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OTBC News, Ideas, Resources

I just finished reading an email asking for people to volunteer for a panel to give students feedback on their startup idea, and that made me reflect on the whole idea of pitching an 'idea'. I generally find that having people "pitch their idea" to a panel for feedback isn't that helpful. The panel has no better crystal ball than the entrepreneurs - or than investors.



Some data: according to the Kauffman Foundation, approximately 80% of new venture investments are bad investments. Translation: even after doing due diligence, angel investors are, on average, wrong 80% of the time. And that's after doing due-diligence. A panel listening to a pitch isn't likely to do better than angels that have done due diligence. So for the entrepreneur who is pitching an idea - how useful is feedback that comes from people who are wrong 80% of the time?



I'd... Read more

More than 50 people registered for the first West Side PubTalk on May 20 at the Golden Valley Brewery to learn about Crowdfunding.  Ryan Frayne and Zeke Comusio with Windcatcher Technology and Mike Whitehead and Ron Khormaei  wtih FINEX Cast Iron Cookware shared their lessons learned from their recent Crowdfunding experience.   Windcatcher Technology raised $149,405 in 30 days, 298% of their fundraising goal, and FINEX raised $211,027 in 30 days, 844% of their fundraising goal.


The overriding message was: Crowdfunding is a lot of work!  That work spans the effort done prior to the campaign, preparing a video and the other marketing preparation, then gets very intense while the campaign is active - 30 days for both companies.  And then comes the challenge of tooling-... Read more


Finding a co-founder takes networking, but that networking will be more effective if you take the time to be prepared.  And even without a co-founder, you can make headway in moving your business forward, and that, by itself, is very empowering.  Here are 7 steps that will help you move your business ahead while increasing the odds that you'll find the right co-founder:


 



1. Validate your business model: Start validating your business model-don't wait for a Co-founder.  If you keep talking to customers to  validate your understanding of the unmet need, your understanding of the market will improve, and so will  your confidence in your solution.  That confidence will come across when talking with prospective cofounders.   Having a solid... Read more



The Oregon Technology Business Center (OTBC) received the highest possible ranking in the Oregon Founder’s Study, a collaborative study performed by the Oregon Entrepreneurial Network (OEN) and Portland State University (PSU) Associate Professor Charla Mathwick. 


“Based on that question, OTBC was ranked as one of the top providers of services to the local start-up community,” said Mathwick. "Founders have told me that the best advice for guiding their business often comes from fellow founders.” OTBC was rated among many mentors, but was the only incubator that received top honors, 3 out of a possible 3. 


Read the full release at... Read more

Confused about new SEC rules? You’re not the only one. While the entire Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) has yet to come into effect, parts of it have, significantly changing the landscape for entrepreneurs trying to raise money for their companies.


Here are 5 things you MUST understand before raising money:

... Read more

The parts of the Act that went into effect in September of 2013 have a big impact on how you verify whether an prospective investor actually does qualify as an accredited investor. That's just one of the considerations you'll need to understand before making any public pitch.



          Links


          Lexus Nexus: Demo Days, Pitch Events and the New Reg D


          GeekWire: The messy side of the JOBS Act, and the potential ‘death sentence’ for startups... Read more

As usual, EDCO (Economic Development for Central Oregon) put on a great show at the 2013 Bend Venture Conference.  The winner of the $250,000 investment was Nouvola. Ochoco Arms won the Concept stage prize of $10,000. One of the highlights of the show was Dino Vendetti's one hour "Fireside Chat" with serial entrepreneur Steve Blank.


 Video of the Fireside Chat will be available soon on the Bend Venture Conference site - but meanwhile, you can hear audio of the interview below - together with my notes.  If you're in a hurry, you can... Read more

WinnersThe inaugural Hardware Startup Pitch Contest culminated in an October 3 pitch event.  Joint sponsors were OTBC and Axiom Electronics, who both donated cash for prizes.


Vivek Manoharan (Odd I/O) was the $1,000 winner, with Shashi Jain (Dongle Kong) winning the $300 runner-up prize.


Four startups were finalists, and they presented their pitches for the $1000 cash prize. They were:



  • NliteN (Andy Turudic). A cost- effective, LED-based light bulb.


  • Odd I/O (Vivek Manoharan). A STEM- focused educational device in the form of a sound-controlled robot.
  • ... Read more



Register now for the Hardware Pitch Event!  We received some exciting applications and are reviewing them now.   We're expecting a great collection of very interesting presentations. Join us on October 3 for something different: pitches that involve hardware!


Sponsored by OTBC and Axiom Electronics



 


When: Oct. 3, 3pm to 5pm


Location: To be announced


To register, click here.


OTBC graduate Tau Science Corporation announced that it has been awarded a $1 million Department of Energy grant for the continued development of its proprietary FlashQE® technology.  Work done through the award will help increase the lifetime and reliability of solar panels while decreasing the cost to consumers. 


“The technology provides real-time device characterization in a manufacturing environment that is simply unobtainable by conventional means,” explains Gregory Horner, Chief Technology Officer, “This allows our customers to react quickly to process excursions and maximize the yield of their lines.”



Tau Science is helps accelerate the global adoption of Photovoltaic Solar by providing products which increase device efficiency,... Read more

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