Tulsa Community College Launches Training Program for Entrepreneurs

Article excerpt

This spring Tulsa Community College will launch what it considers a groundbreaking training program for entrepreneurs.

The college started taking applications Tuesday for 15 openings in its new "Launch: Your Entrepreneurial Journey" program to help would-be executives take their business concepts to market. The 16- week course starts May 3.

President Tom McKeon said the college would use a mix of faculty and area executives to lead the program, training students at different locations around Tulsa.

"We believe this curriculum design will become a new model for community college education and launch new businesses for the Tulsa area," McKeon said Tuesday at a news conference in the TCC's Center for Creativity.

Small businesses comprise 82 percent of Tulsa's business community, McKeon said - with nearly 30,000 firms employing more than 55,000 people, for a total $3.1 billion annual economic impact.

"Future jobs in Tulsa will come from the innovating spirit of entrepreneurs," said Mary Philpott, the college's dean of work force development programs. "TCC has stepped up and created a startup program that will support entrepreneurs in a module that will accelerate the growth of new companies and jobs."

Sean Griffin, the founder of Vizalution and the TCC entrepreneurial program developer, said applicants will start with a four-question sampler at www.launchyourejourney.com. After the April 12 cutoff, TCC will interview candidates to choose the final 15 participants. Tuition costs $1,250 - the "skin in the game" required of all entrepreneurial efforts, said Griffin.

"You don't need a business plan, and you can be any age," he said. "We're going to look them in the eye and verify that they have what it takes to start a commitment, to follow through a commitment as well as coachability. …