Portland, Ore., — The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) is pleased to announce 26 finalists across seven categories for the 2018 OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards. This year’s awards ceremony marks the 25th anniversary of OEN’s Entrepreneurship Awards, which has honored famous Oregon founders like Gert Boyle and Phil Knight along with newer founders including Emma Mcilroy, Sam Blackman, and Mat Ellis.
The OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards honor the skill and the courage that it takes for entrepreneurs to create a business out of an idea. The event is intended not only to celebrate entrepreneurs but to highlight their importance to the region’s economy.
The winner from each category will be announced on October 24, 2018, during the awards dinner at the Oregon Convention Center. In addition to the finalists below, OEN will honor a game-changing social enterprise for a Game Changer Award and a young, up-and-coming entrepreneur for a Battle of the Schools Award.
Game Changer Award
The OEN Game Changer Award honors both nonprofit and for-profit enterprises that offer a novel solution to a social problem. This social enterprise has a commitment to impact that is central to the mission of the business, a viable business model, and a compelling answer to the question: “Why is your solution better than existing solutions?”
The Game Changer Award finalists include:
- Business for a Better Portland (BBPDX) – Nonprofit Organization Management
- Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) – Nonprofit Organization Management
- The MOB Nation – Networking Alliance
- Streem – Computer Software
Battle of the Schools Award
The OEN Battle of the Schools Award was created/conceived to honor the memory of Wyatt Starnes, a technology entrepreneur who passed away in 2014, and honors a nominee embodying Wyatt’s distinguishing qualities: enthusiasm, willingness to work hard toward a goal, fearlessness when it comes to taking big risks and a commitment to changing the world for the better. We invite schools throughout the state to nominate one entrepreneur they work with—either a recent grad, current student, or someone affiliated with an accelerator or another entrepreneurial program.
The Battle of the Schools finalists are:
- Benjamin Steinhorn, ShoeBio – Oregon State University.
- Alex Dassise, Seiji’s Bridge – Portland State University.
- Spencer Holton, Trail Supply Co – University of Oregon
- Jonas Hanna, Bottle Bros. – Pacific University
Entrepreneurial Achievement Award
Our Entrepreneurial Achievement Award recognizes an entrepreneur or founding team with a record of outstanding achievement within the past 18 months. OEN looks for individual entrepreneurs or teams that demonstrate tenacity, passion, and grit; recognize—and capitalize on—opportunity; positively impact the communities in which they operate; and, actively support our entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The Entrepreneurial Achievement finalists are:
- Mahmood Sher-Jan, RADAR – Security Software
- Jason Bolt, Revant Optics – Eyewear
- Emma Mcilroy, Wildfang – Women’s Fashion
- Tim Hysell and Dan Sisson, ZincFive – Renewable Energy
OEN Company Awards recognize businesses in the bootstrap, early, development, and growth stages that address compelling market problems; deliver consistent growth; have scalable business models; know their niche and clearly differentiate from their competitors; and have founders and/or teams who demonstrate tenacity, passion, and vision.
The finalists are as follows:
Bootstrap Stage Company Award
“Oregon’s Hottest Garage Venture.” Recognizes a for-profit startup that has achieved significant milestones over the last 12 months without ever raising equity or debt capital. The company may have small funding sources through personal resources, friends and family or receivables. Revenue $0 – .5 million.
- Krowdsourced – Architecture & Planning
- NOBULL Specialty Foods – Food & Beverage
- Premium Organics, LLC – Consumer Goods
- Uform – Computer Software
Early Stage Company Award
“Oregon’s Most Promising Startup.” Recognizes a for-profit startup that has achieved significant milestones over the past 12 months and may have raised angel, venture or grant funding. Revenue $0 – 1 million.
- Riff Cold Brewed Coffee – Food & Beverage
- Stackery – Computer Software
- Tali – Internet
Development Stage Company Award
“Oregon’s Next Business Home Run.” Recognizes for-profit companies who are improving their product or service and are adding staff to support their growth. Projected revenue for the current year of 1 million to 8 million.
- Gear Up Sports – Apparel & Fashion
- Poached Jobs – Internet
- Sseko Designs – Apparel & Fashion
Growth Stage Company Award
“Oregon’s Next Household Name.” Recognizes for-profit companies who have a fully marketable product or service and have acquired a critical mass of customers. Companies have growing revenues of at least 8 million.
- Circle Media Labs, Inc. – Consumer Electronics
- DWFritz Automation – Industrial Automation
- Pollinate – Marketing & Advertising
- Vacasa – Leisure, Travel & Tourism
About Oregon Entrepreneurs Network
A nonprofit, membership-driven organization with a 27+-year track record, OEN connects entrepreneurs to a network of peers and mentors, startup funding opportunities, and hands-on training. OEN believes that a thriving network of entrepreneurs makes Oregon stronger.