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

6 chiefs of staff dish on their bosses

The Latest
Thursday, February 05, 2015
legilistiblog-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

We ask chiefs of staff for the scoop on Oregon legislators.


Read more...

7 industry trends of 2015

The Latest
Friday, January 09, 2015
covertrends15-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Industry groups identify top trends for 2015.


Read more...

Meeting Facilities Perspective

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A conversation with Donna Earley, director of sales and marketing for the Salem Convention Center.


Read more...

Downtime with the president of NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Live, Work, Play: Catching up with Chris Johnson.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Tortoise and the Hare

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015

The day after this issue goes to press, the city of Medford will host its annual business conference. The event features Minoli Ratnatunga, co-author of the Milken Institute’s annual “Best-Performing Cities” report. Preliminary data suggests that Medford is likely to retain its No. 1 ranking among best-performing small cities for having a higher concentration of high-tech firms than the national average. 


Read more...

All Rise

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Don’t just sit there. For a healthy workplace, move up and down — and all around.


Read more...

4 married couples who work together

The Latest
Thursday, January 22, 2015
IMG 0020BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

They say maintaining a healthy marriage takes work. So does running a business with your spouse.


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