The Tulsa Remote program has successfully brought over 2,000 remote workers, digital nomads, solopreneurs, and aspiring small business owners to the city since its launch in 2018.
This highly successful program has generated $62 million for the local economy. Tulsa Remote has directly created 198 new full-time jobs and supports another 592 jobs within the city.
Here's what you need to know about the Tulsa Remote program and other similar remote work initiatives.
What Is the Tulsa Remote Program?
Started by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Tulsa Remote program is a recruitment initiative to bring the brightest professional minds to the city of Tulsa.
It's a one-year program where eligible and approved individuals get $10,000 as a grant (split amongst relocation expenses and monthly living stipend), plus other exclusive perks when they move to Tulsa and start their business there.
Benefits offered as part of the program include:
Free desk space at 36 Degrees North, a prime downtown location
Opportunity to join a growing and supportive entrepreneurial community
Exclusive access to professional networking events
Discounted rates and assistance in finding housing
The Tulsa Remote program is part of Oklahoma state's economic development strategy to encourage bright, highly skilled, and talented remote workers and entrepreneurs to move to the state.
What Are the Requirements for the Tulsa Remote Program?
To stand a chance at becoming a member of Tulsa Remote, you need to meet the following criteria:
Be 18 or older
Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
Currently, be working remotely or self-employed outside the state of Oklahoma
Be willing to move to Tulsa for a minimum of 12 months
You cannot apply to Tulsa Remote if you're already based in Oklahoma or are working for a company that is based out of the state. So, if you are a remote worker for a company headquartered in Tulsa, you won't be eligible for the program.
How Competitive Is Tulsa Remote?
It's safe to say that Tulsa Remote is one of the best and most successful economic and recruitment programs. Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury, associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, comments, "Tulsa Remote program is the playbook for how to engage participants and create value for the community in the heartland."
Applications are screened by the Tulsa Remote committee and finalists are required to undergo video interviews. If an applicant has limited or absolutely no exposure to living in Tulsa, the program might schedule an in-person interview.
Tulsa Remote FAQs
Want more information on Tulsa Remote? We've addressed some of the most frequently asked questions:
Once Accepted, How Soon Do I Have to Move to Tulsa?
You have 12 months to make the move to Tulsa once accepted into the program.
I Recently Moved to Tulsa. Can I Apply for Tulsa Remote?
No, you cannot. Tulsa Remote was created to attract talent and business owners who reside outside Oklahoma during the time of application.
I Am on an H1B Visa. Can I Apply for Tulsa Remote?
Unfortunately, no. The program is only for U.S. citizens or permanent residents (green card holders).
Can I Apply If I am Currently Working in a Non-Remote Role, But Can Transition to a Remote Work Role?
Yes, Tusla Remote accepts applications from anybody who can work remotely. However, they will verify that you can do your work remotely.
If Selected for the Program, Do I Have to Live in Tulsa?
Yes, you'd have to live within Tulsa city limits. Surrounding areas, such as Bixby, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Sand Springs, or Sapulpa, are not considered part of Tulsa.
Can Couples or Families Apply to Tulsa Remote?
Absolutely yes. Couples and families are more than welcome to apply to the program if eligible. However, for application purposes, it's best if all family members or partners apply within a two-week time period. So, if your partner applies for the program on April 1, then your application should be received no later than April 14.
I Am in the Process of Moving to Tulsa. Can I Apply?
No, you can't apply to the program if you are in the process of moving to Tulsa and have already signed a lease or purchased a home. Other scenarios that disqualify you from applying include working with a realtor, closing in on your home, or being in escrow.
6 Other Programs Like Tulsa Remote
Tulsa Remote isn't the only attractive funding option out there for newbie business owners. Several companies and states have their own programs that are just as competitive and successful. We have rounded up some of the best programs and grants that will ease the gap between your entrepreneurship dreams and reality.
Incfile Entrepreneurship Grant
Incfile's Entrepreneurial Grant offers budding business owners, including teenpreneurs, $2,500 towards launching their dreams. Two grants are offered: the Young Entrepreneur Scholarship Grant and the Fresh Start Business Grant.
