Other2012 OEN Year in Review

December 2012

Dear OEN Supporters,

For 21 years, OEN has been providing education, support, mentoring, and the opportunity for access to capital for entrepreneurs. We’re a much different organization than we were 21 years ago. We offer more programming and support, and have played a key role in expanding the capital network statewide. Our geographic outreach has enabled us to help companies, and to help coalesce groups of angel investors, statewide. Since 1999, over 46,000 participants have taken part in OEN’s programs and events. That’s a pretty amazing number!

As 2012 comes to a close, it’s important to us to thank all of our many sponsors, supporters and members for your support—it’s critical to OEN, and to the entrepreneurs we assist. It enables OEN to help entrepreneurs build successful companies who create jobs and positively impact the economy, and we’re very grateful to you. Thank you again for your support and for helping OEN help entrepreneurs through in so many of the following ways:

Investor Conferences: Record $386,000 raised at OEN’s Angel Oregon
Geographic Outreach: Extending the OEN network to help entrepreneurs in the Gorge, Eastern Oregon and I-5 corridor
Website: New, easier-to-use OEN website and blog as go-to-resource of news for startups
Membership: New high-touch approach, member benefits and OEN Guides program launched
Capital Formation: Helping expand state’s capital network via collaboration with five angel investor conferences across the state, and groups like Portland Seed Fund, Oregon Angel Fund and Portland Angel Network
Programs: 3,000+ participants in OEN programs, including OEN PubTalk™ in Portland, and hundreds more at OEN events around the state
New Initiatives: Helping startups give back through OEN’s Entrepreneurs Foundation of the Northwest; successful launch of startup bootcamps in Bend, Hood River and Medford with the help of Oregon Community Foundation

When entrepreneurs realize their dreams, good things happen, and jobs get created. There has been exciting change in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the last several years, with more assistance and more outside investment. But entrepreneurs still need our help, and yours, more than ever, so we are very grateful for your continued support.

With gratitude and my best regards,

Linda Weston
President & Executive Director


Investor Conferences

  • OEN’s Angel Oregon 2012, held on April 18, attracted 325 attendees. Angel investors contributed to a total investment pool of $386,000. Nearly 40 companies applied to present at OEN’s Angel Oregon 2012, and were divided into “launch stage” and “concept stage” categories. Five companies were chosen to present in the Launch Category, and six were chosen to present in the Concept Category. The first-place launch-stage winner was Chez Marie, who was awarded an investment of $286,000. The second-place launch stage winner was Tellagence, who was awarded $100,000. The concept-stage winner, chosen by audience vote, was Conscious Commuter—a folding electric bike—who received a package of services, plus a $5,000 cash award. Again this year, a day-long boot camp—“Upstart Day”– was provided to the concept-stage companies. Investors and coaches provided intense guidance and mentoring on everything from finance to product launch and marketing. A special educational session on understanding term sheets was also provided to all presenting companies. The conference keynote speaker was the charismatic James Curleigh, who was CEO of KEEN Footwear at the time.

Geographic Outreach
OEN is supported by two regional coordinator Robin Cope, our Gorge/Eastern Oregon Regional Coordinator, who is based in The Dalles, and -5 Regional Coordinator, Lorie Harris Hancock, based in Sisters. Both are supported through a generous grant from Business Oregon and help us to further develop and extend the statewide angel network and our educational program. This past year, they provided enormous assistance to entrepreneurs and to investors in their regions and recruited speakers and investors, worked with the companies, conducted pitch clinics, and helped to plan and conduct the educational programs and OEN PubTalks in their regions. Our regional coordinators also play key roles in planning and assisting with the angel conferences in The Gorge/Eastern Oregon, Southern Oregon, and the Willamette Valley.

Gorge/Eastern Oregon
Gorge OEN, our first official chapter, launched in late 2010, in The Gorge and SW Washington. Gorge OEN provides multi-county/multi-state cooperation in support of entrepreneurs, and organizes the Gorge Angel Conference.

  • Between January and December, in the Gorge and Eastern Oregon, there were six OEN PubTalks, which attracted a total of 261 attendees. Sixteen companies presented to OEN PubTalk audiences. Gorge OEN also presented 10 educational sessions, which attracted a total of 210 attendees. Educational topics included business planning, finance, valuation, legal issues, and angel investing.
  • The fifth annual Gorge Angel Conference, held April 24 at the Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles, attracted 95 attendees. GAIN, (the Gorge Angel Investment Network) chose EdCaliber from six finalists as the winner of the $145,000 investment award, including the match from OGA. EdCaliber reinvents how K-12 educators use digital tools and resources to deliver and measure student learning.

