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|Articles - June 2011|
|Wednesday, May 18, 2011|
Page 3 of 5
“We’re developing a more global sales team to capture this business,” says Sowards. “Because there’s business to be had. We’re growing it every day.”
Scott Goddin, director of the Portland Export Assistance Center, says one of Oregon’s strengths as an exporter is a strong supply of businesses that make components for industrial applications. Rather than moving into a new market independently, these companies partner with a larger business with global reach — say, Boeing or Intel or Apple or General Electric — and fill a niche in the supply chain. That business model has proved lucrative for two of Oregon’s healthiest corporations: Precision Castparts (which sells to Boeing) and TriQuint Semiconductor (which sells to Apple). It has also enabled far smaller businesses such as Columbia Green to go global for the first time.
Columbia Green was a tiny green roof business headquartered in Portland’s Central Eastside when CEO Vanessa Keitges signed a deal with Firestone Building Products in August 2010. The deal “expanded our reach overnight,” Keitges says. “In about six months we quoted $15 million in green roof projects. We never would have been able to do that on our own.”
A recent trip to Toronto with Portland Mayor Sam Adams helped Keitges close Columbia Green’s first major international sale, a million-dollar deal for the roof of a Wal-Mart planned for Vancouver, B.C. It probably won’t be the last sale of its kind, given strict new laws requiring green roofs for new buildings in Toronto and Vancouver. Keitges says she expects Columbia Green to grow from five employees to 12 in 2012, while providing significant work for the manufacturing company in Camas, Wash., that builds the roof linings, the Canby business that supplies the pumice-based soil for the roofs and the Portland freight company that ships it all into the Firestone supply chain.
Few businesses have wider global reach than Firestone. One of the few that does is General Electric, which signed a memorandum of understanding with the City of Portland several years ago to nurture green innovators. As a result of that partnership, eight local clean-tech businesses vetted by city economic development officials recently met with GE representatives to pitch their ideas and explore potential partnerships.
Perpetua Power Source Technologies hopes to get a similar boost from its recently announced partnership with Altima Corp. to distribute its products in Japan. The 20-employee Corvallis company has created an innovative small-scale power source that uses no fuel, instead converting heat from industrial processes into electricity. “We have a product that works, and it fits into their distribution channels,” says vice president of marketing Jerry Wiant.
Friday, August 15, 2014
In this week's poll, we asked readers: "Who should pay for the troubled Cover Oregon website?" Here are the results.
Monday, July 07, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.
Monday, July 14, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.
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, July 09, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.
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.
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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.