Female factor

There’s risk in any venture, but women entrepreneurs are taking the chance on themselves and their ideas in Tulsa. And it’s paying off.



Melanie Smith

Valerie Grant

Overcoming challenges

By Anne Brockman

 

Recently, Thumbtack.com named Tulsa the No. 1 city for women entrepreneurs, citing the optimism women have in their business prospects and a community supportive to female business owners.

“There are a lot of great companies here, a lot of great entrepreneurs, and statistics like that are a rallying point for the broader community that says there is some validation happening here,” says Dustin Curzon, executive director of 36 Degrees North. “It also raises the bar for our community. And it makes us ask the question as programmers, ‘How do we live up to that and make it a reality?’”

Although women represent 50.8 percent of the U.S. population, only 35.5 percent of entrepreneurs are women, according to the 2017 State of Entrepreneurship by the Kauffman Foundation. Research shows women excel in entrepreneurial roles but still face unique barriers, including a lack of mentorship, the misguided masculine perception of entrepreneurship and the additional pressure to maintain a work-life balance with family responsibilities.

At 36 Degrees North, a basecamp for entrepreneurs that provides workspace, resources and a diverse community of members, 39 percent of its members are women.

Among them is Melanie Smith. The Arkansas native moved to Tulsa to attend the University of Tulsa, where she earned her doctorate in computer science. After years employed with several organizations, she began working with 36 Degrees North. But while at the entrepreneurial hub, she caught the bug to start her own company, Blue Tree Data Consulting, in early 2017.

36 Degrees North is an entrepreneurial hub that hosts women-specific  events throughout the year. Pictured at the downtown Tulsa center are Operations Manager Shanese Slaton, Executive Director Dustin Curzon and Communications Coordinator Lauren King. Photo by Valerie Grant.

 

“It has taken the fear away of starting my own venture,” Smith says of working from 36 Degrees North. The networking opportunities there have helped her lay her company’s groundwork, as well as connect her with future clients. Blue Tree Data Consulting is already doing business, and Smith expects $150,000 in revenue this year.  

Financing remains one of the biggest challenges with any start-up, but especially those owned by women, who begin companies with nearly half as much capital as men. Women only receive 4.4 percent of small business loan dollars — that’s $1 of every $23 in conventional small business loans — according to a report by the U.S. Senate. Women are one-third as likely to access funding through outside investors or venture capital, according to the Kauffman Foundation. 

To help provide meaningful and strategic mentorship opportunities, Curzon says 36 Degrees North will roll out a mentorship program, which will provide matchmaking, meetup space and training for interested individuals, both male and female. 

Gender-specific entrepreneurial events remain an integral part of networking for women, according to Curzon and Smith, who cite solidarity and relatability as key benefits to events of this nature. 

36 Degrees North provides physical space and hosts women-centric programming like women’s co-working day, Curzon says.

Research shows that women have a more strategic view and heightened sense of risk when it comes to starting a business, which often correlates to greater success. But they have to take that first step.

“Walk it out,” Smith says of her own experience. “Don’t let fear be a hindrance. Take one step at a time.”

Learn more about 36 Degrees North.

 

Balancing act

New coworking facility assists ‘momprenuers’ 

By Morgan Phillips

 

For many parents, juggling work and child rearing can be a major barrier to starting their own businesses. A new resource in midtown seeks to help Tulsa entrepreneurs balance the two.

The Work Life Balance Studio at 3144 S. Winston Ave. offers shared office and conference space in a kid-friendly environment that encourages parents to work with their children in tow. 

The company is the latest venture of Adrienne Kallweit, co-founder of the successful SeekingSitters franchise. At the Work Life Balance Studio, a SeekingSitters-member babysitter is available to provide on-demand childcare while kids’ parents work on site. This service is by reservation and for members only.

Like 36 Degrees North, the Work Life Balance Studio offers various membership levels that allow parents to drop in as needed or rent dedicated office space. Some areas of the facility are adults only, while other rooms allow parents to work alongside their kids.

Young children are provided with age-appropriate activities when they arrive at the Work Life Balance Studio. Hangout areas are available for older children and teens. “The idea is to keep the kids engaged so their parents can work,” Kallweit says. 

For more information, visit coworkingkangaroo.com

 

Find and replace

Tulsa’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year recruits talented pros.

By Julie Wenger Watson

Switchgear Search and Recruiting founder and CEO Dixie Agostino believes the key to successful corporate recruiting isn’t finding the people. According to her, that’s the easy part. Understanding what motivates them is the challenge.

“Breaking up with your work family isn’t as emotional as a romantic breakup, but it has all of the same elements,” says Agostino, who is the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s 2016 Young Entrepreneur of the Year. “People are messy and wonderful and emotional and unpredictable. You have to understand people, or you don’t last in this business.”

Agostino started Switchgear in 2010 after eight years working in transportation logistics. Her company recruits technical talent for engineering, financial and manufacturing businesses.

Dixie Agostino. Photo by Valerie Grant.

“The only skill I had was being able to sweet-talk truck drivers into getting into their truck and doing their job,” she laughs. “And that honestly transitioned into something that paid pretty well.” 

The business has grown exponentially, garnering local and national recognition. Switchgear made the “Inc. 5000” list of fastest-growing companies in 2015, as well as its list of “50 Fastest Growing Women-Led Companies in America” — notably all eight of Agostino’s employees are female. 

