Tulsa Global Entrepreneurship Week Starts Nov. 9

Article excerpt

Entrepreneurs, business leaders and educators will focus on small business for the sixth straight year as Tulsa Global Entrepreneurship Week opens next month.

The event, which runs Nov. 9 through Nov. 16, is designed for entrepreneurs, small business owners and anyone interested in entrepreneurialism, said Sean Griffin, event organizer and CEO of the StartUp Cup.

Tulsa has emerged as a nationally recognized leader at fostering entrepreneurs, he said.

"Tulsa is a catalyst for entrepreneurs," said Griffin, who refers to himself as a serial entrepreneur turned entrepreneurial educator.

In a report released by the Kansas City, Mo.-based Kauffman Foundation, Tulsa Global Entrepreneurship Week, or TGEW, has helped more than 70 startups create new businesses in Tulsa, with an added yearly payroll of $12 million.

"The event just keeps building momentum," Griffin said. "We have reached a tipping point where we have more events produced by outside groups than in any year in the past."

Historically, a small team has produced the events surrounding TGEW - like the Tulsey Awards - but this year the University of Oklahoma, Tulsa Community College and the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation are sponsoring events, Griffin said.

The Tulsey Awards, sponsored by the city of Tulsa, recognize innovators in the community, Griffin said. Those nominated are voted on via the Internet. The awards highlight the importance of entrepreneurs' influence on the quality of life and economic strength, Griffin said.

The TCC StartUp Cup business model competition, sponsored by the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, is open to any business idea, Griffin said. StartUp Cup participants turn their ideas into a business model, go to market, test assumptions and then modify their business model throughout the six-month-long competition.

Past winners have included businesses in the service, technology, oil and gas, fitness and health industries.

Tulsa Community College has taken a leadership role in fostering entrepreneurs through its sponsorship of the TCC StartUp Cup, the TGEW and the 16-week startup program Launch Your Entrepreneurial Journey, said Thomas McKeon, TCC president. …