Past OEN Entrepreneurship Awards Winners & Finalists

The judging process for the OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards is highly competitive, and it is a significant achievement just to be named as a finalist. These outstanding companies and entrepreneurs have proven themselves worthy of recognition:

2018 Winners & Finalists

2018 Entrepreneurial Achievement Award

WINNER: Emma Mcilroy—Co-founder & CEO, Wildfang.

Other finalists: Jason Bolt with Revant Optics, Mahmood Sher-Jan with RADAR, and Tim Hysell and Dan Sisson with ZincFive

2018 Game Changer Award

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

Other finalists: Business for a Better PortlandMicro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO), and The MOB Nation

2018 Bootstrap Stage Company Award

WINNER: Uform—Cherie Stamm, Founder & CEO, Turlif Vilbrandt Founder & CTO

Other finalists: KrowdsourcedNOBULL Specialty Foods, and Premium Organics

2018 Early Stage Company Award

WINNER: Riff Cold Brewed Coffee—Nate Armbrust, Steve Barham, Paul Evers, Bobby Evers, Kevin Smyth, Co-founders

Other finalists: Riff Cold Brewed CoffeeStackery, and Tali

2018 Development Stage Company Award

WINNER: Sseko Designs—Liz and Ben Bohannon, Co-founders

Other Finalist: Gear Up Sports and Poached Jobs



2018 Growth Stage Company Award (Tie)

WINNERS: DWFritz Automation—Dennis Fritz, Founder of DWFritz along with Mike Fritz, CEO of DWFritz.

Other finalists: Circle Media Labs and Pollinate





2018 Growth Stage Company Award (Tie)

WINNERS: Vacasa —Eric Breon, Co-founder & CEO of Vacasa

Other finalists: Circle Media Labs and Pollinate

Battle of the Schools Award in Memory of Wyatt Starnes

WINNER: Spencer Holton, University of Oregon

Other finalists: Alex Dassise with Seiji’s Bridge, Benjamin Steinhorn with ShoeBio, and Jonas Hanna with Bottle Bros.

2017 Winners & Finalists


2017 Startup Stage Company Award

WINNER: AbSci—AbSci has developed a proprietary bioengineered E. coli expression system, SoluPro™, which allows allows protein-based drugs such as insulin to be produced at a fraction of their current cost.

FINALISTS: 360e, Evelyn & Bobbie


2017 Development Stage Company Award

WINNER: RADAR, Inc.—RADAR is a first-to-market SaaS incident response management platform focused on addressing the complex regulatory requirements imposed by data breach notification laws.

FINALISTS:, Hubb, Mirth Provisions


2017 Growth Stage Company Award

WINNER: Cloudability—Cloudability specializes in cloud management tools that enable companies to manage cloud spending across departments, products and infrastructure.

FINALISTS: DWFritz Automation, Vacasa, ZincFive


2017 Entrepreneurial Achievement Award

WINNER: Ben Corrado and Justin Rigling, Co-Founders, Rigado—Ben Corrado and Justin Rigling co-founded Rigado in 2010. Corrado and Rigling were chosen because they are unafraid to pivot and take risks, maintain 100% conviction in their idea and abilities, and have achieved phenomenal revenue growth, growing much more quickly than forecasted.

FINALISTS: Allie Magyar, Hubb; Chris and Sadie Lincoln, barre3; Shannon Keith, Sudara


2017 Lifetime Achievement Award

WINNER: Sam Blackman, AWS Elemental—Sam Blackman founded Elemental Technologies in 2006 and served as its CEO until August 2017. He rose to prominence as one of Oregon’s most successful and respected tech entrepreneurs. AWS Elemental, which now employs more than 400 people, was acquired by Amazon in 2015.


2017 Game Changer Award

WINNER: Good Clean Love—Good Clean Love is a woman owned, B-Corporation that offers organic lubricants and feminine hygiene products.

