OEN News25 Reasons You Should Attend the 2018 OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards Dinner (Part 1)

The OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards Dinner is one of the largest and most prestigious business networking events in the state. Popular among startups, investors, and industry experts, this amazing event celebrates a vital part of our region’s economy—our incredible community of entrepreneurs.

This year, OEN’s signature event is scheduled for October 24 and reaches a milestone—25 years!

To celebrate #oenawards25, we’re going to give you 25 reasons you should grab your ticket asap. Starting today, we’ll publish five reasons every two weeks. Five reasons, every two weeks, published right here at OEN News.

We believe a thriving network of entrepreneurs makes Oregon stronger. We hope you’ll join us on October 24 to celebrate the skill, courage, and grit it takes for entrepreneurs to create a business out of an idea.

Alright. On to reason #1!

1. Networking, networking, networking.

Technically, not three reasons. There are several benefits to professional networking—visibility, exposure to new ideas, connecting others, and more. But this isn’t your average networking event, it’s one of the largest and most prestigious business networking events in Oregon! If you want to network with savvy entrepreneurs and the local business community, then buy your ticket now.

2. See the future of Oregon business.

Perhaps you saw a recent copy of Portland Monthly in the checkout aisle at the grocery store. Nicole Vogel, Co-founder and Publisher of the magazine, won the OEN Individual Entrepreneurship Award in 2007. What about Salt & Straw? Winners of the OEN Development Stage Company of the Year in 2014. Ruby Receptionists? Winner of the 2016 Growth Stage Company Award. Green Zebra Grocery? Finalist in the 2015 OEN Development Stage Company of the Year category. Join us at the 2018 Awards Dinner and see the startups that are making waves! Because then, you’ll get to say, “I knew them when…”

3. Get social.

Last Wednesday it was a visit to the in-laws. The Wednesday before that, it was working late on a business project. Seems like forever since you’ve just gone out to socialize and have a good time. Well, we’ve got good news. On Wednesday, October 24th, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to get out and socialize! Join us at the 2018 Awards Dinner to talk about startups, business, and to socialize with the local startup community. We promise you’ll have more fun than you had last Wednesday night!

4. Taste all five (or is it six?).

It has long been believed that we have just five tastes—salty, sweet, bitter, sour and savory. In her TED Talk, geneticist Nicole Garneau argues we might be able to taste a sixth — fat. Now that you’re thinking about food, think about this: some amazing food and beverage companies will be giving away free samples of their cuisine at the Awards Dinner this year. So, are there five tastes, or six? Either way, you’ll get to taste them all at this stellar event.

5. Honor Tom Holce and his legacy.

Tom Holce was a pioneering tech entrepreneur and an angel investor who built a number of successful businesses in Oregon and SW Washington. To honor his legacy, OEN recognizes the best and brightest local entrepreneurs at the prestigious event that bears his name. Holce did so much that you might not realize the influence he’s had on the local entrepreneurial and business communities. The Portland Business Journal described him as “an entrepreneurial legend.” 

Here’s more about this visionary entrepreneur with an amazing mind for business.

Tom Holce

  • Founder/CEO of such companies as Kentrox, Sentrol, and Mikros, and held senior positions at ESI and Plantronics.
  • Chairman of Seasons Foods, BLT Technologies, Mitron, and Decision Dynamics.
  • Chairman of the Portland Art Museum and Chairman of Pacific University.
  • Board member of Unicru, Stormwater Management, EID Access, and Study Dog.
  • Board member of over 20 other Northwest businesses, organizations, and institutions.
  • Held over 20 U.S. patents.

In addition, this legend of business was the first winner of OEN’s Lifetime Achievement Award and had received a number of other professional accolades throughout his life. Holce held a BS degree in Math and Physics and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Pacific University.

Perhaps most endearing to those that knew him, Holce was known as much for his cheery personality as his business-savvy.


See you here in two weeks for Part 2 featuring five more reasons you absolutely MUST attend this event! 

This year is the 25th anniversary of the OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards Dinner. Visit our Awards info page for more information and to buy your ticket today. Can you think of another reason to go to this exciting event? Do you have a good story from a past Awards Dinner? Comment below and let us know!  


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