OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

college of business

Venture capitalists to choose teams in ‘Next Great Startup’ competition

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator has launched its first annual Next Great Startup competition, to begin in February with a round of auditions.

The competition, which offers more than $30,000 in prizes, is not an ordinary business plan or pitch competition, organizers say. The event is seeking the best student-led business with the chance to create a real company and win $18,000 or more. 

The first elimination round will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Feb. 9, in Stirek Auditorium in Austin Hall on the OSU campus. All events are open to the public.

Student-led teams pitched their business ideas to contend for one of 16 spots in the competition. In the first round, four venture capitalists will choose from among the 16 teams, and each pick one to coach through the competition.

A knockout round will be held on Feb. 23 and the finals on March 9, both in Stirek Auditorium of Austin Hall, starting at 5:30 p.m. On March 9, a panel of judges will select a winning team.

Each team is provided a small amount of working capital as they move to the next round. The winning team will be awarded more than $18,000 in prizes, legal and accounting services, entrance to the Advantage Accelerator, and the opportunity to pitch during the Willamette Angel Conference in May, 2017.

The following 16 teams have been selected for the first round: 

  • Sunshot Energy, a carbon dioxide-based power generator designed for rural areas
  • Blip, a platform for short-form content creators to monetize their work
  • GobTech, a platform toolset to make it easy to implement neural networks for use in gaming applications
  • HEARTH Technologies, a sensor that can be implemented with a biomass cook stove to monitor fuel usage
  • Cool Bubble Tech, a vapor chamber component designed to prevent overheating in wearable devices
  • Clear Run Filtration, long-term, sustainable storm water treatment
  • Rambuta, remote sensing for plant stress via a new and more efficient proxy using machine learning
  • Assure, “safe jewelry,” GPS-based wearables for women designed to notify authorities in risk situations
  • Tour de World, a centralized platform for tour guides to market their tours to travelers
  • Mole Drone, a rover for use during fracking that can determine safety zones for workers
  • Seiji’s Bridge, a line of products designed for children and those with developmental disabilities
  • Sensiplicity, a customizable, low cost, and modular sensor system for “big data” agriculture and other industries
  • Top TEC, a device that can serve as a chair, scale and help patient mobility in hospitals and nursing homes
  • PNW Dulse, a nutrient-dense food product that tastes like bacon
  • SeeSD, building an outreach program for STEM education and research and development in Senegal
  • CYLBiotechnologies, using algae to develop four high-margin products, from chitin to glucosamine to metal oxide nanomaterial.
Source: 

Mark Lieberman

 mark.lieberman@oregonstate.edu

 

Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator plans ‘Next Great Startup’

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator program is launching the Next Great Startup competition for OSU students in winter term of 2017.

Developed in collaboration with several OSU colleges, the event will feature the first student-based, university-wide business competition. It will begin in January, 2017, and the finals will be held on March 9. 

The Next Great Startup goes beyond ordinary business plan or pitch competitions, organizers say. It’s about real, viable student startup ventures created in Corvallis, and each team will receive direct access to venture capitalist coaches, business mentors, and additional funding as they advance in all three rounds.

The winning team will receive more than $10,000 in cash, goods and services. Cash and in-kind prizes will be awarded to the top four teams. Additionally, mentors from the community and the accelerator will participate in coaching the teams. 

More information on the competition and eligibility is available online at http://nextgreatstartup.oregonstate.edu

Media Contact: 

Anna Walsh, 541-368- 5206

Source: 

Mark Lieberman, 541-368-5203

mark.lieberman@oregonstate.edu

Top Oregon family businesses to be honored at Nov. 2 event

PORTLAND, Ore. – Several Oregon family businesses will be honored at the Oregon State University College of Business’ 2016 Excellence in Family Business Awards ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Portland Hilton and Executive Tower.

Bill Stoller, co-founder of Express Employment, will speak at the event, which is sponsored by the college’s Austin Family Business Program. Domonic Biggi, president of Beaverton Foods, will emcee. There are fees for attendance.

“Our Excellence in Family Business Awards recognize the achievements of family businesses in entrepreneurship, community involvement and multigenerational planning,” said Mitzi Montoya, dean of OSU’s College of Business. “With upwards of 80 percent of Oregon’s businesses being family-owned, it is really important that we honor the hard work and drive of these families and continue to foster a culture of support and shared-learning within the family business community.” 

Founded in 1985, the Austin Family Business Program provides inspiration, education, outreach and research to support family businesses.

“We want everyone to access these stories and learn why these businesses are so successful.” said Sherri Noxel, director of the Austin Family Business Program.