FINALISTS: Cascade Health Alliance, GO Box, Wild Me


2017 Wyatt Starnes Battle of the Schools Award

WINNER: Chris Vlessis, OSU Cascades—Chris Vlessis is the cofounder and CTO of Shape Integrated Software based in Bend. In just three years, Shape has grown incredibly fast, with significant revenue and profitability.

FINALISTS: Halley Farwood, Pacific University; Max Clary, Lewis & Clark College; Nathan Braaten, Oregon State University

2016 Winners & Finalists


2016 Startup Stage Company Award

WINNER: Hubb—a software platform that helps conference and meeting planners manage and market content for their events.

FINALISTS: Crystal Clear Technologies, NemaMetrix


2016 Development Stage Company Award

WINNER:—a behavioral messaging platform for automating hyper-personalized customer communication at scale.

FINALISTS: Senaptec, Wildfang


2016 Growth Stage Company Award

WINNER: Ruby Receptionists—the only virtual receptionist service dedicated to making personal connections with callers.

FINALISTS: iovation, FCR, Puppet


2016 Entrepreneurial Achievement Award

WINNER: Monica Enand, Founder and CEO, Zapproved—Monica has grown Zapproved into the leading cloud-based software provider for corporate legal departments. Zapproved was recognized in the 2014 Inc. 500 as one of the fastest growing private companies in the United States.

FINALISTS: Oliver Alexander & Orion Falvey, Orchid Health; Trevor Mauch, Carrot.


2016 Wyatt Starnes Memorial Award

WINNER: Tyrone Poole,Founder & CEO of — Tyrone founded to help combat unnecessary homelessness. revolutionizes the way renters find homes by screening potential renters against every vacancy in a market, eliminating the need for multiple, costly applications.

FINALISTS: Brian Martin, Recentia Health Corp; David Schaefer, eWind Solutions; Dylan Vance, Jupiter Devices


2016 Game Changer Award

WINNER: Camions of Care—a youth-run global nonprofit that strives to manage and celebrate menstrual hygiene—through the global distribution of feminine hygiene products, and the engagement of youth leadership through a nationwide network of campus chapters.



Lifetime Achievement Award

WINNER: Linda Weston, President & Executive Director, OENThis year’s Awards Ceremony marks the final year of Linda’s remarkable 17-year tenure as President and Executive Director of OEN. She will be retiring and launching a consulting company at the end of 2016.  Under Linda’s leadership, OEN has experienced significant growth and expanded its impact across the state, serving more than 52,000 participants since 1999, generating $10,792,545 in donations and sponsorship revenue, and securing more than $1.1 million in grant funding to expand access to OEN services in underserved areas.

2015 Winners & Finalists

OEN Launch Stage Company of the Year

  • WINNER:  — licenses a software platform to primary care groups, automating up to 90% of provider time spent on the low-acuity conditions, such as colds, flus, and earaches, that make up more than half of their visit volume.
  • FINALIST: ONtheGO Platforms — Working to fundamentally alter how people interact with technology by utilizing as little hardware as possible.
  • FINALIST: Valliscor — Providing innovative solutions to access high-value organic building blocks for the pharmaceutical, biotech and agrochemical industries.

OEN Development Stage Company of the Year

  • WINNER: Cairn  — offers a subscription gift box providing ideas, inspiration and new products to adventurers, and outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to a $25 monthly subscription service, Cairn collects customer demographic data and product reviews, which they give back to the brands they work with.
  • FINALIST: Green Zebra Grocery — A neighborhood store making it easy and convenient to access high quality, delicious, and healthy food.
  • FINALIST: Time & Oak — Giving you the tools to craft and create your favorite whiskey (customized to taste) in as little as 24 hours.

OEN Growth Stage Company of the Year

  • WINNER: DiscoverOrg  — provides sales and marketing intelligence software to aid businesses in sales, outbound and inbound marketing, and staffing.
  • FINALIST: Billups — A media specialist agency with expertise in ideation/concept development, media planning, buying, production, posting and post-buy evaluations.
  • FINALIST: Janrain — Specializing in customer identity management to better engage customer and personalize/consolidate customer data.

