New Venture Championship from Behind the Scenes

This past weekend I had the honor of being a moderator at the New Venture Championship (NVC) in Portland which is an international entrepreneurial investment competition presented annually by the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business. The 16 selected student teams from around the world pitched their business plans to a panel of judges, gained valuable feedback, and had the chance to win over $60,000 in cash prizes.

Day 1duck

The first session teams practiced their 60 second elevator pitches and received feedback from the judges. The second portion consisted of 30 minute presentations during which a judge could interrupt at any time. Judges challenged teams to defend their plans and their ability to move a pitch along, simulating a meeting at a busy VC firm. The first day was not scored, however, timing was critical because it was my job as moderator to stop them at exactly 30 minutes – no exceptions. Teams were meant to take the judges’ feedback from Day 1 to prepare for Day 2.

That evening, the teams competed in a tradeshow and elevator pitch competition. Not only was this a great opportunity to network with students, judges, and guests, but it was a chance to learn how to effectively talk about a business idea (and to get an unexpected photo-op with the Duck).

Day 2

The second day we welcomed a new set of judges for the semi-finals which consisted of the same format as the previous day, but this time the judges scored the presentations and selected teams to advance to the final round. After the pitches, all teams, judges, and moderators met in the ballroom to enjoy an amazing lunch and keynote panel of successful female entrepreneurs.

The panel was a chance to hear real business women discuss the grueling process of heading up a start-up, how they continuously pivoted, and what they have learned. As a previous NVC competitor, UO alum and Red Duck co-founder, Shannon Oliver gave input on the competition, stating “you can’t do well in this competition if you don’t know what you’re talking about, and in order to know what you’re talking about you have to have done your research”. This was spot on. The most successful teams were the ones that could authentically talk about their business and motives behind their venture, and convince the judges that they were knowledgeable about the industry.  After the lunch and judging deliberations, all participants, judges, and organizers took time to relax and mingle at the Portland Bowling Mixer where students showed off their bowling and gaming skills!


VivImmune from the University of Arkansas presenting to the judges during the finals round.

Day 3

The final day of the competition was an amazing learning experience. All moderators took on the roles of “shadow judges”. We watched the final presentations, critiqued each pitch as a group, and gave final recommendations to the judges. After providing feedback, we got to sit in on judges’ deliberations, and were proud when our rankings matched. As someone who wants to work with start-ups and may participate in this competition next year, the opportunity to hear the judges’ questions for the teams and rationale behind final decisions was an irreplaceable educational experience.

The winners were announced at the Awards Reception where we got to end the weekend on a high-note – the TougHer team from the UO won second place and took home $10,000!  Congrats!


Thinking of participating in NVC in the future? Here are some quick tips: 

  1. Be passionate.It’s not enough just to have a polished presentation. The most successful and convincing teams were the ones that were the most authentic and presented from the heart.
  2. Get your financials in order.When a judge doubts one number, they begin to doubt them all. Then they begin to question your credibility. Not sure about your numbers? Go the conservative route, but be able to explain your reasoning.
  3. Be prepared to be interrupted. A real pitch is a dynamic conversation. Come ready to answer any question about your business plan and anticipate judges’ concerns. Including answers to these concerns in your appendix will also help you maintain your cool during the Q&A.
  4. Network.This competition is rich with knowledgeable students, judges, and business people – use this opportunity to your advantage. And don’t forget to have fun!


    The Oregon MBA TougHer Team

  5. Be there to learn.We get it – this idea is your baby. However, if you’re open to critique and look for the learning opportunity in every situation, you are more likely to pivot in a direction that will lead to success.

Written by Kathryn Butera

Kathryn is originally from the Bay Area and is currently a first year MBA student in the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship.

Media Access at the Moda Center: An Insider’s View of NBA Game Day

When I first landed in the United States (Boston in particular), the first thing I did was book a ticket for a Celtics game. I chose to see a Knicks – Celtics game due to their historic rivalry. The TD Garden had a perfect atmosphere and, although neither team was at its best, it was an unforgettable experience. Today, two years later, I’ve been given the opportunity to see the NBA from the inside. As part of the NBA press media representing a Spanish radio station, I am lucky to see the NBA from another point of view; one much closer than I ever expected.

How did this amazing opportunity come about? I have connections with media outlets back home in Spain, and I thought that they might need someone that they know and trust who could cover NBA games in the Pacific Northwest. I sent a few emails and in a few weeks was at the Moda Center with my first NBA press credential happier than ever.

Lesson: Create your own job and your own chances through networking. The right connections are key in the sports business industry.

I usually arrive at the Moda Center an hour and a half before the games. The media entrance is the same one as the entrance to the floor so we have to pass through security. They check my backpack, and I have to go through the metal detector to verify that I am not carrying anything dangerous. After that, I can pick up my accreditation and am all set to start working. Since I am not a full time journalist, but an MBA student who lives in Eugene, I have to ask for credentials for each game. I email the radio station a few days before, letting them know that I will attend the game and they let me pick up my credentials upon arrival.