The awards feature categories that reflect sound family business practices. Honorees are:

  • Family Harmony: The Charlton Kennels & Farm, Portland. Finalists in the category included C & D Landscaping, Dayton, and Jag Forms, West Linn.
  • Generational Development: Benchmade Knife Company, Inc. C & R Remodeling, Salem, was a finalist in this category.
  • Business Renewal: GK Machine, Inc., Donald. Finalists included The Cronin Company, Portland, and Pride Disposal Company, Sherwood.
  • Student Award: Nicholas Strebin, Strebin Farms, Troutdale.

Stoller will receive the 2016 Dean’s Award for Family Business Leadership.

The event begins with a reception at 4 p.m. and the program at 5:50 p.m. Tickets are $45 for the reception alone, $75 for the reception with a buffet or $25 for children ages 3-10. The Portland Hilton and Executive Tower is at 921 S.W. 6th Ave., Portland.

Tickets are available online at http://bit.ly/2cNO3ga, by calling 1-800-859-7609 or by contacting Melissa Elmore at Melissa.elmore@bus.oregonstate.edu. The deadline to register is Oct. 26.

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Sherri Noxel, 541-737-6019, Sherri.noxel@bus.oregonstate.edu

Antitrust laws may hinder socially-responsible business collaboration

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new study suggests that U.S. antitrust laws could hamper the efforts of companies to collaborate on sustainable and socially-responsible business practices, even as consumers and businesses increasingly value them.

Both the public and many businesses are worried about natural resource limitations and the threat of climate change. Current anti-trust laws don’t fit with today’s global concerns, said Inara Scott, an attorney and assistant professor in the College of Business at Oregon State University.

“When it comes to the environment, we’re used to thinking of companies as part of the problem,” said Scott, who studies environmental law issues. “But today a lot of companies want to be part of the solution. They want to become more socially-responsible and drive sustainability for themselves and the consumer.

“The question for them becomes ‘How do I promote better environmental practices without losing market share?’ ”

Antitrust laws alone may not completely prevent businesses from collaborating, but the ways in which the laws have been interpreted and applied over time has had a chilling effect on businesses, said Scott, whose research on the issue was published in the spring issue of the American Business Law Journal.

Businesses do not want to risk even the appearance of impropriety, she said.

“The law is increasingly recognizing the role that sustainability has to play in the marketplace,” Scott said. “But out of an abundance of caution, companies avoid anything that looks like it might be considered a violation of antitrust laws.”

A chief concern that Scott found is that some types of behavior trigger accusations of “per se” antitrust violations, in which the facts are secondary to any appearance of impropriety. In such cases, she said, it is difficult for companies to defend themselves when faced with those types of accusations.

Price-fixing is one example. Companies go out of their way to avoid even the appearance of it, lest they face antitrust penalties. But fixing prices might not be a bad idea in some circumstances - it might be worth considering if it could help protect valuable rainforests or provide better income for independent coffee growers around the world, Scott said.

The per se standards were designed with the idea that markets are functional and operate properly, but that is not always the case, especially in today’s global marketplace, Scott said. Environmental factors, limited resources or even a dominant regime may unduly influence markets around the globe.

“Some kind of defense to antitrust law violations should be available if there is a market failure,” Scott said. “Behaviors that benefit consumers should be allowed. We can find ways to make exceptions for that.”

People who have a strong mistrust of big businesses may fear a change to the laws might lead to abuse, Scott said. But that fear and mistrust may be limiting our options for tackling the big issues of climate change and declining natural resources. Changes to the law could allow for better disclosure, transparency and monitoring to ensure businesses are working for societal good, she said.

“We are so deeply rooted in our assumptions about markets and competition,” Scott said. “It is very hard to challenge that. But these laws were written at a time when resources seemed inexhaustible, whereas today we live in an era of limited resources.”

Changing antitrust laws to allow for more flexibility will likely require legislative action, given companies’ limited ability to challenge them in court. But it is time for people to begin considering such changes, Scott said.

“Climate change and sustainability are such overwhelming problems,” she said. “We need businesses to take on those problems. Government and individuals are not going to be able to solve them on their own. How can we foster the positive power of businesses and not shut down opportunities?”

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Inara Scott, 541-737-4102, Inara.Scott@oregonstate.edu

OSU College of Business establishes Portland headquarters, launches innovation MBA

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon State University College of Business is launching a new MBA in innovation and establishing a Portland headquarters in the Pearl District.

The new space, located at 220 N.W. Eighth Ave., will be celebrated with several events, including informational meetings for the new MBA track in innovation as well as an upcoming open house for alumni, students, prospective students and industry representatives. 

“It’s an exciting time for us to grow in the Portland market,” said Dean Mitzi Montoya, who joined OSU’s College of Business in September.

