A place to call our ownWhen the Frisco railroad extended a line from Vinita to the Arkansas river in 1882, Tulsa was on the map. In those early frontier days, one of the first businesses in any settlement was the blacksmith. The blacksmith used forging techniques to hammer out raw metal and create needed materials such as nails and horseshoes. No town could grow and prosper without a blacksmith and a forge.
TYPros takes the lead
In 2005, concerned with job losses and needing to combat the “brain drain” of Tulsa talent, the Tulsa Regional Chamber initiated the Tulsa's Young Professionals group. Part social networking, part activism and part business development, TYPros quickly expands its membership as young Tulsans age 20-40 work together to create a community they envision.
One of the core concepts of TYPros is the “crew.” Crews are TYPros members that are interested in a particular topic or issue and that can be organized and mobilized to support a cause. One of the many TYPros crew is the business development crew.
The Forge is born
From the early days of TYPros, the business development crew has been planning to create a business development center or incubator that would allow young entrepreneurs to set up shop in a low-cost, supportive environment. To attract and retain creative and innovative people, a support network and a place to call our own would be needed.
After some false starts, in 2009 a downtown property was offered to TYPros at a discounted rate. The Tulsa Regional Chamber has provided initial funding and the TYPros business development crew has worked hard to secure additional funding through sponsorship.
Hundreds of volunteer hours were put into readying The Forge Shop at 206 S. Cheyenne to accept tenants. The opening of the facility in June 2010 was the culmination of years of hard work and is an investment in the future of Tulsa.
Where we are today
Now, the Forge looks to a new era of exciting opportunities. In the fall of 2011, a federal grant was secured that allowed the Forge to purchase and remodel its permanent home. In September 2012, the doors of the Forge opened at the Wright Building, located at 125 W. Third Street, on the corner of Third and Cheyenne.