OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards

Celebrating Oregon’s brightest and best entrepreneurs.

It’s like the Oscars, but with less glam and more grit. Each fall, over 600 local business leaders converge at the OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards to honor Oregon’s brightest, boldest, and best entrepreneurs.

Now in its 26th year, the OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards Dinner is Oregon’s largest and most prestigious business networking event. It not only celebrates the skill and courage that it takes for entrepreneurs to create a business out of an idea but also highlights the importance of entrepreneurs to the region’s economy.

2019 Awards Recap

Opening Video – What do entrepreneurs value

Values Video with OEN Awards 2019 MC, Kim Malek, and Owner of BurnCycle, Jessi Duley

 

OEN Awards 2019 – Kim Malek Opening Monologue

Theme: Lead with your Values

 

(Video Coming Soon)

2019 Award Winners

Meet all past winners & finalists here.

2019 Entrepreneurial Achievement Award

WINNER: Jason BoltCo-founder & CEO, Revant Optics.

Jason is the founder and CEO of Revant Optics, an innovative direct-to-consumer company that makes precision-crafted replacement lenses for eyewear. Revant was named to the Inc. Magazine list of fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. for three years in a row. In 2017, Revant received the Manufacturer of the Year Award and in 2019, Revant was awarded the nationally recognized Bronze Stevie Award for Customer Service Department of the Year.

The Entrepreneurial Achievement Award recognizes an entrepreneur or founding team with a record of outstanding achievement within the past 18 months. OEN looks for individual entrepreneurs or teams that demonstrate tenacity, passion, and grit; recognize—and capitalize on—opportunity; positively impact the communities in which they operate; and, actively support our entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Other finalists in this category were:

2019 Game Changer Award

WINNER: MaskITShallan Ramsey, Founder & CEO

MaskIT is the safest, most sanitary method of disposal for menstrual hygiene items. With MaskIT, we are able to eliminate exposure risks to bloodborne pathogens, reduce plumbing problems and create overall cleaner restrooms. Our mission is to save lives, save trees and normalize the period. If just 10% of menstruating women in the US, were to transition from toilet paper to MaskIT, we would save over 147,000 trees every single year.

Other finalists in this category were:

2019 Bootstrap Stage Company Award

WINNER: Pigeon Network—Jon Marson, Founder & CEO 

Pigeon is putting the cloud and IoT to work for parents, camps, youth programs, and future-facing cities. Partnering with Pigeon helps your family-focused activity or venue become more efficient, safe, and engaging and helps your families stay instantly-informed. All this while also helping kids and families exercise life long goal-setting and accountability skills.

OEN’s Bootstrap Stage Company Award honors “Oregon’s Hottest Garage Venture.” This award recognizes a for-profit startup that has achieved significant milestones over the last 18 months without ever raising equity or debt capital. The company may have small funding sources through personal resources, friends and family or receivables, with revenues between $0 – $0.5 million.

Other finalists in this category were:

2019 Early Stage Company Award

WINNER: RupieAustin Anderson, Founder & CEO

Rupie is an AI-driven, community-focused talent-gig matching platform for building video games. Whether you are an individual or a full studio, Rupie will connect you to vetted talent/gigs, facilitate project negotiation/coordination, and handle all the back office legwork so you can focus on doing what you do best: creating incredible game experiences.

OEN’s Early Stage Award honors “Oregon’s Most Promising Startup.” This award recognizes a for-profit startup that has achieved significant milestones over the past 18 months and may have raised angel, venture or grant funding, with revenues between $0 – $1 million.

Other finalists in this category were:

2019 Development Stage Company Award

WINNER: Streem—Ryan Fink and Sean Adkinson, Co-founders

Streem uses video, augmented reality, and data to connect homeowners and home repair professionals for real-time problem-solving. The company is on a mission to make the world’s expertise more accessible by creating a delightful way for customers to access expertise when and where they need it, with the brands they love.

OEN’s Development Stage Award honors “Oregon’s Next Business Home Run.” This award recognizes for-profit companies who are improving their product or service and are adding staff to support their growth, with projected revenue for the current year between $1 million – $8 million.

Other finalists in this category were:

  • AbSci – Biotechnology
  • Hubb – Computer Software

2019 Growth Stage Company Award

WINNERS: CrowdStreet—Tore Steen, CEO

CrowdStreet is the premium provider of online commercial real estate investment marketplace, technology and professional services that connects successful investors and CRE firms in order to maximize wealth. Investors can directly access institutional-quality commercial real estate offerings through CrowdStreet’s marketplace. For CRE developers and operators, CrowdStreet Connect provides a platform to manage investors and investments, and to raise capital to grow their business.

OEN’s Growth Stage Award honors “Oregon’s Next Household Name.” This award recognizes for-profit companies who have a fully marketable product or service and have acquired a critical mass of customers. Companies have growing revenues of at least $8 million.

