Dakota, Roy, Jalod & Koshay, are all middle school students at KIPP Tulsa. Their teacher Mr. Michael Philippsen has tremendous passion for the students he serves as well as the Tulsa cycling community. Michael’s vision to bridge these two passions had been brewing for nearly two years but he feared that the risk of diving in outweighed the potential reward… that was of course until he learned about the Bridge. Michael pitched Brothers in Cadence a mentorship program that pairs students with local cyclists who aim to instill work ethic, perseverance and collaboration through cycling. His goal was to create programming for students that span their 7-12th grade years culminating in a cross-country bike trip between students and their mentors. Since his award from the Bridge, Michael has been met with tremendous public support – receiving bikes free of charge for his first student cohort and has been offered further funding to grow the program if successful. A tremendous amount of action stemming from a small financial token and an infrastructure to build confidence in ones creative capacity.
Imagine a community where innovative ideas like Mr. Philippsen’s were rewarded with opportunity – back of the napkin doodles and fully drawn out plans alike could access a funding mechanism dedicated solely to the scientific process: build, test, learn, repeat. The Bridge aims to make this vision an actuality by awarding $500-$5000 investments, education and encouragement to innovative concepts spanning the non-profit and for-profit spectrums that aim to change the Tulsa landscape. A robust marketing campaign coupled with relevant education sessions and capped by an open forum pitch night where winners are awarded that very evening will help spur the culture of innovation in our community.
We were commissioned to help the TAUW Venture Grant Fund redefine its innovative funding process. To develop our recommendations we benchmarked countless funds and intervention programs, surveyed over 60 innovators, sought out advice from some of Tulsa’s most insightful leaders, visited 2 cities, and tested the test ourselves by awarding 6 individuals $1,000 to apply to their innovative, community changing ideas over 6 weeks.
My name is Mike Noshay and I am unbelievably grateful for having been given the opportunity to do this amazing work alongside unbelievably talented partners in crime: Cassie Reese, Sofia Nagda, Ryan McDaniel, Carly Schaer, the Mine staff and our amazing benefactors. Together, WE created the Bridge.