News from 36 Degrees North
Nothing says summer in Tulsa like Josh’s Sno Shack. The wildly popular snow cone stands have multiplied over the years, and the brand is one Tulsans of all ages take pride in. But unbeknownst to many, the company wasn’t built buy an eager entrepreneur. It was built by a lovestruck teenager. Listen as founder Josh Juarez talks about opening his first shack, maintaining top-notch service, and handling unexpected growth.
For Jessica Brent, entrepreneurship is like a second language. She’s the co-owner of Homma Camp Co. and works to serve other entrepreneurs as the Resources Manager for 36 Degrees North. She immerses herself in Tulsa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem daily, so joining the Workforce Tulsa board seemed like a natural next step.
A Tulsa mother looking for childcare finds out that her child’s preschool teacher has a shady past. The discovery sparks a realization: despite routine background checks, parents don’t really know who they’re entrusting their children to. Today that mother, Adrienne Kallweit, now leads the national franchise SeekingSitters, a service dedicated to connecting parents with safe, fully-vetted caretakers. Listen as Adrienne discusses establishing her company- without any startup capital- and learning how to stand out in a sea of competitors.
We are excited to announce the newest addition to the 36 Degrees North team, Daniel McIntosh. Daniel will serve as a Community Support Associate, helping members and guests navigate our space.
How do you build a wildly successful aerospace-manufacturing company? One cold call at a time. At least, that’s how Robin Siegfried did it. He took Tulsa-based company NORDAM global by going to unfamiliar countries to knock on airplane hanger doors and strike up conversations with strangers. Listen as Robin explains how he overcame cultural faux pas and limited knowledge about aviation to build a multi-million dollar company.
What started as a small home-brewing project in a spare bedroom is now one of Tulsa’s favorite beer companies. But with obstacles like antiquated alcohol laws, skepticism about craft breweries, and manufacturing mishaps (i.e. bottles exploding on shelves), Marshall Brewing was far from an overnight success. Listen as founder Eric Marshall talks about connecting with the right people to fight negative stigmas and blaze the trail for microbrewers in Oklahoma.
Everyone told him it wouldn’t work. Another smoothie shop just wouldn’t succeed in Tulsa- especially on the north side. It would be a horrible business decision. But Tim Smallwood wasn’t convinced. Listen as the Tulsa firefighter talks about risking 300 thousand dollars on a side-hustle, convincing his wife to quit her job, wasting money on expensive advertisements, and going over two years without paying himself -all because he had a gut feeling that the Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchise was going to be the next big thing.
There are 7 billion people on this planet. That’s a lot of people. And the fact is: the vast majority live in poverty.Ted London, known for his work bridging the gap between businesses and developing countries, is looking to change that. “Poverty is the greatest challenge facing humanity,” London explains. And he says we need to work smarter to alleviate it. “Our focus should be not “should we do it?” but “how can we do it better?”
Before trendy, local coffee shops became the norm, Chip Gaberino had a vision to bring high-quality coffee to Tulsa. He believed he could deliver beans from his family’s coffee plantations in El Salvador directly to consumers in a style that reflected the growing, high-end coffee craze popping up on the West Coast. And despite many obstacles and failures, he did. Listen as Chip talks about how he made Topeca Coffee Roasters a household name, while sticking to his personal ethos of sustainability and empathy. (PLUS hear honest insight on his experience co-founding local hotspots like Hodges Bend and the short-lived restaurant Torero.)
A pastor’s wife, strapped for cash, holds a gently-used clothing sale in her living room. Fast forward 20 years, and the concept- now known as Just Between Friends- is an international franchise recognized by Forbes and almost every major media outlet. But the path to this point was filled with unknowns for cofounder and CEO Shannon Wilburn. She didn’t have a business background and knew nothing about royalty fees, disclosure documents or raising capital. Listen as Shannon discusses facing her insecurities and building something bigger than she ever imagined.
"To do the things we aspire to do, we can't just stop at inspiring people. We have to empower them." University of Michigan professor Ted London believes embracing this concept would lead to poverty alleviation across the globe. And he sees entrepreneurs as the ones leading the charge.
One could argue that ConsumerAffairs is the most “Google-esque” company in Tulsa. But before he built the international company, with a culture of beer taps, “Bacon Fridays” and free yoga, CEO Zac Carman was hustling in Silicon Valley working for tech companies and private equity firms. It was there that he first took stabs at entrepreneurship, building multiple startups that ended in failure. Listen as Zac talks about those experiences and how they prepared him to successfully navigate big changes at ConsumerAffairs.
