The Tulsa StartUp Series will mark its 10th year of competition Wednesday with its inaugural event of 2017.
“It’s kind of a big celebration for us this year,” said Autumn Worten, chairwoman of the StartUp Series.
The Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation has supported entrepreneurial innovation, growth and creativity since 2007 when then-Mayor Kathy Taylor founded the competition as the Tulsa Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. Since then, the business-plan competition has evolved into its current name and format.
The competition has spawned more than 2,300 full-time, part-time and contract jobs, $11 million (£8.94 million) in follow-on investment, and $57.7 million (£46.89 million) in total economic impact for Tulsa, according to the foundation.
Delivering resources and mentoring opportunities to entrepreneurs, the program features five pitch competitions categorized by business segment — the new Social Enterprise category debuts July 19 — over the course of the year. It culminates Nov. 15 with Demo Day, the winner of which will receive $15,000 (£12,169.40) a year membership and desk at 36 Degrees North, and a mentor for a year.
Critiqued and scored by three judges, the five entrants will compete in the tech/apps category at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at 36 Degrees North, 36 E. Cameron St. The winner will receive $2,500 (£2,028.73) for product advancement, a three-month membership to 36 Degrees North, a spot in the Venture Assessment Program at i2e, and a mentor for at least three months.
Brothers Chris and Robby Davis, creators of The Pop House, took home the top prize during last year’s StartUp Series finale.