2024 Startup Business Essentials: Cohort 1


Oregon Entrepreneurs Network Startup Business Essentials is a 5-part series designed to equip entrepreneurs with the essentials to support their growing businesses, uncover the common pitfalls that lead to failure, and gain invaluable insights from thought leaders and successful founders. Offering practical guidance and expert advice to set you on the right path on your entrepreneurial journey.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet peers and a community of service providers, investors, organizations and agencies available to support your success.

Monday’s – 8:30 – 10:00 am

Monday, April 15th – 4:30 – 7:00 pm

All Zoom programming will be recorded and distributed following the session for asynchronous participation.

Startup Business Essentials Series Pricing

  • $100 OEN Member
  • $150 Non-Member

All programming will be recorded and distributed following the session for asynchronous participation.

The program is a best fit for:

  • Entrepreneurs and founders who are in the Concept, Early ($0 – $99,999), and Development ($100k – $1M) stages of their company’s growth.
  • Ideally post-revenue, with a product created and launched.
  • Those looking to learn how best to finance growth, meet investors, connect with mentors, and solve operational problems
  • Interest in working towards investment through OEN’s Angel Oregon programs.
  • Desire to eventually build a regional/national brand.

Education Series registration includes:

  • Five core workshops featuring top regional thought leaders, all conducted via Zoom and recorded.
  • Recommendations for books, blogs, podcasts, templates and more to support your business.
  • Admission into OEN’s March virtual Pitch, Please program, regardless of membership status.
  • In-person Pitch Event with mentors and investors in Portland.
  • Discount on registration for 2024 OEN Oregon Angel programming (AOBio, AOTech and OregonAF) including the opportunity to vie for equity investment (AOBio and OregonAF).

Education Sessions


Monday, March 4th  I  8:30 am

Featuring: Ann McQuesten, Corporate Partner – Perkins Coie

Launching a new business requires much more than coming up with a catchy name. As a founder, you will be faced with a multitude of important decisions. One of the first is to choose which business entity structure is the best fit for your startup.

The business structure you choose influences everything from day-to-day operations, to taxes and how much of your personal assets are at risk. You should choose a business structure that gives you the right balance of legal protections and benefits.

Session Focus Points

  • Identify the correct entity structure for your business.
  • Determine the correct documents you need to establish your business structure
  • Review the financial tasks you need to complete to establish your business.
  • Review the tax requirements for your business.
  • What it takes to switch from one entity to a different entity.


Monday, March 11th  I  8:30 am

Featuring: Robin Knox, Founder & President – Robyn Knox Business Coaching + Consulting

Driving sales is more than simply promoting a product to the world and hoping for the best. 

A sales strategy is a detailed plan outlining sales tactics and processes that your organization can use to achieve company goals and lead with a competitive advantage. 

An effective sales strategy not only defines end goals but fleshes out the purposes of the sale, the purpose of the product, and methods of resonating with intended audiences or specific demographics.

Session Focus Points

  • Analyze past customers to clarify the ideal customer profile. 
  • Determine your sales cycle.
  • Create a sales strategy that outlines weekly, monthly and quarterly tasks to drive sales.
  • Use the information from the session to adjust sales goals and create sales projects.


Monday, March 18th I 8:30 am

Featuring: Beth Nguyen, Senior Manager – Forward/Slash

Used by company decision-makers and potential partners, investors and lenders alike, a financial plan typically includes the company’s sales forecast, cash flow projection, expected expenses, key financial metrics and more. It serves as the fiscal backbone of any successful venture.

By delving into these core components, businesses can effectively allocate resources, mitigate risks, and ensure long-term sustainability.

Session Focus Points

  • Review the current structures in place to track and manage financial information.
  • Learn how to read your Profit/Loss (P/L) and Balance Sheet to make informed financial decisions.
  • Determine healthy margins for your business based on your industry.
  • Identify tools to help you manage your finances.
  • Identify the professionals you need to hire to assist you with creating a healthy financial routine.


Monday, April 1st I 8:30 am

Featuring: Nikki AdamsonFounder – Hustle Hunters

Hiring and firing personnel can be a daunting task, but it is crucial for the success of your company.

Good employees positively impact job quality, efficiency, and customer service. On the other hand, hiring the wrong employees can lead to decreased productivity, poor customer service, and potential financial losses. Therefore, effective hiring strategies need to include effective firing strategies.

Session Focus Points

  • Create a hiring strategy with job descriptions, creative compensation, structures (1099 vs W2) and onboarding.
  • Understand the legal restrictions that impact the hiring process, including anti-discrimination laws and laws restricting an employer’s ability to conduct background or credit checks or inquire into past pay history.
  • Develop a discipline process that leads to low risk terminations.
  • Create a firing strategy to process terminated employees. Review strategies to mitigate risks.



Monday, April 8th I 8:30 am

Featuring: Josie Jeremiah, Associate Attorney – Tonkon Torp

Bringing your idea to life typically requires an investment — and funding a business can be tricky for entrepreneurs without a financial history or fully developed product.

The number and types of funding options can be overwhelming for a new startup and securing adequate funding for your business can be challenging. Understanding the types of startup funding can help you understand what’s out there and how it aligns with your company’s goals.

Session Focus Points

  • Becoming bankable
  • Review different funding options 
  • Determine which funding options are best for you.
  • Create a plan for funding your business.
  • Strategies for managing personal and professional debt while running a business.
  • Review balance sheets, current debt and financing needs to determine the kind of financial assistance needed to grow the business.



Monday, April 15th I 4:30 pm

Cohort 1 founders and entrepreneurs will be offered the opportunity to showcase their company and share their ides with a 5-minute pitch in a non-competitive program at the end of the cohort.

Participants will receive actionable feedback that inspires them to take their ideas to the next level, and have a chance to connect with their peers and invited guests during the networking portion of the event.



Perkins Coie

March 4, 2024 8:30 - April 15, 2024 7:00 PM March 4, 2024 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM March 11, 2024 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM March 18, 2024 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM April 1, 2024 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM April 8, 2024 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM April 15, 2024 4:30 PM - 7:00 PM
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