The semifinalists will meet one on one with coaches and prepare to give five-minute pitches on Sept. 25 to judges, who will narrow the field of competitors to six finalists.
The 12 semifinalists are Bike Barn, Cook Time with Remmi, FenceTrac Fence Systems Inc., Find Me Tornado Safety, GreenFoot Energy, idefi Group LLC, J. Vogt Designs, Mobius Enterprises LLC, Nourish Drink Café, OP Left LLC; Peritus Resource Group and Smart Panel LLC.
The competition, which is powered by the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, will award $30,000, for first place, $5,000 for second and $2,500 for third place.
Based on feedback from prior competitors, this year’s TCC StartUp Cup has been streamlined and shortened to five months, and it still features mentoring and coaching as a key feature of the contest.
It was definitely a lot harder this time to narrow the field of entries, said Elizabeth Frame Ellison, executive director of the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, noting that about 50 entries were submitted this year.
“It’s a great field of entries. Even though they had already submitted their applications, it was great to have the speed-coaching session last week and learn more about the businesses,” she said.
The batch of semifinalists
includes former contestants such as idefi Group LLC and Smart Panel LLC as well as teenage entrepreneur and chef Remmi Smith.
For the Sept. 25 semifinal session, judges are going to be looking for energy and the contestants’ plans for going to market, Ellison said.
“The ultimate goal is economic development and bringing jobs to Tulsa. We want to see how soon they can start selling their product and service and when they will start making enough money to hire people,” Ellison said.
As in years past, all the semifinalists are passionate about what they do. They have seen a problem or need in the community and found a solution for it, Ellison said.
This year, the competition also added a networking and coaching event that was open to all of the entrepreneurial contestants.
“The contestants had the opportunity to learn from Tulsa’s most successful entrepreneurs while the coaches were able to pay it forward with their knowledge and expertise. We added this event to the competition to ensure everyone who submitted their business model had access to mentoring and coaching,” said Autumn Worten, TCC StartUp Cup chair and a finalist in last year’s competition, in a written statement.
StartUp Cup winners will be announced on Nov. 18 during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
SOURCE: Tulsa World and Cooktime with Remmi