Press ReleasesOregon Entrepreneurs Network Announces the Winners of the 26th Annual OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards

October 29, 2019, Portland, Oregon – The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) is pleased to announce the winners of the 26th annual OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards, presented on October 29 at the Oregon Convention Center. The awards program is Oregon’s largest annual entrepreneurial gathering, celebrating the region’s best and brightest entrepreneurs. It is chronicled on social media at #oenawards.

The winners in each category include:

GAME CHANGER AWARD

WINNER: MaskIT—Shallan Ramsey, Founder & CEO

MaskIT is the safest, most sanitary method of disposal for menstrual hygiene items. With MaskIT, we are able to eliminate exposure risks to bloodborne pathogens, reduce plumbing problems and create overall cleaner restrooms. Our mission is to save lives, save trees and normalize the period. If just 10% of menstruating women in the US, were to transition from toilet paper to MaskIT, we would save over 147,000 trees every single year.

The winner for OEN’s Game Changer Award was determined by an audience vote. The 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?”

Other finalists in this category were:

BATTLE OF THE SCHOOLS

WINNER: Blake Turner, Portland State University

Turner Automotive has developed a kit that allows a gasoline-powered engine to burn hydrogen, resulting in a zero-carbon vehicle. Blake and his team won the PSU Cleantech Challenge and continue to develop their prototype.

The OEN Battle of the Schools Award  was created 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 other entrepreneurial programs.

Other finalists in this category were:

BOOTSTRAP STAGE CATEGORY

WINNER: Pigeon Networks – Jon Marson, Founder & CEO

Pigeon is putting the cloud and IoT to work for parents, camps, youth programs, and future-facing cities. Partnering with Pigeon helps your family-focused activity or venue become more efficient, safe, and engaging and helps your families stay instantly-informed. All this while also helping kids and families exercise life long goal-setting and accountability skills.

OEN’s Bootstrap Stage Company Award honors “Oregon’s Hottest Garage Venture.” This award recognizes a for-profit startup that has achieved significant milestones over the last 18 months without ever raising equity or debt capital. The company may have small funding sources through personal resources, friends and family or receivables, with revenues between $0 – $0.5 million.

Other finalists in this category were: 

EARLY STAGE CATEGORY

WINNER: RupieAustin Anderson, Founder & CEO

Rupie is an AI-driven, community-focused talent-gig matching platform for building video games. Whether you are an individual or a full studio, Rupie will connect you to vetted talent/gigs, facilitate project negotiation/coordination, and handle all the back office legwork so you can focus on doing what you do best: creating incredible game experiences.

OEN’s Early Stage Award honors “Oregon’s Most Promising Startup.” This award recognizes a for-profit startup that has achieved significant milestones over the past 18 months and may have raised angel, venture or grant funding, with revenues between $0 – $1 million.

Other finalists in this category were: 

DEVELOPMENT STAGE CATEGORY

WINNER: Streem—Ryan Fink and Sean Adkinson, Co-founders

Streem is on a mission to make the world’s expertise more accessible by creating a delightful way for customers to access expertise when and where they need it, with the brands they love. Streem makes customer assistance more convenient and immediate, saving time and money.

OEN’s Development Stage Award honors “Oregon’s Next Business Home Run.” This award recognizes for-profit companies who are improving their product or service and are adding staff to support their growth, with projected revenue for the current year between $1 million – $8 million. 

Other finalists in this category were: 

  • AbSci – Biotechnology
  • Hubb – Computer Software

GROWTH STAGE CATEGORY

WINNER: CrowdStreet—Tore Steen, CEO

CrowdStreet is the premium provider of online commercial real estate investment marketplace, technology and professional services that connects successful investors and CRE firms in order to maximize wealth. Investors can directly access institutional-quality commercial real estate offerings through CrowdStreet’s marketplace. For CRE developers and operators, CrowdStreet Connect provides a platform to manage investors and investments, and to raise capital to grow their business. 

OEN’s Growth Stage Award honors “Oregon’s Next Household Name.” This award 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. 

Other finalists in this category were: 

ENTREPRENEURIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

WINNER:Jason Bolt—Founder & CEO, Revant Optics

Jason is the founder and CEO of Revant Optics, an innovative direct-to-consumer company that makes precision-crafted replacement lenses for eyewear. Revant was named to the Inc. Magazine list of fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. for three years in a row. In 2017, Revant received the Manufacturer of the Year Award and in 2019, Revant was awarded the nationally recognized Bronze Stevie Award for Customer Service Department of the Year.

The 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.

Other finalists in this category were: 

About Oregon Entrepreneurs Network

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, membership-driven organization with a 28-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.

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