OEN Entrepreneurial Achievement Award Winner

  • FINALIST: Sadie & Chris Lincoln, barre3

OEN Game Changer Award Winner

  • WINNER: AbSci  — a manufacturing platform that will dramatically reduce the costs of next-generation protein based pharmaceutical therapies.
  • FINALIST: REMzen — Revolutionizing how we sleep with an intelligent slumber mask — that tracks quality of sleep and wakes users using spectral light at the optimal point in the sleep cycle to avoid grogginess.
  • FINALIST: Civil Co. — Civil comment sections are places where people can gather online and comment, constructively criticize, and debate without the constant threat of harassment, intimidation and abuse.

OEN Wyatt Starnes Award Winner—Robert Haydock, CEO and Founder, Scratch-it

  • WINNER: Robert Haydock, Scratch-it  an enterprise class-cloud platform created to improve traffic and increase customer engagement.
  • FINALIST: Esteban Vollenweider, co-founder of Third Ocean

2014 Winners & Finalists

Our 2014 OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards took place on Wednesday, October 15 at the Oregon Convention Center.

OEN Launch Stage Company of the Year 

  • WINNER: GlobeSherpaa Portland, Oregon-based Software Company specializing in mobile application development for transit, parking, and events.
  • FINALIST: Inpria—developing metal oxide photoresists to enable the $280B semiconductor industry to continue to reduce transistor sizes.
  • FINALIST: Nouvola—offers a scalable performance testing suite to help companies deploy their applications to the cloud scale successfully.

OEN Development Stage Company of the Year 

  • WINNER: Salt & Straw—a small-batch, all-natural ice cream company based in Portland, OR whose ice cream showcases Oregon ingredients in a monthly rotating seasonal menu of ice cream scoops and pints.
  • FINALIST: barre3—an innovative fitness system and global network of studios inspired by the disciplines of yoga, Pilates and ballet barre work.
  • FINALIST: Chirpify—activates media for instant conversion. Their #Actiontag Platform allows consumers to respond, opt-in and buy with a social post—anywhere they encounter a brand’s message—including TV, print, in-venue and online.

OEN Growth Stage Company of the Year 

  • WINNER: Elemental Technologies—the leading supplier of software-defined video solutions for multiscreen content delivery.
  • FINALIST: Puppet Labs—the creator of Puppet Enterprise and Puppet Open Source, IT automation software that enables organizations to deliver the operational agility and efficiency of cloud computing at enterprise-class service levels.
  • FINALIST: ZoomCare—an Oregon-based on-demand neighborhood health system that serves over 250,000 people in 23 clinics in the Portland and Seattle areas 365 days a year.

OEN Entrepreneurial Achievement Award 

  • WINNER: Luke Kanies—Founder & CEO of Puppet Labs
  • FINALIST: Jill Nelson—Founder & CEO of Ruby Receptionists
  • FINALIST: Jason Bolt—Founder & CEO of Society43 and Revant

OEN Game Changer Award 

  • WINNER: Puralytics SolarBag—a sunlight activated water purification system
  • FINALIST: The TomegaVax platform—new vaccine technology that provides an active immune shield for life
  • FINALIST: Inpria’s photoresist products—photopatternable metal oxide thin films that will enable future generations of semiconductors

OEN Wyatt Starnes Memorial Award

  • WINNERLindsay Nelson, CEO & Co-Founder of Theme Dragon
  • FINALIST—Andrew Thorsvik, Co-Founder of ThorVolt
  • FINALIST—Erik Tucker, Co-Founder and COO of Aronora, Inc.
  • FINALIST—Mara Zepeda, Co-Founder and CEO of Switchboard

2013 Winners & Finalists

Development Category
WINNER: Wildfang
FINALISTS: brandlive, Cloudability, Indow Windows

Working Capital Category
WINNER: Janrain
FINALISTS: Embodee, Puppet Labs

Growth Category
WINNER: Viewpoint Construction Software
FINALISTS: Elemental Technologies, The Clymb

