necessary to run a profitable business. In 2016, the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation established kitchen incubator Kitchen 66 to help kickstart Tulsa based food concepts into real businesses by providing individual mentorship, commercial kitchen space and business training. .
Have the recipe for success?
One of the questions we continually ask ourselves is, “Are we moving the needle?” One way we measure our success is through our annual State of Entrepreneurship Report. Each year, we survey entrepreneurs, investors and community partners from across the city for guidance on what’s working – and what isn’t. It’s studies like these that have laid the groundwork for our involvement to date and will guide our involvement in the future.
How are we doing?