OEN’s Entrepreneurial Summit

Fuel your own entrepreneurial journey with the personal stories of challenge and triumph from Oregon’s Doers and Big Thinkers.

OEN’s Entrepreneurial Summit is an annual storytelling event that brings a group of successful Oregon entrepreneurs into one place for one evening. Each speaker gets 10-15 minutes to share his or her story.

See highlights from our 2015 Entrepreneurial Summit: What’s Your Wilson?:

See more highlights here.

Nick Simms, Visual Aid“This is a long overdue and much-needed event for Portland. When I think of OEN, I think of entrepreneurial community. OEN is the center of entrepreneurship in Oregon and they do an amazing job of bringing everyone together.”

– Nick Simms, Visual Aid

Popular Stories from Past Summits

Here’s just a sampling of popular stories from past OEN Summits. You can find all past stories here.

Emma McIlroy, Wildfang

Emma shares an honest glimpse of what it’s like to be at the helm of a clothing company as a first-time entrepreneur, calling upon some of the more famous graduates of the School of Hard Knocks—that is, rappers Run DMC, Brother Ali, and Gang Starr.

“Find a way over, under, around, and through the walls. Quitting is not an option.” (Tweet this)


Sean Beers, Korkers Footwear

Twenty-two years ago, Sean Beers was caught in a DEA sting with five pounds of cocaine. Serving 39 months in prison helped get him straightened out, but it also created significant hurdles. Here, he talks about how he overcame them.

“Don’t underestimate the power of perseverance.”
(Tweet this)


D’Wayne Edwards, Pensole

D’Wayne chronicles his journey from growing up in inner-city LA to becoming a shoe designer and going on to found his own design school, despite the fact that he had never set foot in a design school in his life.

“Everyone around me wanted to be an athlete. I was the weird kid who wanted to draw shoes all day long.” (Tweet this)


Eric Winquist, Jama Software

Eric shares lessons learned from his experience as CEO and Founder of a company that has grown by 2,000 percent in the last five years. He discusses how Jama closed its first few customers and how it passed the magic $1 million mark.

“I’d become that founder who couldn’t let go. I started paying attention to the results instead of how people were doing it.” (Tweet this)


Lisa Sedlar, Green Zebra Grocery

Lisa Sedlar left her stable job as CEO of New Seasons Market to launch her own chain of small, health-conscious grocery stores. She says, “It sounded like such a good idea, kind of like, ‘Oh, let’s have a baby!’” Here, she shares what she’s learned as Founder and CEO of Green Zebra Grocery.

“Here’s what I’ve learned from strippers: Making eye contact and smiling gives you more tips.” (Tweet this)

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OEN Address

309 SW Sixth Ave., Suite 212
Portland, Oregon 97204

Phone: 503-222-2270
Fax: 503-241-0827