TCC StartUp Cup entrepreneurship contest finalists announced
BY LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
9/05/12 at 2:47 AM
Call them the lucky seven.
Finalists have been chosen in a local entrepreneurship contest that will award $30,000 to the grand prize winner during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November.
TCC StartUp Cup Powered by Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation announced Tuesday that the following seven business models will move forward in the contest: 4D Sales; Cheerful Athletics; EZ Line Spool Dispenser LLC; idefi Group LLC; Oxygen Line Reel; The Galley Sink; and Ultimate Connect Solutions Inc. (doing business as You Buy We Fly).
The competition, which kicked off in April, attracted 76 entries that were narrowed to 25 contestants and then to 12 semifinalists who last week gave five-minute pitches to a panel of judges.
"I was shocked at how much progress all the business had made since we saw them last," said Elizabeth Frame Ellison, chairwoman of the competition and executive director of the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation. "Some businesses that didn't have financial information the last time really took their coaching to heart. ... A couple of the businesses went from an idea to a prototype to actually selling their product."
All of the contestants are passionate about their products and businesses, and they have put a lot of thought and work into their presentations, Ellison added.
"It's just so exciting to see the energy of all the people who come into the room because it's kind of infectious. ... It was really difficult to choose just seven because really all the businesses that were in the semifinal round were really great businesses," Ellison said.
The StartUp Cup competition takes place over seven months through a series of events that provide judging, mentoring and coaching to entrant.
Now, the remaining seven will prepare to give their final two-minute presentations to judges on Nov. 1.
Every step of the way, judges are looking at how the contestants have changed their business to make it more appealing to more people, or have made it more competitive or harder for others to enter the market, Ellison said.
"In this final round, two minutes is not much time," she said. "So, they're really going to have to show us why they need the $30,000 and how they are going to be successful if they win."
StartUp Cup finalists
4D Sales: An iPad application designed for sales professionals to present products and solutions in an engaging, interactive and elegant way.
Cheerful Athletics: Inventors of a patented cheerleading training device named the Fly Right that focuses on safety during the stunt element of cheerleading.
EZ Line Spool Dispenser LLC: A compact, portable fishing line dispenser compatible for both freshwater and saltwater sport fishermen.
idefi Group LLC: Allows independent artists to sell their music through idefi.com, sharing revenue and earning reward points for each download.
Oxygen Line Reel: A convenient, handheld, manually operated device that allows users of portable oxygen tanks to store excess oxygen tubing instead of letting it lie around in coils on the floor.
The Galley Sink: A work station that was created to consolidate kitchen work areas for food prep, cooking and cleaning into one central location.
Ultimate Connect Solutions Inc. (doing business as You Buy We Fly): Providing online order and delivery services for practically anything, including restaurant meals at a time scheduled by the customer.
Nov. 1: Final presentations made
Nov. 13: Winners announced
First place: $30,000
Second place: $5,000
Third place: $2,500
More information at tulsaworld.com/startupcup
Original Print Headline: Starting up
Laurie Winslow 918-581-8466
Roger Shollmier of The Galley Sink pitches his product to judges in the StartUp Cup competition on June 28. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World
Katrina Murphy gives a pitch for her company's product, the Oxygen Line Reel, to StartUp Cup judges last week. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World