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March 15, 2013

Build Bartlesville Innovative Ideas Competition Awards $13,000 to Local Startups

Tim and Sara Kilpatrick, founders of Hero Factor Games™, were selected as first-place winners of this year’s Build Bartlesville Innovative Ideas competition, which handed out awards during a March 14 ceremony.

man and woman with check

Hero Factor Games™ was awarded $8,500 in seed grant funds for the continued development of the business, which designs and develops mobile games with content that supports positive personal, family and community values.

Heartland Roasters, a local specialty coffee roasting company with both wholesale and retail customers, was selected as runners-up and received a $4,500 grant to expand its business. The startup firm was founded by Wesley Lantrip, Michael Young and Tony Phillips. 

Tim Kilpatrick of Hero Factor GamesTM said, “We are honored and blessed to be chosen for this year's BUILD Bartlesville award.”

The company will continue developing its first game for mobile platforms such as smartphone and tablets. Their product will be a story-centric, fast-paced puzzle game that educates players on basic principles of physics and chemistry, reinforces strong family values and establishes the church as a supportive entity for individuals and community in need.

The couple has vowed to “use our powers for good,” by providing positive content to the mobile game industry.

“This program is a wonderful opportunity for young and growing Bartlesville businesses to gain visibility, sharpen business ideas and garner financial support,” said Tim Kilpatrick. “We are so thankful to RSU's Innovation Center, the Bartlesville Development Corporation, and all of the people who organized and supported the competition.”

Heartland Roasters will use their award to buy a sample roaster that will help it increase their production capacity.

men with check

“The award funds from the BUILD Bartlesville competition will have a positive impact on our business,” Lantrip said. “Participation in the BUILD Bartlesville competition, including writing business proposals and presenting our ideas to community leaders, helped us solidify our marketing plans and value proposition. We would like to thank RSU, Bartlesville Development Corporation and all the sponsors and supporters that made this year's BUILD Bartlesville competition possible. Our business and the Bartlesville community is better for it.”

This is the second year for the competition. The competition emerged through the RSU Innovation Center’s Business Solutions Committee, which sought to use the Innovative Ideas competition to spur innovation and produce new starts-ups or expand existing small businesses in the Bartlesville area.

This year’s Build Bartlesville competition kicked off in November with a call for proposals. By mid-January, 15 “intent to compete” forms were received, which resulted in six finalists. The finalists went through coaching and ended the competition with oral presentations to a panel of judges, which included Dr. Ray Brown,  economic development specialist; David Wood, president of Bartlesville Development Corporation; and Byron Boles, president of Boles Management.

“Both contestants exhibited a real potential to create businesses that will bring wealth and job creation to the Bartlesville community,” Wood said.

The Build Bartlesville program’s mission is dedicated to the entrepreneurial spirit of small business start-ups and the expansion of existing small business in the Bartlesville area. One of the goals of the competition was to bring new revenue to the community rather than compete for existing revenues already coming into the community.

“Start-up businesses are generally risky,” said Jeri Koehler, Director of the RSU Innovation Center. “However, adequate research and preparation greatly increases the likelihood of a successful business.  Both winning contestants spent the time and effort to learn industry trends, evaluate their market, acquire knowledge relative to their prospective business through on the job training, and have developed a plan for creating a profitable business.”

The Build Bartlesville innovative ideas competition is a collaboration between RSU and the Bartlesville Development Corporation. Area sponsors include the 66 Federal Credit Union, Armstrong Bank, RCB Bank, the Strategy Center at Tri County Technology Center, Woolaroc, the Price Tower and the Bartlesville History Museum. The official media sponsors for the event are Bartlesville Radio and the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise newspaper.

For more information on the two companies, visit their web sites at www.herofactorgames.com or www.heartlandroasters.com.

For more information on the competition, visit www.buildbartlesville.info.