Mayor Dewey Bartlett and members of the Tulsa City Council announced this morning that the City of Tulsa will start a Pilot Sister City Entrepreneurial Program in partnership with the U.S. Department of State Global Entrepreneurship Program’s (GEP), StartUp Cup, a Tulsa-based company and Tulsa Global Alliance.

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Tulsa Mayor, Dewey Bartlett, StartUp Cup CEO & Founder, Sean Griffin, Tulsa City Councilor, Blake Ewing, and Senior Advisor Global Entrepreneurship with the Global Entrepreneurship Program at the U.S. Department of State, Shelly Porges (Via Telecast)  during Tulsa Sister City Entrepreneurial Exchange Pilot Program press conference.

The goal of the pilot program is to help create various StartUp Cup competitions in Tulsa’s Sister Cities. StartUp Cup competitions are a proven model to help create viable businesses, grow jobs, and enhance entrepreneurial ecosystems.

At the heart of Tulsa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is the TCC StartUp Cup business model competition. Launched in Tulsa seven years ago, StartUp Cup has grown into a global network of business model competitions open to any type of business idea

The Sister City Entrepreneurial Exchange Pilot Program is open to Tulsa’s eight Sister Cities: Beihai, China, Amiens, France, Celle, Germany, Tiberias, Israel, Utsunomiya, Japan, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and Zelenograd, Russia. To date, Amiens, France, San Luis Potosi, Mexico and Zelenograd, Russia have shown interest in become founding members in the program.

“We look forward to expanding greater economic collaborations between our cities and be part of what promises to be the start of an historic moment in Sister Cities history,” Mayor Dewey Bartlett said. “We will continue to build Tulsa’s relationships with our Sister Cities and provide more unique opportunities for economic development.”

Cities that sign-up for the pilot program benefit by: developing economic and entrepreneurial growth strategies between cities, enhancing the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and growing new jobs through startups. The StartUp Cup will also provide a turn-key, no cost system that includes a: website, step-by-step guide, online support, bi-monthly coaching, marketing templates and video tutorials.

“We appreciate the City of Tulsa for the outstanding work you are doing to support entrepreneurs both in your beautiful city and around the world,” said Shelly Porges, Director of the Global Entrepreneurship Program at the U.S. Department of State. “Together with our partner, StartUp Cup, Tulsa is leading the way on connecting American entrepreneurs with their counterparts in other cities globally.

This pilot program holds the promise of improving economic and commercial ties, as well as relations, with these Sister Cities around the world, benefiting all involved.” After the Sister City Entrepreneurial Program is developed, Tulsa will begin to introduce the program to cities around the world, as Tulsa will have the opportunity to become the global leader in providing others an opportunity for entrepreneurship growth.

“The City of Tulsa leadership understands the global imperative to grow jobs through new companies,” Sean Griffin, CEO of the StartUp Cup said. “This is why we are committed to support growing entrepreneurship worldwide by sharing the powerful startup methods and keys to growing a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem that have proven so successful in Tulsa.”

The Pilot Sister City Entrepreneurial Program was a recommendation made by the Entrepreneurship Subcommittee of the Economic Development Commission, which was tasked with providing the Mayor/Council actionable steps to making Tulsa a leader in entrepreneurship and innovation, which was part of the Mayor/Council’s goals and objectives.