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

Car Talk

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Everyone knows cell phones and driving are a lethal combination. The risk is especially high for teenage drivers, whose delusions of immortality pose such a threat to us all. Enforcement alas, remains feeble; more promising are pedagogical approaches aimed at getting people to focus on the road, not their devices.


Read more...

Emperor of the Sea

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan

Pacific Seafood, one of the world’s largest processors, is rebranding as a more transparent and consumer-friendly operation. A controversial CEO and monopoly accusations from coastal fishermen complicate the tale.


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...

ZoomCare rolls out new on-demand health clinics

News
Monday, March 02, 2015
zoomcarethumbBY KIM MOORE |  OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Portland-based healthcare provider ZoomCare said it plans to “remake American healthcare” by expanding its on-demand urgent care model to emergency, surgery, dental and primary care, among others.


Read more...

Courtside

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Power lunching at the Court Street Dairy Lunch in Salem.


Read more...

European Vacation

Guest Blog
Thursday, April 23, 2015
norristhumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

There are winners and losers with a strengthening U.S. dollar.


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

March 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Employment in Oregon is almost back up to prerecession levels — and employers are having to work harder to entice talented staff to join their ranks. This year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project showcases the kind of quality workplaces that foster happy employees. 


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