Okay, so Otak is no Stumptown. Actually, Otak is twice as big as Stumptown, and while it may not have a fanatic customer base among hipsters, it does have 300 employees with deep expertise in how to make cities work better. So when a foreign company buys a majority stake in Otak, it’s a big deal for Oregon.
Last year drought in the Klamath basin delayed irrigation flows until mid-May. The water shortage meant millions of dollars lost from unplanted crops and rough economic ripples through an already beleaguered community. But irrigation started on time this year, and that has the area hoping for job creation.
The city of Lebanon will be the home of Oregon’s new medical school when the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest (Comp-Northwest) opens its doors to its 105 freshmen July 30. It will also bring dozens of jobs to a city that needs them.
Nine electricity-producing methane digesters are under development throughout the state despite initial financing hurdles. “These [methane digester] projects are about changing the way we manage waste streams,” says Energy Trust of Oregon biomass program manager Thad Rot.
Portland-based Night and Day Studios has in the past two years transitioned from building media installations for museums into a mobile app company. Founder Nat Sims managed to steer the company through an economic recession by shifting industry, radically restructuring, and following a fortuitous idea after reading a children’s book to his daughter.
Portland-based Uncorked Studios has been getting a lot of press lately — CBS news, the BBC, Time and Fast Company, among others. But what’s drawing the attention isn’t another project for Nike or Wieden+Kennedy; it’s something the team put together in their free time — a website to monitor radiation levels in Japan after the tsunami disaster.
Remember when Gov. John Kitzhaber told the state's business leaders that rural and metro Oregon must grow at the same pace? "Creating 15 jobs in Coos Bay," he said, "is the same as creating 500 jobs in Portland." Well, Coos Bay just landed 250 jobs.
Just $10 million. That's all the CEO of ClearEdge Power told Senator Jeff Merkley that he needs to transform the Hillsboro fuel cell manufacturer into a billion dollar company. The CEO, Russ Ford, guided Merkley through the ClearEdge plant on Tuesday, showing him a wall ready to be torn down and an assembly line ready to be extended. The renovations could boost capacity from 1,500 units a year to more than 10,000.
Clackamas-based United Streetcar hosted Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and a trio of Congressmen yesterday to display the latest progress in the mission to crank out made-in-the-USA streetcars in Oregon, for the nation and the world.
Portland lacks the framework it needs to help its web startups grow, said Darius Monsef, the CEO of the website COLOURlovers, to a crowd of fellow web developers Tuesday. Portland needs more investors who know the business, he argues, and more who can inject tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars into budding companies, instead of the millions provided by big venture capitalists.
The new Innovation Program in Portland State’s Maseeh College of Engineering is already cooking up some interesting projects, including a novel water filtration system, a mechanism for measuring traffic on foot-bridges, and a noise cancellation mechanism for cars.