The requirements for each grant differ as follows:
One year of formation services (including Registered Agent service and tax consulting)
21 years +
Interested in starting or growing a business
March 31, 2023
The Choose Topeka relocation program is another scheme designed to attract remote and on-site workers to live in the state capital of Kansas. The initiative was originally launched to provide relocation benefits for employees of local businesses when government officials realized the city wasn't growing and businesses were having difficulty finding talent.
However, since August 2022, the program has changed its gears, now offering up to $10,000 for remote workers to relocate to Topeka for at least one year.
The short application process and minimum eligibility criteria make it one of the fastest programs to get funding from.
Choose Topeka offers two types of financial assistance — the first is for on-site workers. They can receive up to $10,000 for rent expenses or $15,000 for purchasing a house. For remote and self-employed people, the program offers up to $5,000 to cover rent for the initial year or up to $10,000 towards buying a home.
Vermont New Remote Worker Grant
The Vermont New Remote Worker Grant is one of the longest-standing remote worker initiatives in the country. This grant seeks to not only bring talent to the area and improve the local economy but also show that Green State offers much more than forests.
The New Remote Worker Grant is funded through the Virginia Legislative and it's designed for remote workers who are already working for a company headquartered outside the state borders. The plan provides up to $7,500 in relocation reimbursement.
There are two steps to securing financial aid:
First, you need to complete the online pre-application process, which requires you to provide the following documents:
Current physical and mailing address
An out-of-state ID with the current address listed
Current residency documentation (any two from the following list will suffice):
Out-of-state housing lease or purchase contract (signed)
Out-of-state utility bill with service address
Out-of-state property tax bill
Out-of-state homeowner/renter insurance policy
Employer name and address
Employer contact person name, title, and phone number
What does the program offer? Anyone who lives and works in Maine and has obtained an associate, bachelor's, or graduate degree from an accredited community college, college, or university after December 31, 2007, stands to receive a refundable tax credit of up to $2,500 per year for eligible student loan payments. There's a $25,000 lifetime cap.
Digital nomads, freelancers, and those wanting to wear the "boss hat" can also look at Remote Shoals in Northwest Alabama. The Shoals Economic Development Authority launched this program to increase business and employment opportunities within the region.
What is the sweet deal offered by Remote Shoals? Selected individuals stand to receive up to a $10,000 cash incentive (based on earnings) that's paid out in stages. You also get a chance to join a growing community of like-minded individuals.
To be considered for this program and gain advantages such as low business cost, affordable cost of living, and minimal income tax, you need to meet the following criteria:
Earn $52,000 or more per year
Be able to relocate to the Shoals area within six months of being selected
Currently, be self-employed or working as a full-time remote employee outside Colbert and Lauderdale counties
Be 18 or older
Be authorized to work in the United States.
The application process includes an online application, proof of employment (which could be your LLC paperwork if you have already formed one), and an online interview. Some third-party testing may be included, but this is optional.
Ascend West Virginia
Ascend West Virginia is providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience for remote workers, solopreneurs, and digital nomads to work from the mountains.
This innovative, remote work program was made possible by Brad Smith and his wife, Alys. It gives interested remote workers or budding entrepreneurs $12,000 in cash to relocate to one of the cities in the state. The first $10,000 is given in the first year and the pending $2,000 is transferred at the start of the second. Whether you put this money towards buying a house or upgrading your car, the choice is yours.
And the benefits don't stop there. The state gives you access to outdoor recreation activities like canoeing, white water rafting, and skiing for a year for free. Participants also receive a designated co-working space which can reduce their startup business costs.
Applications are open to join this growing entrepreneurial community in three locations within the state. You need to be 18 or older, a U.S. citizen or green card holder, working for a company outside of West Virginia, or an aspiring business owner to be considered.
Feed Your Entrepreneurial Soul
The costs of a startup can add up quickly. Programs like Tulsa Remote or any form of financial assistance can go a long way in making your business dreams a reality.
So, if you're an aspiring business owner or teenprenuer looking to reduce the financial burden of starting your own venture, apply for a grant like Incfile's Entrepreneurial Grant to get started on your journey.
Swara Ahluwalia is a freelance content writer with experience in the technical, B2B and SaaS domain. She also has curated content for various lifestyle brands. In her downtime, you will most likely find Swara training for her next marathon or spending time with her two daughters.