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

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...

Fighting Fire With Fire

May 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY BEN DEJARNETTE | INVESTIGATEWEST

Timber companies and environmental groups take a stab at collaboration to boost logging and restoration in Oregon fires.


Read more...

5 highlights from the Angel Oregon Showcase

The Latest
Thursday, April 23, 2015
IMG 5069BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The entrepreneurial spirit was alive and well at the Oregon Angel showcase, an annual event for angel investors and early stage entrepreneurs.


Read more...

5 questions for inDinero CEO Jessica Mah

The Latest
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
jessicathumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

inDinero, a business that manages back-office accounting for startups and smaller companies, recently announced it would relocate its headquarters from San Francisco to Portland. We talked to CEO Jessica Mah about what drew her to Portland and how she plans to disrupt the traditional CPA model.


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...

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...

The ancient fish that stops bullets

The Latest
Friday, May 08, 2015
hagfishthumbBY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.


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