Oregon Entrepreneurs Network announced the winners in the 2023 OEN Entrepreneurship Awards at an evening awards with the theme “An Evening in Three Acts” on November 16, 2023.
This year, OEN changed the format from a dinner to an awards ceremony reminiscent of the Oscars. The event took place at Portland Center Stage – The Armory and included a welcome reception and after party in addition to the awards ceremony.
OEN and The BFM Fund celebrated the ongoing Emerge Initiative partnership program that funds non-dilutive grants at all of OEN’s Angel Oregon investment programs. The Emerge Initiative helps support concept and very early-stage companies led by founders of color and is designed to help bridge the “friends and family” funding gap.
EMERGE INITIATIVE HONOREES:
EARLY STAGE AWARD, presented by Dave Hansen, Umpqua Bank
- WINNER: CardCraft | CardCraft believes in the power of connection and the impact of the tangible, written word. Founder: Damola ‘D’ Omotosho
- FINALIST: Grove Cookie Company | Grove Cookie Company specializes in elevating B2B relationships through thoughtful gifting solutions tailored for businesses of all sizes. Co-founders: Grayson & Marie Hogard
- FINALIST: Howl at the Spoon | Howl at the Spoon’s handcrafted artisan sauces are gaining acclaim across the Pacific Northwest. Committed to convenient, flavorful culinary solutions, they ensure gourmet perfection in every bite. Founder: Melanie Jenkinson
DEVELOPMENT STAGE AWARD, presented by Beth Nguyen, Forward/Slash
- WINNER: SQWAD | SQWAD turns sponsorship spend into trackable ROI through scoreboard games that connect fans to sponsors each game day. Co-founders: Nick Lawson & Lee Jorgensen
- FINALIST: Altitude Beverages | Altitude Beverages zero proof, canned cocktails are packed with functional ingredients to give you a buzz without the booze.Co-founders: Thomas Angel & Laura Melgarejo-Silva
- FINALIST: Espiku | Espiku designs and develops water treatment and mineral extraction technologies that are efficient, cost-effective, portable, modular, containerized and deployable anywhere. Founder: Bahman Abbasi
GROWTH STAGE AWARD, presented by Joe Bailey, Perkins Coie
- WINNER: Chapul Farms | Chapul Farms uses insect power to restore biodiversity to agriculture, soil, and planet earth for a more sustainable, resilient, and secure food system. Founder: Patrick Crowley
- FINALIST: Burch Energy Services | Burch Energy Services’ vision is to normalize racial inclusivity in the clean energy sector, combat climate change, and champion diversity. Founder: David Burchfield
- FINALIST: Rock Paper Coin | Rock Paper Coin is a female-founded and led digital platform that introduces a transformative approach to how event professionals handle their contracts, payments, and client interactions. Co-Founders: Elizabeth Sheils & Nora Sheils
TRAILBLAZER AWARD, presented by Matt Wallington, Reperio Health
- WINNER: Hopscotch | Hopscotch is an immersive and experiential brand that brings together artists in collaborative environments to create unique, impactful, and distinct shared experiences. Co-Founders: Nicole Jensen & Hunter Inman
- FINALIST: Adre | Adre is a real estate development company founded with the purpose of developing buildings that create social and economic benefits for Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) through the creation of affordable homes, mixed-use developments, and facilities for mission-driven organizations. Founder: Anyeley Hallová
- FINALIST: Precision Analytical | Precision Analytical created the DUTCH Test (dried urine test for comprehensive hormones) to help providers solve complex patient cases and profoundly change lives. Co-Founders Mark Newman, Andy Tyssen & Katie Newman
ENTREPRENEURIAL ACHIEVEMENT, presented by Julie Harrelson, Cascade Seed Fund
COMMUNITY CATALYST AWARD, presented by Brandon Loran Maxwell, Founder of Chela Media, Emma McIlroy, Founder of Wildfang, and Helen Anderson, Founder of HelloCare
- Ciara Pressler | Founder, Pregame | Ciara is a tireless supporter of entrepreneurs as Pregame’s founder, coach, and consultant, which helps founders and innovative leaders with strategic planning and team development.
- Mike White | Founder, Willamette Equity Advisors | Mike White started serving the entrepreneurial community when he started doing business advising with the Chemeketa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in 2016.
- Peter & Pam Horan | Co-Founders, Horan MediaTech Advisors | Peter & Pam Horan have been avid mentors and investors focused on Oregon entrepreneurs, especially those with atypical backgrounds.
“There were over 200 nominations for this year’s entrepreneurship awards and every nominee and finalist should be exceptionally proud of that recognition,” said OEN Executive Director Cara Turano. “Tonight’s winners represent the brightest, boldest and best entrepreneurs from around Oregon and SW Washington. Congratulations to you all and we look forward to seeing your continued success.”
Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to helping local entrepreneurs start up and scale up. The organization hosts entrepreneur education and angel investment programs, including Angel Oregon Tech (AOTech), Oregon Angel Food (OregonAF) and Angel Oregon Bioscience (AOBio), in addition to the annual OEN Entrepreneurship Awards. Learn more at www.oen.org.