We are pleased to announce the launch of our One-On-One With the CEO series beginning this month, with 4-Tell CEO Ken Levy. Our goal is to feature companies and their leaders who represent success stories for the OEN entrepreneurial community.
Ken Levy embodies a true entrepreneurial success story that is built on hard work, sheer entrepreneurial instinct and support of organizations like OEN. Leaders like Ken further OEN’s mission of strengthening Oregon’s economy through entrepreneurship. His company, 4-Tell , serves companies like Columbia Sportswear and Icebreaker, providing them with powerful product recommendation software. A serial entrepreneur and a fervent OEN supporter, Ken graciously agreed to share his insights on 4-Tell’s journey and his relationship with OEN.
Interview conducted by OEN volunteer, Aditi Vyas
Q: How and when did you first learn about OEN?
A: I have a long history with OEN. I was a part of the Oregon Entrepreneur Forum in 1996 when I started my first company, AIPL, which I sold to Digimarc in 2000. 4-Tell, my current startup, started and immediately presented to the Gorge Angel Conference in 2009. This conference is supported by the Gorge OEN.
Q: Tell us how your involvement with OEN has helped your company through any or all of the following ways: networking, education, mentoring, local recognition, funding, etc.
A: OEN has been there for me, and really helped 4-Tell grow. Specifically, I have been a finalist at two Gorge Angel Conferences, two Seed Oregon’s, and Angel Oregon – all sponsored by OEN. Several of my investors and board members are members of OEN. I use a legal team and accountants that sponsor OEN. Most importantly, OEN has taught me how to present our business opportunity and helped 4-Tell grow (doubling in revenue every 4 months for 16 consecutive months). I look forward to giving back to OEN.
Q: In your view, what are the top 3 ways OEN helps entrepreneurs?
A: Understanding your business; presenting your business; and, introduction to mentors and investors.
Q: If you had to describe OEN to another entrepreneur, what would you say?
A: No brainer.