I-5 Corridor- Corvallis, Eugene, Medford

  • Between January and December, six OEN PubTalks (called SmartUps) were held in Eugene/Corvallis, attracting 435 attendees, and fourteen presenting companies. Three educational programs were held in the region, attracting 74 attendees, and covering topics such as: deal structure and getting investor-ready.
  • The fourth annual Willamette Angel Conference held in Eugene on May 10, attracted 190 attendees. An investment of $200,000, including the OGA match, was awarded to Cascade ProDrug, which helps cancer drugs to become safer and more effective.


  • There were seven OEN PubTalks (called Jefferson Grapevine) held in Medford/Ashland/Jacksonville attracting more than 400 attendees, and 22 presenting companies. Six educational programs, attracted 239 attendees, and were focused on deal structure, being investor-ready, creating a business plan, and venture capital.
  • The second Southern Oregon Angel Conference was held on April 11, and attracted 165 attendees. The winning company was Montrue Technologies, which was awarded $165,000, including the OGA match.

We embarked on a major redesign of OEN’s website, and moved to a WordPress platform, which integrates well with our membership database system We’re continuing to add new content and capabilities to the site, and to revise information as we receive feedback from our members, and from our Marketing Committee. OEN hired a new Director of Marketing, Leslie Constans, in late June. Leslie has been a wonderful addition to the OEN team. She was previously at Digimarc, Columbia Sportswear, and KC Distance Learning, and with OEN has increased our reach through increased posts on our blog and expanded PR and digital marketing opportunities.

Kirsten Ringen, OEN’s Director of Membership Services, implemented a high-touch program to better engage members within OEN, and also to connect them with other resources within the community. We also implemented partnerships with other organizations, including a joint membership package with TAO, specifically for entrepreneurs. In addition, Kirsten has developed academic membership packages for the business and entrepreneurship students in the universities. We also launched a program of OEN “guides” and mentors to assist entrepreneurs and new OEN members.

Capital Formation
The investor groups are a crucial part of OEN’s overall mission. One of our goals is to continue to expand the capital network, so that good young companies have access to the capital needed for growth. Through our geographic outreach, OEN has played a key role in bringing together groups of angel investors statewide, who are providing investment capital critical to the growth of young companies. There are now five angel conferences in the State, all modeled after OEN’s Angel Oregon, and all launched with assistance from OEN. In addition, OEN has been working on creating additional opportunities for access to capital by working with governments and foundations.

  • OEN Catalyst Fund: Three years ago, the OEN board decided to take a more aggressive role with capital formation and aggregation. In 2011, through the leadership of Investment Committee Chair Jim Noonan, of Pivot Point Capital, we created the OEN Catalyst Fund, to provide investment for emerging companies, from early seed stage to growth stage. We received a $250,000 economic development grant from City of Hillsboro, and PDC granted to OEN the $500,000 economic development grant targeted for the Portland Seed Fund. OEN then invested that $750,000 of grant monies into the Portland Seed Fund. Our hope is to raise additional funds through grants and/or donations into the OEN Catalyst Fund, and to then invest those funds into professionally managed funds which invest into early-stage companies statewide. OEN itself will not be making direct investments. The Portland Seed Fund has done a terrific job of choosing their portfolio companies, one of which, Geoloqi, recently had a successful exit.
  • Angel Investor Groups
    • Portland Angel Network: This year, PAN, OEN’s angel investor group, met four times to see presentations from companies seeking investment, and also met five times to discuss due diligence on the companies who presented. There are about 30 current PAN members. Under the leadership of PAN Chair, Frank Helle, and PAN Member Recruitment Chair, Shelley Gunton, we actively recruited new members, bringing new investors into the group, thereby increasing the potential capital available to companies. This year, PAN also implemented an executive committee which developed some new strategies, including an investment range of $50,000-$15,000 “milestone money” and a new term sheet. We continue to strategize about how we can best serve PAN investors, who prefer individual investing over group investing. An average of 30 attendees participated in the meetings.
    • Oregon Angel Fund: PAN continues to have a collaborative partnership with the Oregon Angel Fund (OAF), which spun out of OEN about six years ago, and has continued to grow. OAF’s 2012 investment pool is approximately $4 million, including some matching funds from the Oregon Growth Account, and an investment from the Oregon Community Foundation. OAF now has a portfolio of 24 companies, and has had several exits. More importantly, the OAF investment has helped the companies to attract tens of millions of dollars in additional investment, and the companies have created approximately 1,000 jobs. Members of PAN who are not investors in OAF, can invest along side, and benefit from, the extensive due diligence that OAF does on the companies. And, many OAF members also attend PAN meetings.

