April 29, 2015
The hardest part about creating a new company is determining a viable business model. Are you creating a solution to an actual problem? Will your solution earn money? As simple as this may seem it’s not as straightforward as it sounds (ask me how I know). Startup Weekend was designed to provide a mini-ecosystem where you can cost-effectively come up with and test a new business idea. This Friday – Sunday, May 1 – 3, Tulsa will host their third Startup Weekend at the Fly Loft.
Who Should Attend?
If you don’t have a new business idea but the concept of the weekend sounds appealing to you, that’s okay because the weekend is designed to help foster innovation and pair talent. Perhaps you’re a software developer and can build things but don’t know exactly what to build. Or maybe you’re an attorney that had an idea for a business but don’t know anything about software. Forget your preconceived notions about startups in general because Startup Weekend is a place to gather and create anew.
What Happens at Tulsa Startup Weekend?
It all kicks off at 7pm on Friday where after some dinner and networking people pitch ideas. You can pitch an idea or simply listen to others pitch theirs. Once all that is done voting takes place on which ideas to pursue which is followed by formation of teams to work on said ideas. At 10pm everyone begins on the tasks they’ve been assigned. The weekend continues with coaching and collaboration with team members. You work as much as you can, as hard as you can in a short amount of time to be able to have something to present on Sunday.
When Sunday rolls around all teams present their work. The presentations are judged and awarded and you may even go home with a new business to launch. That’s Startup Weekend in a nutshell.
Energy -Themed But Not a Requirement
Tulsa Startup Weekend has an Energy Industry focus this year. A couple weeks ago Tulsa community organization for entrepreneurs, Cultivate 918, held a Reverse Pitch night where Energy Executives pitched some of their industry pain points to an audience of potential Startup Weekend attendees. Why energy? Because it’s one of Tulsa’s main industries and the hope is that people will innovate something that could help foster our local economy and utilize local resources and contacts. That being said, it’s not a requirement. If you have an idea or are looking for ideas but are not into the energy thing that’s okay, you won’t be alone.
Organizations That Support Entrepreneurs in Tulsa
There are lots of great people and organizations that have been helping the Tulsa startup ecosystem grow. Here’s a sampling of a few organizations you should have on your radar as you contemplate the startup journey in green country. These organizations will be in attendance at Tulsa Startup Weekend and it’s a great time to interact with them.
Cultivate918 – This organization’s mission is to increase collisions in the entrepreneurial community by bringing together groups that normally wouldn’t interact but would be beneficial if they did. They see Tulsa Startup Weekend as a prime example of bringing a diverse group of people together to build on new ideas.
i2E – This not-for-profit organization works “directly with entrepreneurs, researchers and companies to help them commercialize their technologies, launch and grow new businesses and access needed capital.” They also offer a venture assessment program, which is really helpful for discovering value proposition and customer validation. It’s a unique organization that Oklahoma is very lucky to have.
Tulsa Regional Chamber | The Forge – These organizations direct, connect, and support any person who is in the beginning stages of starting a company. They also invest significant time and energy into their client companies in The Forge startup business incubator program. For high growth startups looking for a structured program, connectivity and creative working space, this can be an amazing solution. They also support and work with new companies at any stage, within any industry.
Those who have been through the startup process know there is no true simulator for what you go through but everyone agrees that Startup Weekend comes close. It should be a good time. You can get more details and purchase tickets at:
Hope to see you there!
Image Credit: Downtown Tulsa on Flickr/Kool Cats Photography
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