Tulsa Community College: New Businesses Launch From Entrepreneur Program

Member Spotlight

"In designing Launch, it was important to us that program participants understand the steps that make a successful startup and to physically take their startup idea on that journey," said Tom McKeon, Tulsa Community College (TCC) President. "Oklahoma is one of the most active states for entrepreneurial activity. TCC's Launch program builds on that momentum and emphasizes the importance startups are to the economic health of our economy."

Since its beginning in spring 2009, more than 100 people have applied to be part of the program.  Each cycle, or flight, uses local business leaders and successful entrepreneurs as thought partners and coaches to guide participants through the critical steps required to take an idea to the marketplace. Rather than meeting in a classroom setting, participants meet at banks, in law firms, and in local businesses to see firsthand what it takes to start a startup in the same places they will be doing business as entrepreneurs. Weekly sessions include topics like Building Your Business Model; Understanding Your Market Through Research; Intellectual Property; and Building Your Revenue Model. 

To date, seven successful businesses have been started, spurring job creation and economic development in the community. Others who have completed Launch at TCC continue to work with program thought partners to refine their business models.

"Launch has introduced me to great local business leaders and allowed me to network with them to build strong relationships that will continue to help my business long after my time in the Launch program is over," said Steven Copley, Launch Flight I participant.

During his time in the Launch program, Copley developed his company, Red Earth Leather, a Native American leather goods manufacturer. Other businesses formed from Launch include WALLSTRUCK, vinyl wall designs for retail and home wall dĂ©cor, and Powerful Patient Solutions, Inc., products that assist in the organization of medical records. 

Additional information on Tulsa community College's Launch program can be found at www.launchyourejourney.com.