Agostino manages her burgeoning business while raising four kids and regularly volunteering at Tulsa’s startup incubators 36 Degrees North and the Forge. She credits much of her own success to the support and mentoring she received from others. 

“Nobody is alone. I would never have accomplished any of these things if it hadn’t been for somebody else,” she says. “Somebody believed in me enough to say, ‘Hey, you should start your own business.’ Somebody gave me a shot to have space at the Forge when I would never have been able to start my own business from home.”

 

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Notebook: May 2017

The Parent Child Center of Tulsa receives a national honor, south Tulsa goes to the market, a hometown boy returns and a late legend shares his story.

Park progress

A Gathering Place takes shape as construction continues.

Living legacy

Teresa Miller, in her words
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August 2018

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

FlyingTee is fun for the whole family and on Sundays, kids eat free! *Limit one free meal from the kids’ menu with each purchase of an adult entrée. Not valid on brunches or holidays.

Cost: Free with purchase

Where:
FlyingTee
600 Riverwalk Terrace
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Telephone: 918-528-7717
Website »

More information

At the 16th annual Senior Star Round-Up, older adults will enjoy live music, dancing, refreshments and door prizes as they gather at the legendary Cain's Ballroom on August 12 from 2 - 5...

Cost: $10

Where:
Cain's Ballroom
423 N. Main St.
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: LIFE Senior Services
Telephone: (918) 664-9000
Contact Name: Emily Fox

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

 The Mabee Center will come alive in a colorful expression of dance, drum music and song as members of tribal nations from around the country gather to honor, strengthen and share traditions...

Cost: $7-$15

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

Struggling young playwright William Shakespeare, penniless and indebted to two demanding producers, is tormented by writer’s block until he meets the beautiful Viola de Lesseps, daughter of a...

Cost: $20

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E 2nd St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: American Theatre Company
Telephone: 918-596-7111
Contact Name: Meghan Hurley
Website »

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Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

Starting 2nd and 4th Tuesdays in August and through September, we're teaching a progressive lindy hop swing dance series! Come learn from Kasey and Laurel, some of the best lindy hop...

Cost: Lesson: $12 Social Dance: FREE

Where:
Willows Family Ales
418 S. Peoria Ave
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: Barrelhouse Swing

More information

Show More...
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Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

Where:
Mulligan's Sports & Spirits
10918 E 41st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

Oklahomans for Equality announces a new musical cabaret series: “Third Thursdays in the Rainbow Room. Each Third Thursday of the month will feature one of Tulsa’s finest musical...

Cost: $15 Bistro Seating / $10 G/A

Where:
Dennis R Neill Equality Center
621 East 4th
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahomans for Equality
Telephone: 918-637-2866
Contact Name: Pat Hobbs

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

Eclectic Disposition aka "DJECOG" hosts A monthly all styles dance event at the Boxyard. ​This 18+ event caters to many of the social dance scenes in Tulsa. if you are...

Cost: free

Where:
the boxyard
502 East 3rd Street
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: eclectic disposition
Telephone: (918)640-1119
Contact Name: Matthew Adams
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Muskogee War Memorial Park: Home of the USS Batfish, Oklahoma’s only submarine, is hosting its annual Living History Day: Summer Cruise! For the USS Batfish Living History Day, the...

Cost: $4-$7

Where:
Muskogee War Memorial Park
3500 Batfish Road
Muskogee, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Muskogee War Memorial Park
Telephone: 918-682-6294
Contact Name: Brent Trout
Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

Join us for our first ever Food Truck Frenzy event! We will have a variety of delicious food trucks located in our own back yard. Grub down while listening to the band Moonshine...

Cost: $10/person

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Drive
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Aquarium
Telephone: 918-528-1507
Contact Name: Liz Medrano
Website »

More information

The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) hosts a Swing dance and lessons  The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) is the only UNESCO recognized dance organization in Oklahoma.  We are a 501c3...

Cost: $7

Where:
Community Center - South Minister Presby Church
3500 So Peoria
1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
View map »


Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
Website »

More information

Roughneck Roller Derby vs Northwest Arkansas Rollergirls Don't miss out on this family-friendly, hard-hitting fun! Kids 12 and under FREE!! Tickets: Advance - $8 At the Door - $10...

Cost: 10.00

Where:
Ninowski Recreation Center
1367 E 71st St S
Broken Arrow, OK  74112
View map »


Sponsor: Roughneck Roller Derby
Website »

More information

If the Oklahoma summer has you turning into a puddle inside your shoes, then beat the heat and chill out with the coolest comedy improv troupe in town! Come join our biggest fans (ceiling) in...

Cost: Admission is $8.00 ($4.00 for children under 12)

Where:
PH Community House
306 South Phoenix Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Laughing Matter Improv
Contact Name: Jerry Henderson
Website »

More information

Eclectic Disposition aka "DJECOG" hosts A monthly all styles dance event at the Boxyard. ​This 18+ event caters to many of the social dance scenes in Tulsa. if you are...

Cost: free

Where:
the boxyard
502 East 3rd Street
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: eclectic disposition
Telephone: (918)640-1119
Contact Name: Matthew Adams
Website »

More information

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