David Kenney,
President & Executive Director

Startups Add Manufacturing Space, Grow Jobs

I often talk about the important role cleantech businesses play in the economy. The recent manufacturing expansion at several Oregon BEST Companies provide clear evidence of this. According to a Brookings Institution report, roughly 26 percent of all clean economy jobs lie in manufacturing, compared to just 9 percent in the broader economy.

Three Oregon BEST Companies recently moved into larger manufacturing spaces. Nontoxic flow battery maker Energy Storage Systems (ESS) relocated to a 100,000-sq.-ft. facility in Wilsonville. Electric vehicle maker Arcimoto moved into a 30,000-sq.-ft. foot space in Eugene. And DR Johnson Wood Innovations expanded its cross-laminated timber manufacturing plant in rural Douglas County by 40,000 square feet. The ESS and Arcimoto moves follow key fundraising activities that will enable the startups to expand their workforce, as well.

I personally believe that the growing disparity between wealthy and low-income Americans is one of the biggest challenges facing our country, and a key driver of this disparity is the lack of middle income jobs. Manufacturing businesses like ESS, Arcimoto, and DR Johnson are creating those jobs right here in Oregon, and we're excited about their momentum!

Best wishes,

David Kenney, President & Executive Director
Oregon BEST
ESS Installs BIG Battery, Expands Manufacturing

Long-duration energy storage startup has been very busy

In addition to recently relocating to a new 100,000+ square-foot manufacturing space in Wilsonville that will enable the company to make investments in automation for volume production, Energy Storage Solutions (ESS) also just installed one of its 50kW/400kWh All-Iron Flow Energy Warehouses ( shown above) at the University of California San Diego as part of the university's microgrid. UC San Diego has one of the most advanced microgrids in the country, and is able to self-generate 85 percent of its electricity with net savings of $10 million per year. An ESS battery installed in Northern California demonstrated how microgrids help communities during wildfire power outages. ESS also has a new logo, look and VP of marketing. Read more.
Smart Home Startup Lands Intel Capital Investment

$1M+ investment brings total raised to $6.5M as company adds jobs

Intel Capital is the latest investor in Oregon BEST Company IOTAS, the Portland-based startup with a smart home technology platform for rental property managers and renters that uses “smart” hardware and software to cut energy use.The technology can be customized for each apartment or home, depending on the resident's individual patterns and needs. IOTAS has grown from 13 employees last spring to 35 today and is currently hiring more staff. Full story.
Zebras vs. Unicorns in the World of Cleantech

"When shareholder return trumps collective well-being,
democracy itself is threatened.” — from the manifesto of the zebra movement

The Problems:
  • Startups founded by women receive 3 percent or less of the total venture capital invested in the U.S.
  • As demonstrated by a recent study, women receive different treatment than men when pitching to investors.
  • The current startup world is built around an unsustainable model of the "unicorn" (a term used to describe startups valued at more than $1 billion) in a venture-funding culture that rewards shareholder profits over environmental impacts, which is an issue for cleantech companies.

The Response:
Let's change the game! Hundreds of sustainable business leaders gathered in Portland this month from all over the world for Dazzlecon, a celebration of the non-unicorn (companies that are both profitable and improve society), which a pioneering group of founders call "zebras." Given the fact this event took place, coupled with the creation of the XXcelerate Fund, TAO Bend's community of women in STEAM, Oregon BEST's stated goal to massively increase the number of women applying for SBIR/STTR funds, and more, one thing is clear: there is an inflection point happening for women entrepreneurs. If you or someone you know is a woman founder in Oregon, all of us on the Oregon BEST team will be happy to serve as a resource and help provide connections… to the world of zebras, and much more.
CEO Selected for U.S. Delegation
RITA HANSEN, CEO of the Oregon BEST Company Onboard Dynamics, is in Hyderabad, India as part of the U.S. State Dept. delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), an annual, global gathering that convenes emerging entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters from around the world. This year’s Summit will focus on supporting women entrepreneurs and creating new goods and services that will transform societies. Ivanka Trump is headlining the U.S. delegation to the summit.

Stay updated on environmental protection and compliance, new technologies and services, sustainable business practices, and trending policy issues. Portland

Dec. 7 | Pitch Oregon
At TiE Oregon’s annual marquee event, entrepreneurs from all around Oregon pitch for cash and prize packages. Portland

Hosted by Oregon BEST at our Portland offices, this event will help small businesses, including cleantech startups, compete for the $300M awarded through the Navy SBIR/STTR Program ( see next column). Register here.

This OEN's Startup Resources Tradeshow is the perfect starting point for new entrepreneurs trying to navigate the startup ecosystem and find support, mentorship, and potential funding. Portland

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Outsourcing Your Development – Including IP Strategy and Protection
TiE Oregon, in partnership with the Technology Association of Oregon, continues its “Evolve Your Startup” series that explores topics relevant to startups. Portland

See BEST website for more...

Oregon BEST helps cleantech startups and university researchers find a range of support, visibility, and FUNDING .

This program awards more than $300M in contracts to small businesses with technology and innovations, including cleantech, that can be developed for military applications. Learn more at Oregon BEST on December 13, Portland, OR

Up to $2M | Oregon Angel Fund
A group of investors contributes time, expertise, capital, and connections to help founders gain access to the right people and resources to grow their business their way.

Apply to accelerate your company's growth! Each year this forum hosts the most innovative, emerging clean energy start-up companies.

Apply for $5,000 from Business Oregon to help apply for federal SBIR or STTR grants.

We're Here to Help!

Resources and expertise for Oregon innovators

Oregon BEST  supports great ideas from entrepreneurs, university researchers, and startups. We create global impact, one startup at a time by working with you to transform your ideas, research, and/or products into successful enterprises. For Oregon-based companies developing proprietary, technology-based products , we offer assistance in securing early-stage funding , as well as access to  critical support channels . Talk to us!