Other finalists in this category were:

2019 Battle of the Schools Award in Memory of Wyatt Starnes

WINNER: Blake TurnerPortland State University

Turner Automotive has developed a kit that allows a gasoline-powered engine to burn hydrogen, resulting in a zero-carbon vehicle. Blake and his team won the PSU Cleantech Challenge and continue to develop their prototype.

The OEN Battle of the Schools Award  was created to honor the memory of Wyatt Starnes, a technology entrepreneur who passed away in 2014, and honors a nominee embodying Wyatt’s distinguishing qualities:  enthusiasm, willingness to work hard toward a goal, fearlessness when it comes to taking big risks and a commitment to changing the world for the better. We invite schools throughout the state to nominate one entrepreneur they work with—either a recent grad, current student, or someone affiliated with an accelerator or other entrepreneurial programs.

Other finalists in this category were:


Allyson Strowbridge

The OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards Event was a fun-filled night, complete with inspiring stories and entertaining MCs, plus great networking opportunities for new business owners such as myself! It was evident on many levels what a supportive community of visionaries and leaders OEN continues to gather, develop, grow and nurture. A big cheers to everyone who contributed to the successful night. Sign me up for next year!”

Allyson Strowbridge, Ctrl+SHIFT+Space

Award Categories

Bootstrap Stage Company Award

“Oregon’s Emerging Startup.” Recognizes a for-profit startup that has achieved significant milestones over the last 18 months. The company has been funded only through personal resources, friends and family, or receivables. The company has been in business for less than five years.
Revenues: Pre-revenue – $0.5 million.

Early Stage Company Award

“Oregon’s Most Promising Startup.” Recognizes a for-profit startup that has achieved significant milestones over the past 18 months. The company has been funded through angel funding, venture capital, or grant funding. The company has been in business for less than five years.
Revenues: Pre-revenue – $1 million.

Development Stage Company Award

“Oregon’s Next Business Home Run.” Recognizes for-profit companies who are improving their product or service and are adding staff to support their growth.
Revenues: Projected revenue for the current year of $1 million to $8 million.

Growth Stage Company Award

“Oregon’s Next Household Name.” Recognizes for-profit companies who have a fully marketable product or service and have acquired a critical mass of customers.
Revenues: Growing revenues of at least 8 million.

Entrepreneurial Achievement Award

Instead of recognizing a promising or successful enterprise, this award recognizes an individual or founding team’s successful entrepreneurship and their professional creativity, risk-taking, and savvy decision-making, as well as their leadership and vision. This award recognizes achievements made in the last 18 months.

Game Changer Award

This award honors both nonprofit and for-profit enterprises that offer a novel solution to a social problem. This social enterprise has a commitment to impact that is central to the mission of the business, a viable business model, and a compelling answer to the question, “Why is your solution better than existing solutions?”

Battle of the Schools Award in Memory of Wyatt Starnes

The OEN Battle of the Schools Award was created to honor the memory of Wyatt Starnes, a technology entrepreneur who passed away in 2014, and honors a nominee embodying Wyatt’s distinguishing qualities: enthusiasm, willingness to work hard toward a goal, fearlessness when it comes to taking big risks and a commitment to changing the world for the better. We invite schools throughout the state to nominate one entrepreneur they work with—either a recent grad, current student, or someone affiliated with an accelerator or other entrepreneurial programs.


Nominations & Judging

Nominations for each year’s Awards open in May. OEN forms seven judging committees comprised of seasoned business leaders and industry experts. In 2018, these committees reviewed about 200 nominations and personally met with 51 semifinalists and 26 finalists across seven Awards categories.

Through a series of interviews and reviews, the judging committees narrow the field to 3-4 finalists per category, ultimately selecting one winner. The exception is the Game Changer Award which is determined by a combination of input from the judging committee and an audience vote.

Eligibility

Companies headquartered in Oregon and SW Washington are eligible to submit a nomination form for the OEN Awards.


About Tom Holce

Tom Holce was an entrepreneur and angel investor who built or helped to build dozens of successful Southwest Washington and Oregon businesses.

He was the founder/CEO of such companies as Kentrox, Sentrol, and Mikros, and held senior positions at ESI, and Plantronics. He also served as Chairman of Seasons Foods, BLT Technologies, Mitron, and Decision Dynamics. He served as Chairman of the Portland Art Museum, and Chairman of Pacific University, was a board member of Unicru, Stormwater Management, EID Access, and Study Dog, and sat on the boards of over 20 other Northwest businesses, organizations and institutions.

Tom was the first winner of OEN’s Lifetime Achievement Award, was High Tech Executive of the Year, and was named Philanthropist of the year 2000. Tom had a BS in Math and Physics and an Honorary Doctor of Science from Pacific University. He held over 20 U.S. patents.


See photos from 2019:

Photos by J. P. Morgan

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