Individual Category
WINNER: Mat Ellis, Cloudability
FINALISTS: Luke Kanies, Puppet Labs; John Marick, Consumer Cellular

Lifetime Achievement
WINNER: Paul Gulick, a pioneer of Oregon’s electronic display industry

Volunteers of the Year
Brent Bullock, Perkins Coie
Shelley Gunton, Chez Marie

2012 Winners & Finalists

Development Category
WINNER: VendScreen
FINALISTS: 4-Tell, Inc.Tellagence

Working Capital Category
WINNER: Act-On Software
FINALISTS: Foundation FitnessJama Software

Growth Category
WINNER: Timbercon, Inc.
FINALISTS: Cerus Industrial,CoaxisElemental Technologies

Individual Category
WINNER: Scott Kveton, Urban Airship
FINALISTS: Ray Davis, Umpqua Bank; Chris Ulum, Agilyx

Lifetime Achievement
WINNER: Irving Levin, Genesis Financial Solutions

Volunteers of the Year
Dana Alexander, Alexander Connections
James C. Noonan, Pivot Point Capital Corporation
Dennis Powers, VectorPoint Ventures

2011 Winners & Finalists

Development Category
WINNER: Good Clean Love
FINALISTS: Gamma Therapeutics, No Skinny (Expressive Labels)

Working Capital Category
WINNER: Elemental Technologies
FINALISTS: Jama SoftwarePulse Health

Growth Category
WINNER: Avnera
FINALISTS: EthicsPointFull Sail BrewingGrape Solar, Inc.

Individual Category
WINNER: Sam Blackman, Elemental Technologies 
FINALISTS: Robert Judge, Wellpartner; Chris Marsh, Pulse Health

Lifetime Achievement
WINNER: Gerry Langeler, OVP Venture Partners

2010 Winners & Finalists

Development Category
FINALISTS: Columbia GreenShopIgniter

Working Capital Category
WINNER: ClearAccess
FINALISTS: Certified Languages InternationalElemental TechnologiesOh!Shoes

Growth Category
WINNER: Smarsh
FINALISTS: AvneraCoffee Bean InternationalnLIGHT

Individual Category
WINNER: Sohrab Vossoughi, Ziba Design 
FINALISTS: Jim Johnson, Tripwire; William Kelly,; Manpreet Khaira, Avnera

2009 Winners & Finalists

Development Category
WINNER:  Jama Software
FINALISTS: Design MediaLittle Busy Bodies, Wicked Quick

Working Capital Category
WINNER:  Monsoon
FINALISTS: gDiapers, Smarsh

Growth Category
WINNER: Motorcycle Superstore
FINALISTS: Deschutes Brewery, Micropower Electronics

Individual Category
WINNER: Ray King,
FINALISTS: Bill Kelly,; Lynnor Stevenson, Design Medix; Steve Sharp, TriQuint

2008 Winners & Finalists

Development Category
WINNER: ClearEdge Power
FINALISTS: AboutUs, Inc.Jama SoftwarePlas2Fuel Corporation

Working Capital Category
WINNER:  ID Experts
FINALISTS: PopArt, Inc.PV Powered

Growth Category
WINNER: nLight Corporation
FINALISTS: Hemcon Medical TechnologiesTimbercon

Individual Category
WINNER:Doug Fieldhouse, Vesta
FINALISTS: Ray King,; Susan Sokol Blosser, Sokol Blosser

2007 Winners & Finalists

Development Category
WINNER: Innovation Asset Group
FINALISTS: Efficere TechnologiesRemote Technologies

Working Capital Category
WINNER: Auctionpay, Inc.

Growth Category
WINNER: Jive Software
FINALISTS: Saber CorporationSnapnames

Individual Category
WINNER: Nicole Vogel, Portland Monthly
FINALISTS: Jim Johnson, Tripwire; John Morgan, Hemcon; Judy Johnston, Blue Lake Children’s Publishing

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