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By Tulsa Idea Challenge staff

Two women have been awarded $25,000 for an idea they came up with as part of the first-ever Tulsa Idea Challenge. The event was held at OSU-Tulsa from April 27 to April 29 and presented by Atento Capital, Builders + Backers and Tulsa Remote.

Nicole Murray and Misha Shah received the money for their idea called “Our Safety Drone,” which aims to help schools identify immediate threats on campus through security drones, improving overall safety and response times.

With an average of 32 school shootings a year nationwide, Murray and Shah felt developing a school safety solution would also prevent the loss of learning and reduce anxiety by confirming when possible threats aren’t on campus.

Murray said she is grateful she and Shah were selected as the winning team. The two were randomly paired together at the workshop and competition. 

“The challenge introduced Misha into my life not only as someone I am building a genuine friendship [with], but as another woman of color willing to collaborate and solve problems in our community and nation,” Murray said.

Shah said the Tulsa Idea Challenge was an exhilarating experience.

“I had the opportunity to collaborate with such an amazing partner and share our unique passions to generate a truly exceptional idea for the world,” she said. “We worked very well together to construct a complex concept that is easy to understand and resonates well with society. It was an absolute delight to win the Challenge and represent being a woman of color in entrepreneurship.”

With the potential technology, educators, police and parents would be on the same page and could understand when a threat is imminent.

Gun violence has become a prominent issue, leading to over 57% of teens in constant worry and fear of surviving the school day. The solution would provide relevant, unbiased data that can prevent disruption within classrooms so that educators and students could concentrate on learning, feeling safe, and reducing the amount of anxiety that permeates within families across the nation.

The tech would scan and notify first responders, police, staff, and parents of any immediate threats. Rather than relying on alerts by educators, the technology would automatically deliver alerts and notify authorities of the specific person, location, and amount of weapons they had at the time of the threat. 

Over 250 participants

The women were one of several teams at the Tulsa Idea Challenge, an event created to reignite and activate the entrepreneurial spirit in Tulsa. The workshop and competition, held in April, helped more than 250 participants learn how to collaborate and transform an idea into action. 

Originally from Hartford, Connecticut, Murray moved to Tulsa in 1996 and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. After earning an undergraduate and masters degree in education, she was an elementary and special needs teacher in Tulsa before becoming Dean of Students at Collegiate Hall Charter School. 

Shah relocated from Nashville, Tennessee, four months ago through the Tulsa Remote program. She is an operations executive and has more than 17 years of experience working with entrepreneurs in technology and idea execution through her own company, Think Latitude.

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