OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards

Oregon’s premier business networking event!

Risk-takers. History makers. There are lots of ways to describe Oregon’s entrepreneurs, but just one way to truly celebrate their achievements.

Each fall, over 600 local business leaders converge at OEN’s Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards Gala to honor Oregon’s brightest, boldest, and best entrepreneurs.

The OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards Gala honors the skill and courage it takes for entrepreneurs to create a business out of an idea. It is intended to not only celebrate entrepreneurs, but to highlight their importance to the region’s economy.

Save the date! Our 2015 Awards Gala will take place on Thursday, October 22 at the Oregon Convention Center. Learn more and register.

Do you, your company, or your product deserve recognition as one of Oregon’s best and brightest? Make a nomination for a 2015 Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Award.

Awards Mashup

Chris Elsenbach, Cresa Portland“This is the premier event in celebration of Oregon companies and business leaders. It allows us to support and connect with the best and brightest entrepreneurs, innovators and job creators in Oregon.”

– Chris Elsenbach, JLL

OEN 2015 Entrepreneurship Awards Sponsors

Presenting sponsor:


Supporting sponsors:
Boly Welch
Ruby Receptionists

Opening reception:
Fitzgerald and Law
Marger Johnson McCollom
ScanlanKemperBard (SKB)

Signature cocktail:

Launch Stage Award:
Lane Powell

Development Stage Award:

Growth Stage Award:
Comcast Business

Entrepreneurship Award:
AAA of Oregon/Idaho

Volunteer of the Year Award:

Game Changer Award:
Alto Law

Wyatt Starnes Award:
Wyatt Starnes Family

Friends of the Awards:
Columbia State Bank
Epic Ventures
First Republic Bank
Jones & Roth
Oregon Growth Board
United Healthcare
Voyager Capital


2014 Winners & Finalists

Our 2014 OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards took place on Wednesday, October 15 at the Oregon Convention Center.

OEN Launch Stage Company of the Year 

  • WINNER: GlobeSherpaa Portland, Oregon-based Software Company specializing in mobile application development for transit, parking, and events.
  • FINALIST: Inpria—developing metal oxide photoresists to enable the $280B semiconductor industry to continue to reduce transistor sizes.
  • FINALIST: Nouvola—offers a scalable performance testing suite to help companies deploy their applications to the cloud scale successfully.

OEN Development Stage Company of the Year 

  • WINNER: Salt & Straw—a small-batch, all-natural ice cream company based in Portland, OR whose ice cream showcases Oregon ingredients in a monthly rotating seasonal menu of ice cream scoops and pints.
  • FINALIST: barre3—an innovative fitness system and global network of studios inspired by the disciplines of yoga, Pilates and ballet barre work.
  • FINALIST: Chirpify—activates media for instant conversion. Their #Actiontag Platform allows consumers to respond, opt-in and buy with a social post—anywhere they encounter a brand’s message—including TV, print, in-venue and online.

OEN Growth Stage Company of the Year 

  • WINNER: Elemental Technologies—the leading supplier of software-defined video solutions for multiscreen content delivery.
  • FINALIST: Puppet Labs—the creator of Puppet Enterprise and Puppet Open Source, IT automation software that enables organizations to deliver the operational agility and efficiency of cloud computing at enterprise-class service levels.
  • FINALIST: ZoomCare—an Oregon-based on-demand neighborhood health system that serves over 250,000 people in 23 clinics in the Portland and Seattle areas 365 days a year.

OEN Entrepreneurial Achievement Award 

  • WINNER: Luke Kanies—Founder & CEO of Puppet Labs
  • FINALIST: Jill Nelson—Founder & CEO of Ruby Receptionists
  • FINALIST: Jason Bolt—Founder & CEO of Society43 and Revant

OEN Game Changer Award 

  • WINNER: Puralytics SolarBag—a sunlight activated water purification system
  • FINALIST: The TomegaVax platform—new vaccine technology that provides an active immune shield for life
  • FINALIST: Inpria’s photoresist products—photopatternable metal oxide thin films that will enable future generations of semiconductors

OEN Wyatt Starnes Memorial Award

  • WINNERLindsay Nelson, CEO & Co-Founder of Theme Dragon
  • FINALIST—Andrew Thorsvik, Co-Founder of ThorVolt
  • FINALIST—Erik Tucker, Co-Founder and COO of Aronora, Inc.
  • FINALIST—Mara Zepeda, Co-Founder and CEO of Switchboard

About Tom Holce

Tom HolceTom Holce was a Northwest entrepreneur and angel investor who built or helped to build dozens of successful Southwest Washington and Oregon businesses over the last 50+ years. He was the founder/CEO of such companies as Kentrox, Sentrol, and Mikros, and held senior positions at ESI, and Plantronics. He also served as Chairman of Seasons Foods, BLT Technologies, Mitron, and Decision Dynamics. He served as Chairman of the Portland Art Museum, and Chairman of Pacific University, was a board member of Unicru, Stormwater Management, EID Access, and Study Dog, and sat on the boards of over 20 other Northwest businesses, organizations and institutions. Tom received many honors and recognitions for his entrepreneurship, service, and philanthropy. He was the first winner of OEN’s Lifetime Achievement Award, was High Tech Executive of the Year, and was named Philanthropist of the year 2000. Tom had a BS in Math and Physics, and Honorary Doctor of Science from Pacific University and held over 20 US Patents.

OEN Tom Holce Awards

Origins – The OEN Entrepreneurship Award

The award itself is a true work of art. The awards were designed by local world-renown company Ziba Design, founded by Sohrab Vossoughi, in 1984. Ziba designed the beautiful “O” shaped, hand-blown crystal award to symbolize Oregon and to represent the lifecycle of a company.

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OEN Address

309 SW Sixth Ave., Suite 212
Portland, Oregon 97204

Phone: 503-222-2270
Fax: 503-241-0827