OSU’s hybrid MBA program, based in Portland, offers a mix of online and in-person work. The innovation MBA will focus on one of Portland’s core values, entrepreneurial business growth, as it pertains to starting new businesses and advancing existing Oregon companies.

The MBA program in Portland also includes tracks in executive leadership and business analytics. Tracks in supply chain and logistics management and a certificate in financial planning will be offered beginning in the fall.

The flexible hybrid program format makes it accessible for the working professional. It involves working online about 80 percent of the time and gathering twice per 10-week term for team and faculty meetings, professional development, alumni networking and applied project work.

“OSU is an engine of innovation, and Portland is an exciting and growing innovation economy,” Montoya said. “I am excited about the tremendous potential of our work to grow Portland’s capacity to innovate even further.”

The College of Business’ new Portland headquarters will be located in the WeWork building in the Pearl District. WeWork is a national chain of shared office buildings and offers “co-working communities” that house multiple ventures, often startups. The businesses share office space, equipment and related amenities.

“WeWork’s entrepreneurial environment and its mission, to support hard-working members who produce results, aligns with the culture of the College of Business, our alumni and our programs,” Montoya said. 

The open house will be held on Feb. 18 from 4-6 p.m. Alumni, industry representatives, current MBA students, prospective students and community members are invited to attend the free event, which will be hosted by Montoya and other college leaders.

Information sessions for the new MBA track in innovation will be held on Feb. 11 from noon to 1 p.m. and from 4-5 p.m. The track will be offered starting in fall 2016. Business professionals in the metro area are invited to attend. RSVPs are appreciated but not required and can be made at osumba@oregonstate.edu.

In addition to the new WeWork space, the College of Business will continue to offer courses at the Collaborative Life Sciences Building in Portland’s South Waterfront district and expand its collaboration with OSU’s Food Innovation Center in Northwest Portland.

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Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039, steve.lundeberg@oregonstate.edu

Top Oregon family businesses to be honored at Nov. 19 event

PORTLAND, Ore. – Several Oregon family businesses will be honored at the 2015 Excellence in Family Business Awards ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland. 

Shobi Dahl, co-founder of Dave’s Killer Bread, will speak at the event, which is sponsored by Oregon State University’s Austin Family Business Program. Nik Blosser, chairman of Sokol Blosser Winery and CEO of Celilo Group Media, will emcee.

“After 30 years of family business education at Oregon State we continue to meet new and inspiring families running successful businesses in our communities,” said Sherri Noxel, director of the Austin Family Business Program. 

Founded in 1985, the Austin Family Business Program  provides inspiration, education, outreach and research to support family businesses.

The Excellence in Family Business Awards recognize the achievements of family businesses in entrepreneurship, community involvement and multigenerational planning. More than 200 companies have been honored since the awards began in 1988. 

This year’s awards feature new categories that reflect sound family business practices. Honorees are:

  • Family Harmony: Roe Motors of Grants Pass. Finalists in the category included Lee Farms of Tualatin and Nicholas Restaurant, which has three locations in the Portland area.
  • Generational Development: David H. Sutherland & Co., Inc. Finalists include Hagan Hamilton Insurance, McMinnville, and Newberg Steel & Fabrication, Inc.
  • Business Renewal: Rose City Label Company, Portland. Hillsboro Implants & Periodontics was also a finalist in the category.
  • Student Award: Mackenzie Day of Estacada, Day Wireless Reliance Connects.

The event will also feature the designation of Oregon’s Oldest Family Business, which will be recognized and announced with the Dean’s Family Business Leadership Award.

The event begins with a reception at 4:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m. and the program at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $30 for the reception alone, $90 for the reception and dinner, or $25 for children ages 3-10. The Sentinel Hotel is at 614 S.W. 11th Ave., Portland.

To reserve a seat, register online at http://bit.ly/1yVW32k or contact Melissa Elmore at Melissa.elmore@bus.oregonstate.edu or 1-800-859-7609. The deadline to register is Nov. 6.

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Sherri Noxel, 541-737-6019, Sherri.noxel@bus.oregonstate.edu

Mundorff to join Oregon State’s Advantage Accelerator

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Karl Mundorff, an entrepreneur and business development expert, has been named senior program manager for the Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator/RAIN Corvallis, an initiative focused on high-growth, innovative companies in the South Willamette Valley and greater OSU community.

“The accelerator is key to creating an innovation culture at Oregon State and creating impact in the local economy and beyond,” said Mitzi Montoya, dean of the College of Business. “The college’s and university’s investment in creating this culture, and in assuring a pipeline for start-ups is an important part of the pipeline we have for student and faculty to contribute to the entrepreneurship community.”

