Jake Weatherly, SheerID
Our OTBC bootcamp experience officially and directly lead to our series A with Diane, Erik, and Voyager. Huge advocate of your program – thanks again!
Claudia Jaffe, Lumencor
I say all the time, OTBC was a tremendous help in getting our business going. We benefited from the physical space for office and lab, camaraderie of fellow residents, marketing assistance, help with road show presentation, CFO in residence, seminar series, introduction to potential investors and customers and general reception as outsiders into the Beaverton and Portland business communities.
David Starr, Sonivate Medical
OTBC provided flexible office space options that were a perfect fit for an early stage company, and OTBC coaching contributed to Sonivate winning both the Bend Venture Conference and the Willamette Angel conference. I’d recommend OTBC to any growth startup company.
Gary Chin, Clearvue Project Management
As a sole founder/ceo it is extremely valuable to have someone knowledgeable in high-tech start-ups to bounce ideas of of and/or brainstorm… Overall OTBC has been a great support mechanism for me. As an entrepreneur, it sometimes seems like a long haul with many emotional ups and downs – Having Steve, Mark, and David as coaches really helps get you through the “downs” and keep your focus.
Jamie Hudson, Tau Science
Good chance to meet other folks in the throes of launching. Helped focus and pull together business plan.
Jeff Walton, Remote Technologies
The advice, support and positive energy that Remote Technologies received in our first two months at OTBC was critical in helping us to win Seed Oregon 2007 and to close a $1 million investment.
Ken Westin, GadgetTrak
Benefits included meeting and talking with other entrepreneurs and a lot of the seminars and one-on-one training.
Ken Whiteman, Green Shipping
OTBC was a great opportunity to interact with other entrepreneurs and with seasoned professionals who could provide guidance for growing our company. We have incorporated many of the things we learned through the OTBC into our business and believe that it was well worth our time and investment. Steve and his team are very resourceful and were able to help us find professional guidance whenever challenges or roadblocks came up. As many OTBC entrepreneurs are navigating the startup process for the first time, I am confident that the OTBC has had and continues to make a enormous impact on the success of these new ventures. It is a model that should be replicated in other ommunities around the US.
Mark Owen, Puralytics
We benefited from the weekly training, the comradery of other entrepreneurs – many who we are still connected with, the exposure in the regional investment world, and the wisdom and experience of the advisors, entrepreneurs, and management of OTBC. The shared office space was also valuable early on, giving us a professional face, access to conference rooms and shipping facilities, etc.
Martin Stoll, GoSeeTell
There are 2 reasons why we are in Beaverton: better tax environment than Portland and OTBC. And as for a start-up the tax advantages are not important I can honestly say that we are only in Beaverton because when we first started and got our first office it was at OTBC. The biggest value of the OTBC membership was/is the peer-to-peer networking – being close to other start ups and being able to discuss with others what works and what does not work. That is I think the one thing I miss the most about the current set-up, there are no more lunches with other entrepreneurs and coaches. I also found the reviews with the mentors very helpful as well as the lunch & learns.
Miguel Mendez, Klassic
Benefits included establishing relationships with other start-up, learning about the whole start-up community, ie angels investors, miriad of consultants/contractors selling their services and others.
Paul Irvine, (formerly with Earth Class Mail)
We benefited from the ability to hire staff and contractors; cost savings while incubating without major commitments; proper office space; support of kindred spirits;
Phil Mylet, Insight Guest Relationship Management
There were many positive’s but I think the access to the knowledge base and the high quality of relevant networking stood out the most. The ability to get great office space without all the major financial commitments that would otherwise come with a traditional stand alone rent scenario was a big bonus as well. Overall it was an excellent experience and I highly recommend that the city not only continue the program but take every step to enhance the efforts as much as possible. This could and should include marketing efforts that reach outside of our immediate community to bring in new entrepreneurs from other locales. Reaching out to Seattle and California would the obvious areas I would look at first.
Tough love — it helped me hit the dead ends in my business concept and plan sooner, and come up with solutions or refactoring faster!
It gave me the vocabulary and basic business sense of what it takes to be a startup.
Excellent methodology for quickly evaluating business ideas (enables you to make better decisions about which ideas to pursue).
Glenn Widener, MiniSub
Helped me avoid jumping into a subpar business idea – saving my energy for a better business proposition when it comes along. Thanks so much Steve!
I’d do FastTrac again as I found the exercise to be very valuable. It’s an e-MBA (e for entrepreneurial) and the practical advise was very helpful. Also, a great resource of templates that proved to be helpful.
I believe the FastTrac experience helped me to develop a time line and a better organized evaluation of the project and financial requirements. This start up effort has allowed me to establish contacts which have provided me with other opportunities and a more critical method of evaluating business plans.
Micah Elliott, uGraph
The *greatest* value of FastTrac was getting to hear material presented and personalized by Steve, who has real experiences in the trenches. The presentations were engaging, genuine, and fun, and I think it takes a special well-rounded and experienced type to be able to fit the requirements well… Being forced to fine-tune the pitch week after week was a memorable experience that I’ll continue to apply to any new endeavor, of any size.
Nancy Wirsig McClure
I learned a structured approach to developing a business idea, to really think about growth vs lifestyle business, and the real-world experiences of recent entrepreneurs.
Paul Daigle, Kindigs
FastTrac was incredibly valuable for us. It served as both an info-intensive 10-week crash course for launching a high-tech company, and a high-value forum for sharing and networking with area entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders and venders. All is all, it was invaluable. All the areas covered in the 10 week track were applicable to what we needed to know and do in order to move our idea forward; from validating the market, to protecting intellectual property, to producing defendable financials and business plan. I think the biggest asset that OTBC brought to the FastTrac program was the amazing caliber of educators, coaches and topical experts. I referenced my FastTrac materials and course notes often. The personal connections that we forged as part of this program continue to prove to be one of the programs most important benefits. As a high-tech founder in NE Portland, I continue to recommend this program to other area entrepreneurs.
Ragav Satish, Membean
Anyone working seriously on a Start Up has a lot of questions but very little time to find answers. It’s easy to find some answer but very difficult to find the *right* answer. FastTrac provides value in the following ways.
1. It offers a number of *practical* tips on pitching and disttling the essence of the venture.
2. It offers direct forthright feedback on ideas and possible shortcomings from a veteran who has been down the road before.
3. Working through the Fast Trac material forces you to work outside your comfort zone. If you are an engineer it forces you to focus on marketing and message and if you are non – technical it forces you to elucidate your technical/service advantage.
4. FastTrac material succinctly articulates the wisdom needed to launch a startup. I’ve shared my book with other people wanting to start a new venture and recommended that they take the course.
5. FastTrac courses provide a peer support group and networking opportunities. I’m in touch with a few members of my FastTrac cohort. The most effective resource for entrepreneurs is other entrepreneurs.