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|Tuesday, July 01, 2008|
They’re young, they’re creative and we’re guessing you’ve never heard of them. Meet some of the coolest startups running around Silicon Forest today.
STORIES BY ABRAHAM HYATT
PHOTOS BY MICHAEL G. HALLE
It’s not hard to anthropomorphize Sandy, the cheerful, free, web-based personal “assistant” launched by Dornfest last November. Her purpose is simple: keeping your calendar and to-do lists organized. But as the two of you communicate in natural language via email, text message, or Twitter — the social networking service that allows you to broadcast 140-character messages to people you choose — she starts to feel a little like the secretary you never had.
When Lorenzini says NuScale is developing a small nuclear reactor, he’s not kidding. He means “fits on a railroad car” small. He means 15-feet-by-60-feet small. True, that doesn’t take into account the other parts of a power plant, like a turbine and a generator. But compared to the multi-acre footprint of traditional nuclear power plants, this reactor design is tiny.
NuScale grew out of a federally funded study done by Oregon State University and other groups in 2000. Two years ago the university decided to commercialize the work and in 2007, via OSU’s tech transfer program, NuScale was born. The company went through its first funding round in January (Lorenzini declines to say how much was raised). The company is now focusing on marketing and the federal permitting process, which will take several years to prepare for and then complete.
WeoGeo is undoubtedly the wonkiest startup on the list. And they’re also the newest to wear the “based in Portland” label. The company moved here from Florida earlier this year and now shares office space with other startups in PSU’s business accelerator. The company describes itself as a “one-stop marketplace for mapping.” But these aren’t maps for Sunday drivers. These are high-resolution, data-intensive maps used by scientists, surveyors and engineers. Users store, sell and buy data. That sounds simple until you see the server-busting size of these maps, which makes distribution, storage and even search functions very difficult.
Find a cool web page online, click the bookmark function on your web browser and here’s what happens: Your browser remembers the location of that page. That’s it. Come back the next day and the page you’ve linked to — for example, a receipt for an online purchase or a form you’ve filled out — has changed. It’s called “dynamic content” — information that changes automatically as user information or a server database changes.
The phrase used again and again to describe LUNARR’s collaboration platform is “deceptively simple.” And the minute you start to play with the idea, you see why. Open up a Microsoft Word document filled with data from a group project you’re working on. Type some new info onto it. But wait, before you attach this thing to an email to send to a co-worker, click on the dog-eared corner in the upper right-hand corner. The document gracefully flips around.
“Web 2.0” is the now-ubiquitous term for websites and applications that allow users to interact and collaborate. Long ago the term degenerated into an overused buzzword, but it’s still around. Why? Because people keep coming up with great ways to interact online. Take OsoEco, for example, which describes itself as a sustainable social shopping community. OsoEco is targeting a type of shopper called social researchers — consumers who spend a significant amount of time learning from other online shoppers before purchasing something.
OK, for No. 10 we’re going to cheat a little. Instead of focusing on one company, here are five young Portland-based web companies. All of them rank in the Top 26 of Techvibes.com’s monthly ranking of startups in Portland. (The Techvibes list averages the findings of two other companies, Alexa and Compete, which track web traffic at thousands of sites.) Maybe these guys aren’t the next eBay — which 71.6 million people visited in April, according to Compete — but they do offer another peek at the creative tech startups that dot Oregon’s business landscape.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
BY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER
Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.
Thursday, July 03, 2014
BY TED AUSTIN & MIKE BAELE | GUEST CONTRIBUTORS
The Office of Economic Analysis announced that Oregon is currently enjoying the strongest job growth since 2006. While this resurgence has been welcome, the lingering effects of the 2008 “Great Recession” continues to affect Oregon businesses, especially with regard to estate planning and business succession.
Monday, July 14, 2014
BY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE
I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.
Friday, July 18, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”
Friday, June 27, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER
Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.
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Vigilant enters a New Year with a new president.
How George Fox has become one of Oregon's largest private universities.
Forest Grove sees growth in the burgeoning food and beverage scene.
Lane Powell Shareholder William T. Patton has been appointed to the board of directors for Cascade AIDS Project, an organization that provides educational services and outreach to thousands of Oregonians living with HIV/AIDS.
Fifty-one Lane Powell lawyers were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® (Best Lawyers) 2015; of those selected, 23 lawyers are from the Firm’s office in Portland, Oregon.
Barran Liebman is proud to announce that Andrew Schpak, a Partner of the firm, has been named Chair of the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division for the 2014-2015 bar year.