Tulsa’s Oil Industry Has Been Booming for Decades. Now Its Startup Scene Is, Too
T-Town is attracting new residents with its co-working spaces, business investment and advisory firms, food halls, and affordable housing.
Tulsa, Inc.‘s No. 47 Surge City, was once known as the oil and gas capital of the world. Today, T-Town, as locals like to call it, is gaining recognition as a friendly environment for a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Downtown Tulsa houses many of the community’s new entrepreneurial enterprises. The Forge, a business incubator, co-working space. 36 Degrees North (named for Tulsa’s latitudinal coordinate), and early-stage investment and business advisory firm i2E are all clustered within a 1.4-square-mile loop formed by Interstate 244 and Highway 75.
Roughly 3,500 students graduate each year from nearby Oklahoma State University. Many funnel into the city looking for work. Tulsa Remote–a program that lures workers to the city with the promise of $10,000 in grants, access to co-working spaces, and networking opportunities–brought more than 100 transplants to town in its first year. Another 250 are expected in 2020.
Companies to Watch
In 2015, Stephanie Conduff launched Leche Lounge, which makes a line of portable lactation suites and has partnered with Nike and Rent the Runway.
Verinovum, which launched in 2014 and has raised $12 million, organizes patient data for health care providers and bill payers.