Home Back Issues Jan/Feb 2012 The sell-out state

The sell-out state

| Print |  Email
Articles - Jan/Feb 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Article Index
The sell-out state
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5

 

0112_SelloutState_08
Founded in Portland in 2006, Kettleman’s sold in November 2011 to the national restaurant group that operates Noah’s New York Bagels.
// Photo by Alexandra Shyshkina

As Oregon tries to dig out from the recession, there are signs that some of the social and economic conditions that affect Oregon M&A activity may be changing: new laws expediting permitting of companies on industrial land, a burgeoning activewear industry cluster, and passage of education reform legislation to begin shoring up state universities.

The Oregon Innovation Council recently awarded $1.2 million to a new collaborative, Drive Oregon, intended to commercialize electric vehicles. “The only way to do it in a small state is to recognize you’re small and you need to work together and pool your resources,” says Chen.

Meanwhile, ESCO and Erickson AirCrane may end the Oregon IPO drought, and among the new generation of companies and entrepreneurs, especially in the tech community. Portland-based Puppet Labs, which develops IT automation software, and Urban Airship, a mobile software developer also in Portland, are actually getting big. The latter’s transformation from unemployment benefit-funded startup to a 600% annual growth rate already is becoming the stuff of 
legend.

“There’s nothing in their DNA saying: ‘I’m going to be a nice little Oregon company. They’re world-class,” says Diane Fraiman, a partner at Voyager Capital, based in Portland and Seattle, about this new generation.

Maybe Urban Airship, which launched in 2009 and has since attracted about $26 million in investment capital, will become the next Mentor Graphics. Then again, such companies may still be swimming against the tide. As a growing number of commentators have noted, the entrepreneurial ethos is becoming a hallmark of our era.

“Generation Y is born to start up,” proclaimed Fast Company in November. If that’s the case, Oregon is on the frontlines. Writing in a recent New York Times essay, Portland author William Deresiewicz described the region as an epicenter for “Generation Sell,” in which “today’s ideal social form is not the commune or the movement or even the individual creator as such; it’s the small business.”

Deifying innovative locally owned small businesses put Oregon on the global map. But the region’s love of the new idea, and its acquisition and scaling by outsiders, has also become something of a metaphor. If we don’t figure out how to keep and grow more of our innovation — be it in coffee, clean tech, or urban planning — the region’s unique topography may just disappear.

Linda Baker is the managing editor of Oregon Business. She can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



 

Comments   

 
Juvenal Goldstein
0 #1 DiasporaJuvenal Goldstein 2012-01-23 10:46:40
Oregon is a hostile business environment and Portland is a branch office town.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Green your workplace

News
Thursday, April 03, 2014
100Green14logo200oxBY OB STAFF

Learn how to green your workplace and lower your environmental footprint at the office. Oregon Business presents a two-hour "Greening Your Workplace" seminar on May 28th, 2014 at the Nines Hotel in Portland.


Read more...

Branching out

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
DSC04185BY LINDA BAKER

A blueberry bush is a blueberry bush — except when it’s a blueberry tree.


Read more...

How to handle the unexpected

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 28, 2014
03.28.14 thumb disasterBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

The next mysterious (or disastrous) event could be one that you or your team might suddenly need to respond to, probably under intense scrutiny.


Read more...

Small business sales go big

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BY BRANDON SAWYER

Sales of small businesses surged in 2013 according to the biggest Internet marketplace of such transactions, BizBuySell, increasing to 7,056 reported sales, a 24% increase over 2012, when they dropped 7%. Portland Metro sales tracked by the site grew 9% to 73, capping three years of solid growth. On top of that, Portland’s median sale price jumped 67% to $250K, versus just 13% to $180K nationally. Portland was one of just six metros tracked where the median sale price matched the median asking price, with sellers getting, on average, 92% of what they asked.

BTNMarch14 tableBTNMarch14 line


BTNMarch14 piePDXBTNMarch14 pieUSA


Read more...

Leader's bookshelf

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 14, 2014
02.06.14 BooksBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Five books that will make you a better leader.


Read more...

Video: Kickstarting Oregon business

News
Thursday, March 27, 2014
02.04.14 Thumbnail VideoBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.


Read more...

Spreading the wealth

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
HiResBY PAIGE PARKER

A money management firm broadens its reach. 


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