Week in review A look back at the week's top stories
BY LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer
Sunday, September 09, 2012
9/09/12 at 3:01 AM
StartUp Cup narrows down to its final seven competitors
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 businesses 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 entrants.
- LAURIE WINSLOW, World Staff Writer
Williams assets in Gulf survive the force of Hurricane Isaac
All of Williams Partners LP's Gulf of Mexico onshore and offshore facilities survived Hurricane Isaac last week without major damage and have returned to service or will begin operations soon, the Tulsa-based natural gas company reported Wednesday.
The Canyon Station offshore platform south of Mobile, Ala., has resumed normal operations. The facility can process up to 500 million cubic feet per day, according to reports.
Williams' Discovery gathering pipeline system's Larose processing and Paradis fractionator are in operation. The Transco interstate gas pipeline also is flowing as more production comes online.
The Mobile Bay gas processing plant will restart as soon as producer volumes increase. The Geismar, La., olefins production plant, owned by a Williams subsidiary, will resume operations after maintenance work unrelated to the storm last week, the company reported.
- ROD WALTON, World Staff Writer
Dallas-based Trinity buys DMI wind tower plant in Tulsa
A company that closed a Tulsa wind tower plant four years ago is buying the DMI Industries wind tower factory in Tulsa, just weeks before its planned closure and the layoff of 167 people.
Dallas-based Trinity Industries Inc., which closed its Tulsa plant in 2008, is acquiring the wind power assets of Otter Tail Corp., parent of DMI.
The deal includes plants, other properties and equipment in Tulsa; Fort Erie, Ontario; and West Fargo, N.D.
It's unclear whether the change in ownership will have any bearing on the workers at the Tulsa plant, located at 15300 Tiger Switch Road.
The deal was worth about $20 million, Trinity said late Thursday in a news release.
"These facilities are capable of producing many of the products Trinity currently manufacturers, which will serve to further enhance our overall manufacturing flexibility," Trinity chairman, CEO and president Timothy Wallace said in a statement.
- KYLE ARNOLD, World Staff Writer
Fowler Auto buys Momentum dealerships in Tulsa
Just a year after two Tulsa auto dealerships were rebranded under the Momentum name, they are being sold to Norman-based Fowler Auto Group, which plans to change the name again.
The move could mean 50 to 60 new jobs at the Tulsa dealerships after the country's largest auto retailer, Sonic Automotive Group, decided to sell two of its three Tulsa assets.
Fowler Auto Group purchased Momentum Chevrolet of Tulsa at 707 W. 51st St. last week and has a purchase agreement for Momentum Toyota of Tulsa at 6868 E. Broken Arrow Expressway Frontage Road. That deal is scheduled to be completed Oct. 1.
"We've always kind of kept an eye out in Tulsa to see if an opportunity had presented itself," said Mike Fowler, CEO of Fowler Auto Group and son of its founder. "It was the first time for an opportunity that fit our business. There's a lot of dealerships in the United States for sale, and it had to be right for us."
- KYLE ARNOLD, World Staff Writer
Katrina Murphy gives a pitch for her product the Oxygen Line Reel to judges for the StartUp Cup. Murphy was chosen as one of seven finalists in the entrepreneurial competition. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World