TOUTING TULSA: From left Barry M. Davis, Managing General Partner of Davis, Tuttle Venture Partners; Karen Davis, Project Director with Step Up Tulsa! and Program Officer for the Tulsa Community Foundation and Tom D. Walker, Executive VP and COO with i2E.
Step Up Tulsa! was the topic of a Page One Luncheon presentation on Dec. 5 at the Tulsa Press Club by featured speakers Tom Walker and Barry Davis. The program focused on economic development and associated ideas.
Step Up Tulsa! is a Tulsa community planning movement that grew out of a need of the Funders’ Roundtable to understand the core issues and needs in the Tulsa community. With support from the Tulsa Community Foundation the program has grown to include 150 stakeholders representing a wide range of professions, ages, regional locations, racial and cultural
backgrounds. Over an eight-month period, the stakeholders identified five key areas in which “trendbender” thinking could produce major changes in the community and produced a business plan for each. Included in the five areas was an “Innovation Institute,” a not for profit corporation providing oversight, guidance and vision to the core institute programs focused on building an innovative economy in Tulsa. Also recommended was an “Entrepreneurship Center” providing education and networking to the entrepreneurial community; along with “Tulsa Research Partners,” an independent research partnership focused on research opportunities with area universities and a “Community Innovation Fund,” a private investment fund providing growth capital for entrepreneurial opportunities. Finally a “Best Thinking Forum” series was advocated to convene experts annually to share ideas in areas critical to Tulsa’s future.
One of the many goals of Step Up Tulsa! is to foster the continuation of the spirit of cooperation in the Tulsa Metro area started by Vision 2025 by keeping the community channels of communication open and active.