OEN NewsOregon Entrepreneurs Network Announces Winner of Wyatt Starnes Memorial Award

Lindsay Nelson, CEO and Co-Founder of ThemeDragon
Lindsay Nelson, CEO and Co-Founder of ThemeDragon, won the 2014 Wyatt Starnes Memorial Award.

Portland, Ore.— OEN is pleased to announce that Lindsay Nelson, Co-Founder and CEO of Theme Dragon, will receive the inaugural Wyatt Starnes Memorial Award. Honoring our region’s most promising early-stage tech entrepreneur, the award will be presented on October 15, 2014 at OEN’s 2014 Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards in Portland, Oregon.

Starting this fall, the Wyatt Starnes Memorial Award will be presented annually in honor of William Wyatt Starnes, founder and CEO of SignaCert and co-founder of Tripwire Inc., who died on May 10, 2014 at age 59. The Wyatt Starnes Memorial Fund was established by OEN at the request of Wyatt’s family.

Lindsay will receive a one-year scholarship to OEN’s educational workshops, programs, and events, as well as a $3,000 cash award. The family chose Lindsay because they felt she displayed a great entrepreneurial spirit.

Says Lindsay, “I feel incredibly honored to receive this award. Early stage tech entrepreneurs in Oregon benefit from a supportive startup community, but fundraising is more challenging here than in larger cities. Awards like this profoundly impact our lives at a really critical point in startup growth. I’m grateful to the late Wyatt Starnes and his family and friends for their generosity and commitment to helping entrepreneurs succeed!”

Lindsay was selected from a total of 24 applicants and four finalists. The other finalists included Andrew Thorsvik, Co-Founder of ThorVolt; Erik Tucker, Co-Founder and COO of Aronora, Inc.; and Mara Zepeda, Co-Founder and CEO of Switchboard.

All four finalists were chosen because they embody Wyatt’s distinguishing qualities, demonstrating enthusiasm, willingness to work hard toward a goal, fearlessness when it comes to taking big risks, and commitment to changing the world for the better.

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden says, “This award honors Wyatt’s legacy in Oregon in the best possible way – by supporting young entrepreneurs who demonstrate the vision my friend exhibited throughout his life. Wyatt knew innovation is the key to meeting our economic challenges, and I am so pleased this award helps a young and talented entrepreneur in our state to fulfill that vision.”

A special launch event for the Wyatt Starnes Memorial Award will be held on November 6, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., at The Sentinel Hotel. The event, which is free and open to the public, will include a networking hour and an armchair discussion about the future of cyber security.

Featured speakers include John Stewart, Senior Vice President, Chief Security and Trust Officer at Cisco; Rear Admiral Robert “Willie” Williamson (Retired), National Cyber Security Expert; Dwayne Melancon, Chief Technology Officer at Tripwire; Pete O’Dell, author of Cyber 24-7: Risks, Leadership and Sharing; and Abrar Ahmed, Sr. Vice President for Technical Services at Eid Passport. More information can be found at: http://bit.ly/oencybersecurity.

About Oregon Entrepreneurs Network

Founded in 1991, the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to providing opportunities for Oregon entrepreneurs and improving the business climate for emerging, growth-oriented companies statewide. The organization has members throughout Oregon and southwest Washington. For more information about the OEN, visit oen.org.

For additional information, contact:

Kerala Taylor
Director of Marketing & Communications, OEN


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