OEN programs and events attracted nearly 3,000 participants this year.

  • OEN PubTalk: This monthly networking/educational event averaged nearly 100 attendees this year, many of whom were new to OEN. The committee of volunteers who plans OEN PubTalk, chaired by Annie Lee of Lane Powell, developed programming which included the traditional presenting companies, as well as success stories, panel discussions on educational software startups and on-line retail startups, and entrepreneurs from Oregon’s growing spirits industry. In addition, there were opportunities for companies to pitch (and receive feedback from) the Oregon Angel Fund and the Portland Seed Fund. The PubTalk committee ensures that presenting companies get coaching and feedback as a part of the educational process.  The four Hillsboro OEN PubTalks attracted an average audience of 30 attendees.
  • OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards: The 19th annual OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards Celebration, was held September 20 at the Portland Hilton, and attracted more than 700 attendees. Forty companies from a variety of sectors were nominated, 14 finalists were chosen, and four winners were selected from the finalists after an intensive and rigorous judging process.  Winner in the Development Stage Category was VendScreen. The other finalists were 4-Tell, and Tellagence. Winner in the Working Capital Stage Category was Act-On Software. The other finalists were Foundation Fitness and Jama Software. Winner in the Growth Stage Category was Timbercon. The other finalists were Cerus Industrial, Coaxis, and Elemental Technologies. The Individual Achievement Award winner was Scott Kveton of Urban Airship. The other finalists were Ray Davis of Umpqua Bank, and Chris Ulum of Agilyx.  In addition, a Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Irving Levin, founder of Renaissance Holdings and Genesis Financial, serial entrepreneur, generous philanthropist, and active angel investor and mentor. Irving has made 90 investments in 51 different companies. Michael Wright, former CEO of WellPartner, and a previous winner of both the Growth Stage company award, and the Individual Achievement Award, chaired the Awards this year.
  • Educational Programs: OEN has offered a variety of workshops and webinars designed to provide entrepreneurs with the tools they need to help grow their companies. Topics have ranged from company valuation, employment law, intellectual property, and multiple sessions on basic business plan development. Our webinars included topics such as preparing your pitch for investors, and a series on life in an incubator. Our workshops and webinars attracted 308 attendees. We presented quarterly CEO Roundtables targeted at early-stage companies, facilitated by Nitin Khanna, CEO of MergerTech, and an active angel investor. The CEO Roundtables are purposely small and intimate, to encourage interaction. Our Private Business Plan Review and Business Concept Review programs assisted 22 young companies. The suite of review and educational programs was chaired by Dave Uslan, of Perkins & Co. In addition, we presented two educational workshops and two intern fairs for university students, which attracted 132 student attendees.

New Initiatives

  • Entrepreneurs Foundation of the Northwest: OEN acquired the Entrepreneurs Foundation of the Northwest (EFNW) in late 2010, and it is now a program of OEN. OEN gained an established, turn-key community involvement and philanthropy program to assist young companies. Jive Software, one of the EFNW equity portfolio companies, had an IPO in December of 2011, and in June they allocated a portion of the liquidity proceeds to OEN, and to other organizations which support entrepreneurs.
  • Oregon Community Foundation Grant – Boot Camps: OCF was very interested in the “big idea” concept, and in October of 2011, they awarded a $75,000 grant to OEN to develop and implement boot camps, to provide education and intense mentoring, for entrepreneurs in Central, Eastern and Southern Oregon. OEN is honored to have been given OCF’s first-ever economic development grant. As a result, since January 2012, three regional, 8-12 week Boot Camp Programs were successfully developed and implemented in Bend, Medford and Hood River. Fifteen companies graduated; 101 volunteer mentors, coaches and subject matter experts were recruited and trained, and three of the graduating companies have connected to over $400K investment.


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