The walls of the ShopIgniter offices were covered with scenes from the classic video game Donkey Kong and Elliott Smith concert posters. Employees were typing away with headphones on, seemingly oblivious to the celebration happening a few steps away from their desks. "Yeah, they'll be here for a few more hours, and they've been here since probably 5 am," said ShopIgniter founder Alan Wizemann. And although the cube-shaped trophy for being the first graduates of the entrepreneurial incubator Portland Ten to clear a million dollars in revenue sits proudly by the door, the party in their offices was not about these hardworking e-commerce employees. This party was to celebrate the second graduates of Portland Ten, Orchestra.
Orchestra Team is a business performance technology solution provider. In layman's terms, and according to their tagline, they "help growing businesses run better." The party at the ShopIgniter office on March 28 celebrated many milestones for the company. First and foremost, Orchestra graduated from Portland Ten, and set a record for doing so. In order to graduate, the company, led by CEO Brad Windecker, had to complete a 10-week training by P10 that includes executive coaching, product development and more, and then earn $1 million in 18 months. Orchestra blazed past the $1 million marker just six months after completing the course.
Portland Ten Founder and Director Carolynn Duncan comes from a background of venture capitalism and angel investing. She started P10 to help local entrepreneurs increase their revenue and funding in order to grow startups in Oregon. Founded in 2009, the organization aims to help 10 local startups reach $1 million, and Orchestra was second to "graduate." Duncan expects one more company to graduate in the next three months that "as of now, will remain unnamed."
"We look for entrepreneurs with business development and technology talent," Duncan said. "But just as importantly, they need to have a willingness to change."
Perhaps most responsible for Orchestra's quick earnings is the company's OrchestratedFUEL software, business management and accounting software for fuel distributors and petroleum marketers. Up next for the company is OrchestratedBEER, which they officially debuted last week at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Francisco. "We're in talks with three craft brewing companies now," said Windecker. "And obviously, this is the funnest market to be in."
Orchestra isn't just resting on their laurels, however. They are currently piloting OrchestratedFOOD for the restaurant industry, set to officially launch in 2012. The company is hiring for three positions to add to their current seven-person team, and looking to add more positions next year. They're also scouting locations for a downtown Portland office, even looking into the same building that ShopIgniter resides in.
"Even though I'm originally from California, I purposely wanted to start my business here in Portland," Windecker said. "It's just a good place to be."
Emma Hall is web editor for Oregon Business.