Sponsored by Lane Powell

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

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...

Foundations perspective

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Martha Richards, executive director of the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation.


Read more...

Beyond Bodegas

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development. 


Read more...

City announces plans for Portland summer-league baseball team

News
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
IMG 3888BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Baseball is returning to Portland and city officials are hoping economic opportunity comes with it.


Read more...

Man for All Seasons

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

A longtime technologist and entrepreneur, Dwayne Johnson, 53, is managing partner of PDXO/GlobeThree Ventures, a strategy and business consultancy in Portland.


Read more...

5 ways successful people kickstart the day

The Latest
Thursday, April 02, 2015
coffeethumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Are mornings the most productive part of the day?  We ask five successful executives how they get off to a good start.


Read more...

Downtime with the director of Barley's Angels

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play with Christine Jump.


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