The W.E. Build Accelerator by Build in Tulsa and sponsored by Goldman Sachs will empower 8 innovative and diverse early-stage startups led by Black women to create and launch scalable ventures in Tulsa, OK. The program runs full-time from April 26, 2023 - August 17, 2023 in Tulsa, OK.
W.E. [Women Entrepreneurs] Build by Build in Tulsa is an entrepreneurship accelerator designed to help Black women progress their professional development, achieve personal growth, and build companies that catalyze multi-generational wealth.
Powered by Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women Initiative, the W.E. Build Accelerator will empower 25 innovative and diverse early-stage startups to create and launch scalable ventures in Tulsa, OK over the next two years.
The program will implement a comprehensive approach that will offer Black women entrepreneurs:
W.E. Builders Benefits:
A $25,000 non-dilutive grant
3 months of business training
Networking and mentorship opportunities
Free legal and accounting services
Coworking desks and conference room access
Laptop devices and connectivity
Cost of living stipends to help provide housing, childcare, and health care
Bi-weekly mental health counseling
Stay tuned for details on how to apply for W.E. Build's 2nd Cohort in 2024!
Do you guarantee follow-on funding from Build in Tulsa or your partners?
No. Build in Tulsa is committed to giving you the tools you need for success. From workshops to mentors to networking activities, we will do our best to open doors for you. But it is up to you to walk through them. We will introduce you to partners, potential customers, and investors. But there are no guarantees. Again, you will get out of this program what you put into it. We will be cheering you on and monitoring your progress. Build in Tulsa does have a competitive process for post-accelerator support that includes free office space and extended housing stipends, but eligibility for this program will be determined based off of several factors including your participation in the program, economic viability, and commitment to Tulsa.
If I’m not from Tulsa, can I travel back home on the weekends?
Yes, but we encourage you to spend as much time in Tulsa as you can. The founders who get the most out of their accelerator experiences are those who truly connect with the city, its people, and our partners. And to do that you have to be in Tulsa consistently.
Will my weekends be free during the program? Or will there be events or workshops?
While there may be some extracurricular/fun activities on the weekends, your weekends are mostly your own. We strongly encourage you to attend as many events as you can. You will get out of this experience what you put into it. The more you engage with the Build in Tulsa network the greater your chance of success.
Do you provide housing?
W.E Build provides a housing stipend of $1,000 per month (for a total of $3,000) to help you make ends meet while you are in the program and focused on growing your business. Build in Tulsa does not provide housing to founders in the W.E. Build program. We can provide you with some recommendations on where to live, but housing is up to you.
What can I expect from the W.E. Build program day-to-day?
We will host workshops every Wednesday from 10am-12pm featuring a variety of topics designed to help you grow and scale your business. The program will also offer financial literacy modules weekly. W.E. Builders will present weekly updates on their progress to their cohort and select mentors and advisors. There will also be office hours with mentors and investors as well as other fun activities offered throughout the 12-week program. We expect W.E. Builders to commit 30 hours a week to the program. While some extracurricular programming will occur outside of business hours and is often not required, we strongly encourage you to attend as many of these activities as your schedule allows. This will help build your social network and expose you to as many people as possible that can be helpful to your journey.
When will the W.E. Build accelerator begin?
The W.E. Build program will begin in Tulsa, OK on Wednesday April 26th. The program will end on August 17, 2023.
When will I receive my housing and child care/health care stipends?
W.E. Build is designed as a comprehensive program designed to mitigate the barriers to your success. We provide stipends to help cover the cost of your housing and child care or health care while you are in the program. W.E. Builders will receive $1,000 a month for housing and $1,000 a month for child care or health care. You will receive the stipends monthly through our service provider, Plann.ly.
If I’m accepted, when will I receive the $25,000 award?
W.E. Builders will receive their award in two payments. The first half ($12,500) will be issued in May of 2023 and the second half will be paid in July of 2023.
Can I participate in another accelerator while I’m in W.E. Build?
It’s not ideal. We expect you to put in 30+ hours a week into this program. This is a big commitment and we fully expect you to give it your all, be present, and fully engaged.
Can I keep my full-time job while in the W.E. Build accelerator?
Look, Sis, we can’t tell you what to do for you and your family. But we expect you to put in 30+ hours a week into this program. This is a big commitment and we fully expect you to give it your all, be present, and fully engaged. Again, the more you put into this experience the more you will get out of it.
I missed the deadline. Can I still apply?
Unfortunately, no. But we hope to enroll a second cohort. Please sign up for the Build in Tulsa newsletter to be alerted when the next cycle opens.
What is the application process? Do I have to do an interview?
Please complete the application by 11:59:59 pm (CST) on Mar 6, 2023. Finalists will be interviewed in mid-March and you will be notified by April 1st of our decision. We will have a founder orientation by mid-April and the program will begin on Apr 26, 2023.
Do I have to be in tech to apply to W.E. Build?
W.E. Builders are high-growth companies that are hoping to be VC-backed by the end of the program. We are looking for companies that are tech, tech-enabled, operating in the beauty and wellness space, or high-growth professional services.
When is the deadline to apply to W.E. Build?
The deadline to apply for the program has been extended to Mar 6, 2023 .
Do I have to live in Tulsa to participate in the W.E. Build accelerator?
Yes, we are committed to building in Tulsa, the home of historic Black Wall Street. To be accepted into the W.E. Build program, you will have to move to Tulsa for the three months of the program.
Do I have to give up ownership of my business to participate in W.E. Build?
No. Build in Tulsa doesn’t take any equity in your business. The $25,000 is a non-dilutive business award provided to help you grow your business.
What kind of founder are you looking for to join W.E. Build?
We are looking for founders that have the ability to execute on strategic plans, are flexible and adaptable, learn and listen well, implement feedback, ready and willing to experiment with new strategies, and are open to change.
I am a solo founder. Can I still apply?
Yes. We do prefer founding teams, because it helps share the workload. That being said, we’re evaluating you, your business and your potential for success post-program.
“My time in the residence has been absolutely amazing! I was fortunate enough to receive this opportunity after being back in Tulsa for only a month. The community and resources that Build in Tulsa has provided have pushed me beyond what I ever imagined for my first few months back home. The staff is full of knowledge and they do everything in their power to connect you with mentors and like minded individuals that are outside of Build in Tulsa. Everyone in this environment truly wants to see you be successful and to see the other residents working just as hard to grow and learn is so motivating.”
“I consider my time in residence to be "God-sent." Before coming to 36N Basecamp II, I used to work from home. Having small children along with personal family/life demands, I found it difficult often to work without distractions or hindrances. On the contrary, now being in an atmosphere with like-minded people (my fellow BIT EIRs and other entrepreneurs), I find that issue has waned. I feel motivated and inspired to come into 36N to work on my business. I feel that I learn something new and forge new connections and relationships everyday! I look forward to what the rest of the Build In Tulsa Accelerator has to offer as I continue my business coaching with Desiree and scale my company with the knowledge and skills I'm learning as an Entrepreneur in Residence.”
“Participating in Build In Tulsa's Female Founder's Pitch Competition was an incredible experience! It was my first time officially pitching. Through the support that Build in Tulsa's team (Desiree and Ashli) provided through the pitch clinic and practicing with other founders, I was able to clarify my messaging and also formalize many aspects of my business that only existed in my head. By pitching in the competition I was able to share Your HR Strategist with the Tulsa entrepreneurial community and increase my network. The ongoing coaching and resources that Build in Tulsa has provided has undoubtedly helped accelerate the growth of my business and my comfort level in pitching my services to prospective clients, partners and funders.”