The work of the state’s entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses were celebrated Thursday evening at the Oregon Convention Center.
Some 600 people gathered for the annual OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards, at which six companies and one entrepreneur were named winners across seven different categories. The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network organized the event, for which 150-plus nominations were received.
Among the top prizes:
- The Game Changer Award, which was selected by the audience, went to augmented reality startup Streem.
- The Bootstrap Stage Company Award, or startups with revenue up to $500,000, went to, 3D modeling software maker Uform.
- The Early Stage Company Award, or a startup with revenue up to $1 million, went to Riff Cold Brewed Coffee.
- The Development Stage Company Award, or a startup with projected revenue between $1 million and $8 million, went to fashion brand Sseko Design.
- The Growth Stage Company Award, or a startups with revenue of at least $8 million, went to two winners — rental management platform Vacasa and advanced manufacturer DWFritz Automation.
- The Battle of the Schools award, which honors the legacy of Wyatt Starnes, founder of CignaCert and co-founder of Tripwire, went to Spencer Holton, student at University of Oregon and founder of the long-distance hiker supply service Trail Supply Co.
- The award for Entrepreneurial Achievement went to Emma McIlroy, co-founder and CEO of apparel brand Wildfang. Her company just opened its fourth brick-and-mortar store, in Los Angeles. In addition to guiding the growing business, she has led the company’s growing activist brand.
McIlroy told the crowd to use their power and their businesses responsibly. She also referenced her own immigrant story from Northern Ireland and her identity as a queer, and espoused supporting victims of sexual assault.
“To the immigrants, I am you and I stand with you,” the Northern Irish native told the crowd. “To the LGBTQ community, I am you and I stand with you and to Christine Blasey Ford and the survivors, I am you and I stand with you.”
Jessi Duley, founder and CEO of fitness company Burn Cycle, emceed the event, calling on attendees to ensure diversity and inclusion within their community and individual organizations.
“If we are really here to disrupt systems,” Duley told the crowd, “We have to surround ourselves with people who don’t think like us.”