Devon Laney, 36 Degrees North | Tulsa COG2019

by Nov 18, 2021Resources, Thought Leadership, Tulsa COG

Enjoy the video and transcript of the speech given by Devon Laney of 36 Degrees North at COG2019 on November 7th, 2019 in Tulsa, OK.


First of all, I just want to say, Clint, Chuck — thank you guys for doing this. I mean, this is a fantastic event. And I think we should all give them a big round of applause.

So, thank you for the introduction, too. 

First, I need to say I’m thrilled to be in Tulsa. I had never been until about four months ago, but I’m blown away by the community, by the resources, by the passion, and the intention around changing and moving this community forward — specifically through the lens of economic development, focus on entrepreneurship, and I’m so excited about the group of people you’re hearing from today. And I’m fortunate to be counted among them — just to be here in the part of this renaissance for this community. So I’m really excited.

So, what is 36 Degrees North? Does anybody know?

Great, okay, good.

36 Degrees North is Tulsa’s base camp for entrepreneurs. We exist for entrepreneurs. Our goal is to provide entrepreneurs with a competitive advantage in the workspace they have, the resources they have access to, and the community they are a part of to be able to scale and grow your business effectively. It’s a world-class facility. If you have not been to 36 Degrees North, I encourage you to come down and see the place for yourself. It really is amazing. When I first got to Tulsa and saw the level of commitment and intentionality behind the development of 36 Degrees North, I was blown away. It truly is a world-class home for early-stage entrepreneurs and the resources they need. The things that we provide that make 36 Degrees North different are really focused first and foremost around our workspace. So, we provide world-class workspace. We have co-working desks. We have small-office space. We have collaboration spaces. We’ve got conference rooms. It’s a beautiful place where a company can come in — entrepreneurs can come in, and work in an environment surrounded by other peers that are building businesses and growing their own companies. And they can do it in the confines of a flexible, scalable space. That’s really important for entrepreneurs that are trying to focus on managing their cash flows, managing their resources, and scaling their businesses. The next thing that makes 36 Degrees North unique is of course, our community.

It’s tough being an entrepreneur. It’s not easy. It’s really hard. It’s painful. It’s scary. It’s isolating. But when you can be in an environment like 36 Degrees North where you’re surrounded by others that are going through the same thing, or they’ve been through the same process of building and growing a company, it gives you confidence in the decisions you’re making. Having access for those people to interact with, to bounce feedback, to get ideas. All that community makes you a better entrepreneur. And at 36 Degrees North, you’re surrounded by those other entrepreneurs that are trying to build and grow the same community. That makes a big difference. It’s intangible, but it’s probably one of the most important pieces of being a successful entrepreneur. 

The third thing is the resources. There are lots of places you can go and have an office. There are a lot of great office buildings. There are a lot of really cool office buildings.

The resources that entrepreneurs need as they’re building and scaling their companies are essential to their success. And at 36 Degrees North, we work really hard to cultivate and curate those resources for entrepreneurs. We work with partners, tons of partner organizations, other groups that come in and provide training, workshops, meetups. We host over 400 of these every year — just for entrepreneurs. So, no matter what stage you’re at, no matter the industry sector you’re a part of, you know that you become to 36 Degrees North, and there’s going to be a resource available or we’ll help you find the resource. And you can have those all under one roof at 36 Degrees North. 

The last thing I’ll mention, and like every one of these organizations up here today and all of you — we can’t do it alone. It takes partnerships. It takes collaboration. The spirit of collaboration is a key ingredient of success for this community going forward. And I’m so excited that at 36 Degrees North, we are very fortunate and very grateful to have incredible support from our partners. You see our founding partners there on the screen — the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, George Kaiser Family Foundation, Tulsa Tech, and the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce. We could not exist without these organizations. In addition to these founding partners, we have hundreds of other partners that we work with throughout the course of the year to provide programs and resources and services to all the entrepreneurs that we serve, and we could not do it alone.

So, I’m excited to be in Tulsa. I’m excited about this first kickoff COG event. I’m excited about what’s coming down the pipeline. You’re going to see some big things in this community. This is just the beginning and I think that we can really recognize that as a community, we have a lot to be proud of and we’ve got a lot of potential for where we can go and what we can do. So, Clint, thank you, Chuck. Thank you guys for having us here today. This is great. I’m excited to be here.

Learn more about the Tulsa Center of Gravity (COG) Group here.