Mayor’s Spirit Awards, TBJ Form Partnership

The Mayor’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award joins in a strategic partnership with The Tulsa Business Journal in a move that will provide continuing in-depth coverage of the awards process as well as additional funding.
Entering its third year, the business model competition will begin accepting applications for the program beginning April 2. Each year, three Tulsa entrepreneurs are selected to receive checks of $30,000, $5,000 and $2,500 from Spirit Awards partner SpiritBank.
Last year, more than 100 hopefuls submitted business plans for their ideas.
The partnership with the Spirit Awards will allow the TBJ to build continual and eagerly-anticipated news coverage, information and announcements about the awards each week from launch through the final announcement of the winner on Nov. 17 during Global Entrepreneurship Week. The coverage will utilize all media resources available within the TBJ family portfolio. A portion of proceeds generated from supporters of special publications created by the TBJ for the Spirit Awards will be donated to the program.
“We at the TBJ are committed to the entrepreneurial spirit in Tulsa.,? said Jim Mason, TBJ publisher. ?We are thankful for the opportunity to be a partner with a program so meaningful and vital to Tulsa-area businesses.?
“Supporting entrepreneurs has always been my passion. The Mayor’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award provides support, encouragement and mentorship for entrepreneurs who have always been the true spirit of Tulsa’s economy.” said Mayor Kathy Taylor. “I thank SpiritBank and the Tulsa Business Journal for believing in this mission and becoming strategic partners of the Mayor’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.”
Kell Kelly, CEO, SpiritBank, said, “The spirit of entrepreneurialism is alive and well in Tulsa, Oklahoma. With the current economic climate, we expect this year’s competitors to be the best and brightest. While it may not seem like a good time to start a business today, it’s actually a great time for innovative ideas to take root and prosper. As Plato said, ‘necessity is the mother of invention.’ We’re excited to be part of the mayor’s efforts to build entrepreneurialism to even higher levels in Oklahoma through the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.”
Stephen Hillman, TBJ editor, said, ?It is our intent to provide the Tulsa business community insight and exposure to the Spirit Awards as never seen before. This will be accomplished through a series of articles beginning in April and concluding in November as the winner is announced. In addition, we plan to follow these entrepreneurs after the awards process is finished to see how the Spirit Awards have impacted their businesses.?
Inspired in part by the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, the Spirit Awards was born out of a desire to motivate entrepreneurs to start their businesses in Tulsa, Taylor said.
“The intention of the Mayor’s Tulsa Entrepreneurial Spirit Award is to make it sustainable so it can be carried on. While this began due to my personal passion, leadership from the chair of the Spirit Award, Sean Griffin, and the entrepreneurial team, are working to create a replicable model – one that will remain flexible enough to meet the needs of an ever changing entrepreneurial environment,” she said.

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