10-Year-Old Entrepreneur Wins Start-Up

LEGO VACUUM IDEA: Gabe Dougherty of Lego Vacuum received a $2,500 cash prize to advance his business idea.

The Tulsa StartUp Series named Lego Vacuum as the winner of the K-12 Student Live Pitch Series held recently at 36°North. Gabe Dougherty impressed the judges with his invention that allows for a quick and easy clean up of small toy pieces scattered on the floor.

Gabe Dougherty of Lego Vacuum received a $2,500 cash prize to advance his business idea, a three-month membership to 36°North, a spot in the Venture Assessment Program at i2E and a mentor who will be available to meet with him weekly for at least three months. Lego Vacuum was one of six finalists in the K-12 Student Pitch Series to advance to the live pitch round. Other finalists were Broken B Feeders, Chef Club Box, Clip on Cleats, Community App, and Gone Fishin’.

“These young entrepreneurs have fantastic business ideas,” Autumn Worten, Tulsa StartUp Series chair said. “Regardless of the age of the entrepreneur, the Tulsa StartUp Series provides resources to innovate and accelerate startups and the opportunity to test the startup idea, get feedback and network.”

The Tulsa StartUp Series, powered by Tulsa Community College and the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, focuses on delivering resources and mentoring opportunities to entrepreneurs.

The Tulsa StartUp Series features pitch competitions categorized by business segment and culminates with Demo Day during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November. The five Pitch Series winners get an automatic bid to compete at Demo Day, where the winner receives $15,000, a year-long membership to 36°North and a dedicated mentor.

Each Pitch Series focuses on a different business segment:
• Pitch Series 1: Tech/Apps (Submissions Dec. 3-Jan. 6)
• Pitch Series 2: K-12 Students (Submissions Feb. 3-March 2)
• Pitch Series 3 Physical Products (Submissions April 6-May 4)
• Pitch Series 4: Food/Retail (Submissions June 1-July 6)
• Pitch Series 5: Wild Card (Aug. 3-Sept. 7)

and have supported entrepreneurial innovation, growth and creativity since 2007 when the competition began as the Tulsa Entrepreneurial Spirit Award by former Mayor Kathy Taylor. The competition later adapted to the StartUp Cup Powered by the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation. This year, the competition reinvented itself to the Tulsa StartUp Series to meet the needs of local entrepreneurs. In total, Tulsa’s original startup competition has generated more than 2,300 full-time, part-time, and contract jobs and a total economic impact for Tulsa of more than $57.7 million.

Learn more about the Tulsa StartUp Series at www.tulsastartupseries.com, including instructions for submitting video pitches and competition rules.

Updated 05-24-2016

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