OEN October PubTalk: Founder Horror Stories


They are spooky and scary; their stories are quite hairy. The Addams Family will not be on the spot, but local entrepreneurs will share a LOT! From funding that disappeared to employees who ghosted, these local innovators will share the terrifying stories that accompanied their journeys to success. If you are living the nightmare on entrepreneurship street, join us for this Halloween-themed event and be inspired by founders who have overcome chilling adventures to thrive.

The October 12th PubTalk: FOUNDER HORROR STORIES will bring you the unnerving and bloodcurdling tales from the crypt…or the office and how to navigate the most spine-chilling challenges. Offer perspective on all these questions and more. Featuring startup founder Nicole Schmidt, who combined a passion for the built environment with technology and recently survived an acquisition by her company Source. Founder and CEO Jelani Memory of A Kids Company About, who dove headfirst into the publishing industry in the digital age and turns horror stories into digestible narratives for kids and caregivers, and tech expert Erin McCune, whose effort to streamline life has resulted in multiple startups including Easeenet.com, Inc., and Performica.

Plus! This PubTalk is going RETRO and will be held at Lucky Lab (1945 NW Quimby St), the long-time and pre-pandemic home of Portland PubTalks. Join us for chills and thrills, as well as pizza and beer, and welcome Cara to her first PubTalk as Executive Director!



Location: Lucky Lab Beer Hall, 1945 NW Quimby St; street parking is limited; consider public transit, ride-sharing, or carpooling.

Time: 5:15 – 7:30pm

Hashtag: #oenpubtalk

Cost: $15 for OEN members; $25 for non-members. *Sorry, no refunds.* 

Not yet an OEN member? Join today, and you can get a free pass to a PubTalk!



Meredith Fox | Partner, White Summers

Meredith’s practice focuses on providing strategic advice to companies to position them for and help them through critical junctures, including organization and formation, obtaining initial funding, negotiating strategic transactions, determining company growth, scaling and exit opportunities, and raising capital. Meredith previously worked as an in-house counsel for a performance-based marketing start-up in San Diego, CA, giving her an inside perspective on the legal needs of start-ups and emerging growth-stage companies. Meredith advises buyers and sellers in transactions involving mergers, acquisitions, asset sales, joint ventures, and various other M&A matters, including cross-border transactions. Meredith has earned an LL.M. in Taxation and advises clients on corporate tax structure and international tax planning.



Erin McCune | Cofounder & CEO, Easeenet.com, Inc.

Erin was born and raised in the Portland area and has worked in technology for nearly 20 years in sales, partnerships, and leadership roles. She cofounded Easeenet.com in 2018 to help families organize and preserve their digital estate in a secure single record of truth and has just cofounded an HR software company, Performica, that gives companies X-ray vision into their work networks and predicts attrition down to the individual. A tech nerd at heart, Erin always drives to find the most elegant, efficient way to optimize solutions and strategy. Erin loves to travel, cook, and read when not at work.


Jelani Memory | Founder & CEO, A Kids Co.

Maybe it’s the athlete in me; maybe I’m just stubborn. But dang it if I don’t love a good challenge. I’ve built a good number of companies over the years with some close friends. Two of them were acquired, and one even won a handful of Emmys a while back. I don’t consider myself an eternal optimist, yet I tend to see opportunities where others see roadblocks. I believe storytelling is one of the most effective vehicles for social change, and I keep that in mind whenever I build something new. I’m building something new for the remote work future now.


Nicole Schmidt | CEO, Source

Nicole Schmidt earned her BFA in Interior Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago and spent the first half of her career working on hospitality projects. She transitioned to the manufacturing side of the construction industry, holding roles in sales, business development, and digital marketing with manufacturers in tile, flooring, and stone.

One day, at seven months pregnant, she was in a dusty architectural library and dropped a box of stone on her head. It was the last straw after more than a decade of being frustrated by how products are found, specified, tracked, and purchased in the life cycle of a commercial construction project. She spent evenings learning to code in her basement and built the platform’s first version herself.

Founding the company in 2018, Nicole has now grown her team to 25 people, raised $5M of venture capital, completed 2 acquisitions, and brought Source to a national audience. She has been awarded Women of Vision in Construction from Daily Journal of Commerce, Accomplished and Under 40 from Vancouver Business Journal, and an International Interior Design Association Industry Award.

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Please be aware that OEN will take photographs and videos in public areas of the event. We may use such media in marketing materials, educational products, and publications. Your image and the sound of your voice may be recorded. That information may be included in our materials if you are identified during the recording or by name. Recordings may be edited, copied, exhibited, published, or distributed. By registering for and attending the event, you agree and consent to our use of your image or recording as described in this paragraph.


October 12, 2022 5:15 PM - October 12, 2022 7:30 PM
Lucky Labrador Beer Hall
1945 NW Quimby Street
Portland, bbOR
Cara Turano
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