News from 36 Degrees North
Meet Sheridan, our newest 36°N team member! Sheridan is fun and bubbly and so good at making people feel welcome- making her the perfect person to hold down the fort at our front desk. In addition to working at 36°N, she's currently studying human development and family science at OSU Tulsa (go pokes). Her ultimate goal is to become a child play-therapist.
Seth Lewandowski is the co-founder of Periwinkle, a company that provides professional garage cleaning and organization services.
Amy Buchan Siegfried is the co-founder of Last Night’s Game, a triweekly publication that makes sports news easy to understand. The company aims to help the "sports curious" learn about all the latest sports buzz... without all the extra jargon and statistics.
Russ Kirkpatrick is the co-founder of Kirkpatrick & Kinslow Productions, an Emmy Award-winning film production company. Russ and his team produce feature length films and documentaries, with the hope that their audience will be entertained and inspired. They also provide video messaging for companies and nonprofits.
Dylan Goforth is the editor-in-chief at The Frontier, a digital media startup committed to bringing their audience top-notch investigative journalism, with a focus on government transparency.
Acclaimed actor Denzel Washington once said, “Show me a successful individual, and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living. If you do it well, I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” We, here at 36 Degrees North, tend to agree with Mr. Washington. We believe, as entrepreneurs pursue their goals and dreams, that their efforts are bolstered in the context of community. Especially community with those who have "been there, done that."
Tammy Torkleson is the founder of Indigo Technology, a software company that builds technology solutions for businesses to use to recover missed revenue opportunities.
Troy Robinson is the founder of Lionsrock Web Creative, a company committed to helping business and organization leaders convey their brand's value to industry influencers using collaborative design, engaging media, simple web publishing tools, and target-audience evaluation.
Melissa Bryce Gamble is the executive director of The Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders (GFPD), an international 501 (c)3 nonprofit, public charity focused on funding groundbreaking research on peroxisomal disorders as well as supporting families impacted by the rare, devastating, terminal childhood illnesses. This cause is especially close to Melissa's heart as her oldest child, Ginny, was born with a peroxisomal disorder and sadly lost her battle with the disease 3 years ago. The work Melissa does for the GFPD is in her memory, so that, hopefully, someday kids born with a peroxisomal disorder will live longer, happier, healthier lives.
Thanks to everyone who came out for our Business of Retail panel! We hope you enjoyed learning from Adam Teage, founder of Two Guys Bow Tie Co., Shavonna Caldwell, founder of Habit Boutique, Angelene Wright, owner of Ida Red, and Shawn Zenthoefer, owner of Dwelling Spaces and The Goods Bodega. If you missed it, you can watch the full recording below.
Alan Faulk is the founder of Why Not Consulting, a training agency that creates sales training materials for a larger European training organization. His team researches, develops, and writes trainings that become animations and simulated activities.
Daniel Sperle is the executive director of Tulsa Bike Share, a new transportation initiative launching in July 2018. At 25 stations around the city, Tulsa Bike Share will provide Tulsans with a high-quality, convenient and affordable bicycle transit system, with 160 GPS enabled bikes powered through a mobile application.
Lori Schram is the founder of Left Brain Design, an award-winning interior space planning and design company. Currently, the company is making its mark downtown, as the principal developers for The Davenport Lofts condominium project on North Main Street.
As a 20-something, I’m juggling lots of roles – student, friend, intern, co-worker. Add “senior in college about to graduate” to the mix, and I’ve got quite the load. However, of all these roles, I’d like to elaborate upon one – intern.
Aaron Bean is the founder of Asemio, a technology consulting company helping community-based organizations use data for social good.
Timothy Moser is the founder of Master of Memory, an online education company that uses podcasts, YouTube, books and tutorials to teach a variety of courses, including a popular course in Accelerated Spanish.
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.
Right now, businesses tied to specific causes are booming, and giving back is becoming a key way to attract new customers. I recently attended an event at 36 Degrees North called Social Enterprise in Tulsa: A Pathway to Impact. The panelists shared great insight on how to use businesses (both for-profit and non-profit) to serve a community. Here were my biggest takeaways.
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.