StartUp Cup to expand to Tulsa's sister cities
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Thursday, February 14, 2013
2/14/13 at 7:43 AM
Mayor Dewey Bartlett and Tulsa City Council members announced a new entrepreneurial program partnership that will connect the Tulsa-based StartUp Cup business model with Tulsa's sister cities.
The program will create locally run StartUp Cup competitions in the cities with the goals of creating jobs and businesses, as well as strengthening Tulsa's economic relationships with its sisters, Bartlett said Wednesday.
"This is a further step of our outreach as a community into the global markets that gives us great opportunities to expand our trade," he said.
The program will have no cost for the city, Bartlett said. Cities that agree to participate will receive access to websites, online support, marketing templates and coaching from local entrepreneurs who can relate their successes and failures.
Tulsa's eight sister cities are Beihai, China; Amiens, France; Celle, Germany; Tiberias, Israel; Utsunomiya, Japan; San Luis Potosi, Mexico; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; and Zelenograd, Russia.
So far Amiens, San Luis Potosi and Zelenograd have shown interest in becoming founding members in the program.
StartUp Cup was founded in late 2011 in Tulsa with the goal of providing communities with the structure, tools and support to produce successful business-model competitions in order to promote job creation.
Sean Griffin, CEO of StartUp Cup, said he approached the city of Tulsa about a partnership with the sister cities to build further economic bonds, as well as showcase local talent beyond Oklahoma.
"As a native, I'm passionate about seeing Tulsa showcased on a national level," he said.
"The entrepreneurs we have here are representative of great entrepreneurs worldwide."
StartUp Cups are open to any business idea and are targeted to new businesses that lack extensive resources and experience.
To date, 361 startups have participated in nine StartUp Cups around the world, leading to the estimated creation of 474 jobs, organizers of the program said.
The organization is also an official partner with the U.S. State Department's Global Entrepreneurship Program. During Wednesday's launch conference, Shelly Porges, director of the Global Entrepreneurship Program at the State Department, said via teleconference that the program is incredibly important, as well as a great example of American entrepreneurship at work.
"This pilot program holds the promise of improving economic and commercial ties, as well as relations, with cities around the world and will help grow entrepreneurialism in Tulsa's sister cities," she said.
City Councilor Blake Ewing, a member of the city's Economic Development Commission, said the program won't just help the various sister cities, it will also encourage development of new businesses and jobs in Tulsa and showcase the area's entrepreneurial spirit.
"We're at the beginning of something exciting, and five or 10 years from now people around the world will recognize that entrepreneurship comes from Tulsa, and that there's no better place to be if you've got a big idea and you want to create something," he said.
Original Print Headline: Sister cities to get StartUp Cup offer
Robert Evatt 918-581-8447
Mayor Dewey Bartlett talks about expanding the StartUp Cup while Sean Griffin, CEO of the Tulsa-based program, looks on. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World
Blake Ewing: He says the StartUp Cup expansion will showcase Tulsa's strengths.