The F Word dives into a realm every entrepreneur experiences and yet so few want to talk about: failure. Join us as we engage in vulnerable discussions with some of Tulsa’s top entrepreneurs about the trials, roadblocks, fears and insecurities they’ve overcome while building their businesses.
For some reason, there's a facade in the entrepreneurial world. Maybe it's because we want people to take us seriously. Maybe it's because we don't want to be a burden on others. Or maybe it's because we're afraid to admit failure because, deep down, we think it'll define us.
The number of startup companies in the Tulsa area continues to grow. A big reason for that is access to extensive resources to help founders develop their products faster and smarter.
We are excited to announce the newest addition to the 36 Degrees North team, Jessica Brent. Jessica will serve as our Resource Manager, working directly with 36°N members to connect them with the people, resources and tools they need to move their businesses forward.
Click rates. Lead magnets. Nurture sequences. You may have a rough idea of what these email marketing terms mean, but many don't know how they can directly affect the growth of their business.
Seth Erkenbeck literally puts the “ship” in entrepreneurship. Well… it’s more like a raft.The 36 Degrees North member is the brain behind Tulsa’s rejuvenated annual Great Raft Race. Brought back to life two years ago, after a 24-year hiatus, the race is a chance for Okies of all ages to innovate and have a ton of fun by building rafts to float down the Arkansas River.
36 Degrees North is excited to welcome Genyce Goodchild to our team! You’ll see her bright, happy face at our front desk as our newest Community Support Associate.
Reflecting back over the years, since starting my company in 2004, there were key “rules” I followed to keep myself grounded through the good times and the tough times.
Looking back over the past two months of being the summer marketing intern at 36 Degrees North, it’s hard for me to believe that I’ve only been working here for just a short amount of time. Over the past several weeks, I have become fully immersed in the culture and groove of Tulsa’s “basecamp for entrepreneurs.” Every day is a unique and enriching experience, accompanied by new and familiar faces excited to be utilizing and enjoying our space. I cannot imagine another workplace in the city of Tulsa as vibrant and welcoming as 36°N.
Amazon Web Services is a great tool for entrepreneurs looking to store large amounts of data, host websites and make their businesses more productive. 36°N member Paul Dudley and his team at Sequoyah Technologies recently led a class on the different AWS tools and products.
Prodigy Collective is now up and running! It is one of the largest projects I’ve ever led. There are a lot of moving parts when you're coordinating eight business consultants and launching a brand new collaborative service in just five weeks.
When I became an intern for 36° North back in May, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I was still in school at the time, and finals week was three weeks away and suddenly I got an email from the George Kaiser Family Foundation that they wanted to reassign me to 36 Degrees North, rather than keep me in their main office. To be honest, I was pretty upset at the time because I had no inside understanding of what 36 Degrees North was or who or what was there, rather that it was just next door to my favorite place to get beer (Prairie Brewpub).
As you may have heard, I’m transitioning from the role of operations manager at 36 Degrees North to work for one of our partner organizations, the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation. Through this process, now that 36°N is up and running, I can’t help but wonder if this is what it feels like to send your child off to college.
Who doesn’t love a good business lunch? It’s a nice excuse to get out of the office and it usually leads to things like new ideas, new contracts or new employees. However, we tend to use the same few places as our go-to for these meetings. We get into a routine, and eventually, need to mix it up a bit to get those entrepreneurial juices flowing again. Enter our list of unique, or “non-typical,” restaurants in Tulsa. Of course, it’s not an exhaustive list, but hopefully it’ll give you some new ideas to try in different neighborhoods around town. Bon appétit!
Thinking of starting a blog? Have a blog but want to amp it up a bit? Check out this special panel discussion with some of Tulsa’s top bloggers to find out the tips and tricks they use to grow their following and produce relevant content.
When you own a small business, there are a million and one things to think about at all times. Your brain never shuts off, and it seems like to-do lists just multiply overnight. However, when a business owner finds the right tools, all of the chaos becomes more a little more organized and enjoyable.
For our school in the Netherlands, we had to find a short internship in an English environment where we could gain business experience. Luckily, we had an acquaintance that owns a business in Oklahoma and offices at 36 Degrees North. Thus, we travelled to Tulsa to experience a new work environment: co-working space. This is unlike any office we had been to in the Netherlands.