OEN Entrepreneurship Awards Nomination Process

→ Submit nominations in all six award categories using the Nomination button by August 19.

→ Each company nominated must complete a Verification Form by August 29th to be considered for an award.

→ A diverse judging panel will review nominations and select finalists for each category. Finalists will be announced on October 5th. The final round of judging will include live interviews. Finalists will also be invited to a live reception and asked to provide design assets to feature in the OEN Awards show.

→ Winners will be announced live at the OEN Awards show on November 17th.


Early, Development and Growth Awards – These core awards honor the best of the best in each stage of the entrepreneurial lifecycle, based on financial achievement, traction, team, and social impact. Three awards will be given, one in each stage.

Exponential – Special category this year! This award will recognize a startup that uniquely embodies the theme by having made significant contributions to their community this year, or by forging a business model, product/service, and/or culture that multiplies the success of other businesses, organizations, individuals, or other stakeholders in Oregon or Southwest Washington.

The Power of Us – This special award will honor an individual community member – founder, community partner, investor, service providers, academic associate, etc. – who has contributed significantly to the success of entrepreneurs in our region in 2022 through their work, mentorship, or support. The winner will be selected live by audience vote at the OEN Awards!

Entrepreneurial Achievement – That this founder has led their company to success is a given, but who also demonstrates outstanding, ethical leadership, fosters a great workplace culture, and sets an example others want to emulate? That’s our Entrepreneurial Achievement winner.

Note: Eligible nominees must be for-profit companies, based in Oregon or SW Washington, and incorporated since 2012.

Award Criteria

Nominees will be notified and asked to submit data on the following criteria in a Verification Form, due by August 15th, 2022. A diverse panel of judges for each award will use the data provided to evaluate nominees for each award.

  • Financial Achievement: Revenue growth last two years. 2021 revenue projections. Performance relative to sector/stage benchmarks. Equity funding/monetization events (not required).
  • Traction/Product-Market Fit: Customer growth last 24 months. Total users/size of audience. Publicly available product/service reviews or other customer feedback. Significant media coverage.
  • Social Impact: Intrinsic impact of company. Business model meaningfully addresses social and/or environmental issues. Community engagement – volunteerism, sponsorship, donations.
  • Leadership: Sector expertise/credibility. Race/gender diversity of team. Employee satisfaction/workplace culture. Inspiring example of leadership.


  • August 19 – Nominations Close
  • August 29 – Nominee Verification Forms Due 
  • Oct 5: Finalists Announced
  • Oct 27: Awards Finalist Reception
  • Nov 17: OEN Entrepreneurship Awards



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