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|Articles - March 2013|
|Monday, February 25, 2013|
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BY STEVE WARGA
In retrospect, it seems almost inevitable that a supremely innovative, self-confessed “gearhead” like Craig Bramscher would eventually conceive the idea of building the world’s most advanced electric-powered motorcycle. The Empulse greeted the world in December 2012 to rave reviews from both motorcycle enthusiasts and green-energy advocates. This emission-free sport bike is not your average plug-in scooter. It can reach speeds over 100 mph and can go as far as 100 miles between charges, all wrapped in a design that’s turned the burgeoning e-motorcycle world on its ear.
Ashland-based Brammo’s certified green machines are what CEO and founder Bramscher believes to be part of the answer to the question of what will replace internal combustion engines and their voracious appetites for distilled petroleum products.
“I know that electric vehicles are better than gas for the planet, for the vehicle and for the people, long term,” Bramscher says. “It’s a good fight to fight. I believe in it 100%.” He’d like to see Oregon fully onboard with the green revolution, too.
Thanks to Bramscher’s team of talented and dedicated engineers, designers, fabricators and support staff, numbering close to 100, Brammo has grown from an impudent upstart to a global brand name in little more than three years. He jokes that his crew, many of whom have been on board since the beginning, has acquired a narrowly focused cynicism. Every time he says something can’t be done, they turn around and do it better and quicker than anyone’s done it before.
This out-of-the-box thinking comes from the top down. Four years ago, Bramscher, 52, had a prototype commuter e-motorcycle, the Enertia, limited capital and no distribution network. The solution? “We thought it’s mostly an electronic device,” he says. “So why not talk to a high-profile electronics retailer?” That August, Best Buy infused $10 million into the company and started making plans to stock Brammo products alongside all those big-screen TVs and other consumer electronics on display to “half a billion visitors per year,” compared to about 10 million prospects, total, in all the motorcycle dealerships in the country.
Best Buy has since had to withdraw from the dealership program. But Bramscher says they’re still onboard with their stake in Brammo.
For 2013 the company offers three separate motorcycle platforms, including a motocross bike, the Engage. They’re taking orders now for multiple configurations at prices ranging from $7,995 to $18,995. The dealership development team says it would like to see “35 top-tier dealers” by 2014. It’s all part of their intent to be a “significant player” in a global market estimated to grow to 18.6 million units by 2018, according to Pike Research of Boulder, Colo.
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.
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.
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 TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE
I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
OB Research Editor Kim Moore shares some pointers about the 100 Best Companies to Work For survey.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Tom Cox interviews Pete Friedes, author of "The 2R Manager," about becoming a Best Boss.
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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.