Home Back Issues December 2010 Capital flows into fresh ideas

Capital flows into fresh ideas

| Print |  Email
Articles - December 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
1210_ATS19
Reenst Lesemann of Columbia Power Technologies (top left) and Dan Afrasiabi of CardPower (top right) pitch their business ideas at OEN's Venture Northwest event at the Governor Hotel. // Photos by Shaun Strickland
As bad as the job market has been for 2010, the capital-raising market has been surprisingly good, and this year’s finalists at Venture Northwest offered strong reasons as to why.

Among the companies vying for top honors in the annual event hosted by the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network were anti-malarial drug developer DesignMedix, wave energy specialist Columbia Energy Technologies and software developer GreenPrint, which has developed software to eliminate wasteful printing in the office.

Those finalists and the other businesses that made presentations all featured fresh ideas in growing markets ranging from e-commerce to DNA sequencers. Some are certain to join the growing list of Oregon companies that have scored venture funding, including Puppet Labs, Azuray Technology and G5 Search Marketing.

But the central theme from the gathering was that Oregon has a long way to go. Investments remain paltry compared to the money flowing into Seattle to the north and Silicon Valley to the south. Diane Fraiman of Voyager Capital ended the event with a call to action: “Do not settle for the status quo. We need to embrace innovation in new ways.”

What that might entail remains to be seen. State representatives Bruce Starr and Tobias Read hinted at growing momentum to lower Oregon’s capital gains tax burden. Newly elected state treasurer Ted Wheeler said he strongly supports using Oregon investment funds to support local businesses first. Portland mayor Sam Adams promised to build on the popularity of the city’s new seed fund for start-ups.

Oregon University System Chancellor George Pernsteiner acknowledged that there is room for improvement in the transfer of technology from universities to companies. “We’re slow and we know we’re slow,” he said. “That is a culture shift we will have to make.”

As a rather stinging reminder of how far Oregon has to go, Luis Mejia of Stanford University’s office of technology licensing pointed out that his program launched in 1970 and took 15 years to break even. But it eventually brought partnerships with Hewlett-Packard, Yahoo and Google.

BEN JACKLET
 

More Articles

Interview: Dr. Mark Goulston

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 10, 2014
JustListenBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Dr. Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.


Read more...

Green Endeavor cleans up

News
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
080614 ULnew greenendeavorBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.


Read more...

Updated: Disrupting innovation

News
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
070814 thumb disputive-innovationBY 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.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Steve Balzac

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

082014BalzacBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Steve Balzac, author of "Organizational Psychology for Managers."


Read more...

Risks & rewards of owning triple net investments

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 24, 2014
NNNinvestmentBY 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.


Read more...

Managing family assets: The importance of planning ahead

News
Friday, August 22, 2014
Unknown-1BY CLIFF HOCKLEY |  OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

When business intersects with family, a host of  situations can arise. Without a clear vision and careful planning, hard-earned investments can become stressful burdens.


Read more...

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


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