Sponsored by Oregon Business

Highlights from the OEN awards

| Print |  Email
Linda Baker
Friday, September 21, 2012

BY LINDA BAKER

09.21.12 Blog EntrepreneurSeven highlights from the 2012 OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards:

1.    Dressed in formal wear, masters of ceremony Ryan Buchanan, CEO of eROI, and Angela Jackson, managing director, Portland Seed Fund, belted out the entrepreneurial rendition of a Beastie Boy’s classic:  “You gotta FIGHT, for your RIGHT, to PROFIT.”

2.   Paresh Patel, CEO and Founder of VendScreen, winner of the Development Stage award, weighed in on a technology sorely in need of a reboot. “The last great innovation was when the vending industry started taking dollar bills.”  VendScreen vending machine technology displays nutritional information and ads, with a touch screen interface and interactive displays.

3.  Ragu Raghavan, CEO of Act-On Software, winner of the Working Capital Stage Company award, on beating the competition. “In a way I wish Jama [fellow nominee] had won. They’re customers of ours and [will] be mad at us. “

4.    Nominees and award winners offering their take on the necessary role of failure in the entrepreneurial enterprise:

"The risk of failure propelled me more than the possiblity of success." Irving Levin, Executive Chariman, Genesis Financial Solutions and winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award:

"You need difficult hard times to mold the soul of a company." Ragu Raghavan.

"You have to keep your enthusiasm when you're failing." Kent Holce, former CEO Cerus Industrial.

5. The elephant in the living room. None of the 14 nominees in OEN's five award categories were women-led,  and no women came to the podium. Instead, they filled the all- important Vanna White role of presenters.  Really, in 2012? (OK, so that’s not a highlight.)

6.  The boyish albeit inarticulate enthusiasm of certain male award winners:

Exhibit A

“Eloquence is not my strong suit," said Scott Kveton, CEO and co founder Urban Airship, winner of the Individual Achievement Award.

Meditating on his fondness for the word "sucker," Kveton said he first used the term when starting UA. 

As in:  “We’re going to bootstrap this sucker.” 

The second utterance occurred when UA  moved into its new office space. As in: “We’re going to fill up this sucker.”  

And the third?  Last night, with Kveton holding up his OEN award. "Seriously, I can’t believe I won this sucker.”

Exhibit B:

“Wow, this is really exciting," said James Davies, COO for Timbercon, Inc., winner of Growth Stage Company award.

"You rock!" said Davies, giving a shout out to his employees.

 "We have our strengths and weaknesses," he added, thanking Eric Meslow, Timbercon president and CEO. "But together, we rock!"

7.   Award winners weighed in on the virtues of starting a company in Oregon, where entrepreneurs added 800 jobs over the past 16 months, one of several factoids released over the course of the evening from OEN's Benchmark Survey.

"Oregon is a place where people respect people who take chances," observed Levin. More than "iconoclasts," Oregonians "open doors and want you to succeed. That's what makes Portland distinct from other communities."

"Last year, we were just two guys with an idea and couldn't possibly imagine being up here," observed VendScreen's Patel, acknowledging the Portland Incubator Experiment for helping nurture the company's growth.  "It takes a village to raise a startup and this is our village."

Linda Baker is the managing editor of Oregon Business.

 

More Articles

On the Brink

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Leslie Carlson channels the big idea.


Read more...

Finding a Balance

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, January 29, 2015
012915-passinvst-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Active vs. passive investing: what you need to know.


Read more...

Party Like It’s 1999

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
pets-com-sock-puppetBY JASON NORRIS, CFA | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Pets.com, GeoCities, eToys, and WorldCom … blasts-from-the-past that all signify the late 1990s Internet bubble. Yet we believe the dynamics of the market, specifically in technology stocks, are much different today than it was during the late 1990s.


Read more...

4 winners and losers in the Kitzhaber scandal

The Latest
Thursday, February 12, 2015
021315-govorno-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Examining the governor's rapid fall from grace in a "bizarre" and "unprecedented" saga.


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...

On the Road

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

My daughter turned 18 last week, and for her birthday I got her a Car2Go membership. Not to label myself a disruptor, but it felt like a groundbreaking moment. The two of us, mother and child, were participating in a new teen rite of passage: Instead of handing over the car keys, I handed over a car-sharing card — with the caveat that she not use the gift as her own personal car service.


Read more...

Epitaph for a Boondoggle

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The CRC is a cautionary tale about how we plan for, finance and invest in transportation infrastructure.


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