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?
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?
In July 2017, in celebration of LTFF’s 20th Anniversary, the Foundation announced an upcoming innovative development, Mother Road Market. Mother Road Market is Tulsa’s first food hall, housed on 11th Street & South Lewis Avenue in the historic 1939 Scrivner-Stevens Co. Grocery building, Mother Road Market, open since November 2018, is a vibrant community space, allowing Tulsans and tourists alike to eat, sip, shop and enjoy Tulsa’s favorite neighborhood restaurants, as well as brand new food concepts – all under one roof.
To learn more about Mother Road Market, visit www.motherroadmarket.com, and don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter for the latest updates!
LTFF and Louisville-based Access Ventures announced in May 2017 that they are launching Kiva Tulsa, a nonprofit initiative that will bring crowd-funded microloans to local small-business owners and entrepreneurs. Through Kiva, anyone can help grow business in Tulsa and promote local job creation by visiting kiva.org and choosing an entrepreneur they want to support with a loan of $25 or more. Small-business loans crowd-funded through Kiva average $5,000, are offered at 0 percent interest with no fees and are available to borrowers who may be rejected by traditional lenders.