Seed synergy

| Print |  Email
Articles - November 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
1111_SeedSynergy_07
Shields (at right) started Zinofile, a media company that publishes free ad-supported comics inside Facebook.
// Photo by Anthony Pidgeon
The perspective that comes from experience, and the willingness to share it openly, can offer valuable insight to entrepreneurs such as Daniel Clancey, CEO of Homeschool Snowboarding, the sole non-tech company backed by the seed fund. Clancey, a former Columbia Sportswear designer who has been boarding in the Pacific Northwest for 15 years, says he has learned plenty since being selected. “It’s been really nice to have people to talk to about the problems you’ve been having,” he says. “We’ve been going solo for three years. I’m learning as I go, and the challenges have been too numerous to mention.”

Still, Homeschool has made serious progress from its funky headquarters in a rickety brick building near the Albina rail yard. Clancey has negotiated a production deal with a factory in Thailand, assembled a demo team of star riders and grown the company to four people with experience at Columbia and Burton. His line of breathable pants and jackets will be selling this fall at key shops throughout the Northwest including U.S. Outdoor in Portland, Tactics in Eugene and Snowboard Connection in Seattle.

Clancey acknowledges that an apparel company may seem out of place in the world of tech startups. But he thinks his experience can add to the discussion. “I’ve learned a lot from the other companies, and I hope they pick up things from what we’re doing too,” he says.

Peer mentoring works best when brutal honesty rules. “You need people who are willing to call bullshit on you,” says Todd Silverstein, CEO of Vizify. “You need someone who isn’t afraid to ask you hard questions. The people who have been most useful have been the people who have not been at all nice.”

Silverstein and co-founders Eli Tucker and Jeff Cutler-Stamm worked for Monsoon in Portland during that company’s boom years, and the hiring process was a team effort. Their idea for Vizify springs from the frustration of plowing through one boring resume after another. Vizify seeks to incorporate visual elements into resumes to help candidates stand out.

 



 

More Articles

It's a Man's Man's Man's World

May 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Male tech workers speak out on the industry's gender troubles.


Read more...

6 highlights from the Craft Brewers Conference

The Latest
Friday, April 17, 2015
thumbcbcPHOTOS BY  JASON E. KAPLAN

The 32nd annual CBC attracted a record number of attendees (11,000)  to the Oregon Convention Center.


Read more...

6 development projects reshaping Bend

The Latest
Thursday, April 09, 2015
bendthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Bend has reclaimed its prerecession title as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.


Read more...

The Health Guru

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Mohan Nair channels a visionary.


Read more...

Short Shrift:The threat of just-in-time scheduling

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Companies can benefit when they use software to meet staffing requirements and address employees' family and life commitments.


Read more...

The Road to Reinvention

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Damian Smith bets on changing himself — and Portland — through consulting.


Read more...

Footloose

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Founded 12 years ago, Keen Inc. likes to push the envelope, starting with the debut of the “Newport” closed toe sandal in 2003. Since then, the company has opened a factory on Swan Island and a sleek new headquarters in the Pearl District. The brand’s newest offering, UNEEK, is a sandal made from two woven cords and not much more.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS