Feb 10, 2021

Startup Junkie Foundation, Tahlequah Partner to Develop Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Foundation tasked with helping build a sustainable venture ecosystem in Cherokee County

Startup Junkie Foundation announced today an official partnership with the Tahlequah Regional Development Authority (TRDA) to conduct a study of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tahlequah, Okla., and the surrounding Cherokee County region. Startup Junkie Foundation will also develop a roadmap for creating and sustaining a thriving venture ecosystem in the Northeast Oklahoma region.

The Fayetteville-based entrepreneurial support organization Startup Junkie Foundation will utilize a team of consultants to assess the economic landscape of the region, identify strengths, barriers, underutilized opportunities and more. The team will help identify and develop a network of resource partners and build a roadmap for long-term economic viability in the Tahlequah startup and small business community. 

The project launched on Feb. 1 and is slated to conclude in May. The project is a collaboration with the city of Tahlequah to support existing small businesses and the development of new businesses over the next 10 years. The TRDA will be charged with implementation of Startup Junkie Foundation’s ecosystem-building recommendations to be delivered in May. 

“I have worked with Startup Junkie for many years and know the expertise they bring to the table,” said Nathan Reed, president of the TRDA. “Martha and the team that will be working locally in Tahlequah will be able to help our area small businesses and entrepreneurs receive the help they need to grow and thrive. TRDA is excited to create a partnership with the City of Tahlequah, Startup Junkie Foundation, the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Tahlequah Regional Development Authority to make sure every opportunity is identified to support the businesses and individuals that make up our amazing region. We plan to use this roadmap to propel Tahlequah forward.” 

Martha Londagin, Startup Junkie Foundation executive consultant and Delaware County, Okla., resident, will lead the project in Tahlequah, meeting with community stakeholders and business owners, developing an assessment of the region’s economic landscape and support resources available for businesses. Before joining the Startup Junkie Foundation team, Londagin has served the Northeast Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas communities as a public-school educator, attorney, small business banker and business consultant. 

“Four lines of my family have lived in or owned small businesses in Tahlequah since the late1890s, and my husband is an NSU graduate,” said Londagin. “I have a lifetime of experiences here and a great desire to be allowed the opportunity to serve and support Tahlequah in the coming months. 

“I very much look forward to learning about its current, incredible small business community, its resources, and to helping the TRDA identify the needs of its business community overall and planning for future growth and sustainability after the COVID crisis,” she added. “I encourage all persons interested in Tahlequah’s business future to please reach out to me to talk.” 

Community stakeholders and business owners interested in proposing ideas or providing input to Startup Junkie Foundation through local meetings with Martha Londagin or by telephone or Zoom meetings are encouraged to do so by contacting Reed at the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce by email at Nathan@tahlequahchamber.com or by phone at 918-456-3742. 

Banner image credit: Caleb Long, via Wikipedia