Mundorff most recently was the director of research programs for Oregon BEST, a state signature research center focused on developing the Cleantech economy, in which he worked with university and national laboratory technologies. He helped secure an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership designation from the Economic Development Administration, which created an opportunity for the Pacific Northwest Manufacturing Partnership to compete for more than $1billion in new federal agency grant opportunities.

Mundorff was also president and chief executive officer of BioReaction Industries, an air pollution control technology firm, and has created and taught master’s level courses in business model generation and commercialization at Portland State University and Concordia University. He is a graduate of the OSU College of Business and holds an MBA degree from Concordia University.

The OSU Advantage Accelerator/RAIN Corvallis, recently designated an I-Corp site, is an integral component of the Oregon Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, or Oregon RAIN, which is a collaboration of OSU, the University of Oregon, local governments, communities and economic development agencies.

Since its launch more than two years ago, the OSU Advantage Accelerator/RAIN Corvallis has admitted 30 business startups into the program. The companies that graduated from the program have generated over $6.6 million in revenue and grants and the creation of more than 40 jobs.

 

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Brian Wall, 541-737-9058

Family Firm Institute honors OSU’s Austin Family Business Program with award

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Austin Family Business Program in Oregon State University’s College of Business has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the Family Firm Institute’s Interdisciplinary Achievement Award.

“This prestigious award is the pinnacle of achievement in the field and we are pleased to name the Austin Family Business Program as its recipient for 2015,” said Judy Green, president of the institute, which is the leading association worldwide for family enterprise professionals.

Established in 1999, the Interdisciplinary Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the advancement of interdisciplinary services to business families. It is the highest professional honor presented by the Family Firm Institute, which provides research-based learning and relevant tools for advisors and consultants, academics and family enterprise members to drive success.

“We’re thrilled to receive this recognition from FFI that honors our commitment to delivering quality education to family businesses,” said program director Sherri Noxel. “It’s particularly special for us because 2015 is our 30-year anniversary.”

Founded in 1985, the Austin Family Business Program provides inspiration, education, outreach and research to support the success and survival of family businesses.

The program works with family business advising practitioners and consultants to design educational programs to prepare family businesses to balance the well-being of the business, the family and individuals, Noxel said.

Noxel will accept the award on behalf of the program at the FFI Gala Awards Dinner in October in London, England.

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Sherri Noxel, 541-737-6019, Sherri.noxel@ oregonstate.edu

April 27 talk at OSU to focus on ethical challenges in international business

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University alumnus and longtime business consultant Joe Lobbato will speak on “Ethical Challenges in International Business” Monday, April 27, at OSU.

The presentation will run from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. in the Stirek Auditorium in Austin Hall, 2751 S.W. Jefferson Way, Corvallis. The talk is free and open to the public.

Lobbato graduated from OSU’s College of Business in 1981 and added an MBA the following year. He then went to work in Copenhagen, Denmark, as a management consultant with Arthur Andersen, which became Andersen Consulting and later Accenture.

He spent 13 years in Europe before taking on the oversight of Accenture's Change Management Services in an array of regions ranging from Scandinavia to South Korea to Australia. Lobbato retired from Accenture as a managing partner in 2004 after 22 years with the firm. He then became chief operating officer of one of the largest companies in Thailand, Central Retail Corporation Ltd., an $8 billion retail and real estate conglomerate.

Now retired from full-time work, Lobbato is involved with ad hoc projects, board work and venture capital opportunities and also teaches business ethics at a university in Thailand one semester each year.

For more information on the talk, or to request accommodations for disabilities, call 541-737-6648.

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Jenn Casey, 541-737-0695, jenn.casey@oregonstate.edu

TEDxOregonStateU videos now available for viewing online

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Talks from February’s sold-out TEDxOregonStateU conference at Oregon State University are now available for viewing online.

TEDx events feature talks, demonstrations or performances designed to foster learning, inspiration and wonder. They are independently organized events in the style of the TED conference. The theme for OSU’s conference was “Disruption.”

Following the TEDx style, the talks run no more than 18 minutes each. The videos feature speakers:

  • Emily Calandrelli, host of FOX’s “Xploration Outer Space” and a former NASA employee
  • David Edelstein, senior vice president of global programs at Grameen Foundation and director of the Grameen Foundation Technology Center
  • Hanson Hosein, a former NBC News war correspondent who is now director of a communication leadership graduate program and president of HRH Media Group
  • Michelle Lesniak, season 11 winner of “Project Runway”
  • Matthew Kaiser, a current undergraduate student at OSU and fellow in the Linus Pauling Institute’s Cancer Chemoprevention Program

To watch the playlist of all the videos from the event, visit http://bit.ly/1HcRunD.

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Jenn Casey, 541-737-0695, jenn.casey@oregonstate.edu