Once I have collected my press credentials, I enter the media room where I enjoy the delicious dinner that the Blazers’ staff politely offers to all the accredited journalists for the game. This is my chance to talk to fellow journalists and do some networking which always helps. An hour before the game, I have the option to interview the coaches of both teams and go on the floor to take photos. As a member of the press, I have access to the VIP area, the bench, and the court. After the game, media members also have access to the locker room.

My working station is in Section 207 of the Moda Center, just behind the VIP area. I can see the game perfectly and have a table for my laptop and a TV where I can watch other NBA games or check the game statistics. We definitely have everything we need there. At the end of each quarter, a representative of the Blazers gives us a sheet with game stats and fun facts that help us tweet or write to fans with data to support our comments. I admit that most of us spend the game tweeting. At the end of the game, the Blazers PR department emails or posts on the media website a press release with the game report that we can use to write our articles.

Once the game ends, I can attend the Blazers coach press conference or interview the rival coach in the hallway of the entrance to the locker room. After the coach answers our questions we are granted access to the locker rooms to interview the players.

                           The Media Room at the Moda Center

How many times have we seen in the media that a player had a triple-double in the game? Or beat the record of 3 pointers in a quarter? If you were a coach, would you give a player that has 18 points and 9 rebounds a chance to play a few more minutes to get his double-double even if you were winning by 20 points? In this game, the statistics have a tremendous influence on the game. Let me share with you an interesting anecdote: Why do you think Draymond Green, aka “Mr. Triple-double,” played just one minute in the 4th quarter of the Warriors – Blazers game? They were winning by 15 points and as one of the players with the most overall season minutes, Green needed the rest. But at that point in the game, Green had 11 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists. Could you guess what happened after that minute? Good old Draymond got the assist needed for his umpteenth triple-double of the season and went straight to the bench.

That’s another advantage of watching NBA from behind the cameras: Continued access to statistics and fun facts provided by the excellent public relations department of the Blazers. This makes a journalist’s life much easier–not only to objectively discuss the game (If you see the “Splash Brothers scoring 60 points with more than 50% FG” no doubt that you can objectively say they have destroyed the Blazers) but it also helps to understand some coaching decisions that a viewer, focused on the game and its continuous highlights, simply cannot see.

The line-up of the players that I have had the good fortune to watch and report on at the Moda Center are:

PG – Steph Curry

PG – Russell Westbrook

SF – Kevin Durant

SF – Draymond Green

C – DeAndre Jordan

6th Man: Klay Thompson


And my favorite moments are:

1. Taking part in the Steph Curry post-game interview

2. Meeting Paul Pierce

3. The food at the Rose Garden / Moda Center– simply delicious!


Written by jcampos@uoregon.edu

Jose Campos is an experienced Sports Marketer born in Spain and 2017 Warsaw Sports Marketing Center MBA. After a few years working in the UK, Jose came to the US to work at the East Coast before arriving at the UO. After graduating he is looking to work as Sports Agent.

Student Internship Spotlight: Anna Karvina Pidong

Name: Anna Karvina Pidong
Year: Senior
Major: Accounting
Internship: Audit Intern, Deloitte in Portland, Oregon
Internship Dates: Summer 2015

Anna Karvina Pidong is a senior accounting student in the Lundquist College of Business. This past summer, she worked for Deloitte, one of the Big Four accounting firms, in Portland. Below, she shares some of the details of her internship, what she learned from the experience, and some advice for prospective interns in the accounting world.

What was the structure of your Deloitte internship like?

My Deloitte internship was two months long with 40-hour weeks. The first two weeks were spent in training, at both the regional and national level. The remaining six weeks of the internship were spent with our assigned audit engagement teams. I was at a client site for one-to-two weeks at a time so I had a fair glimpse into the firms that Deloitte audits and what it was like to be working with an audit team.

Describe your internship role and responsibilities?

As an intern, your biggest role is to soak in what the internship experience has to offer, and to do it with a positive attitude. Each audit team will engage an intern differently. For example, in one engagement team, I helped with the planning process of an audit by simply updating the information on prior year forms to the current year forms. In another audit, I helped out with preliminary risk assessments by working on the income statement fluctuation analysis. This meant I had to compare prior quarter income statement accounts with the current quarter’s income statement and explain why those fluctuations occurred. Yikes! But at the end of the day, the biggest responsibility that I had was to ask questions, be a positive and enthusiastic learner, and to complete each task that I was given to the best of my abilities.

What did you enjoy most about your internship?

Every intern class at Deloitte Portland puts together a video that we show to the whole office at the end of our two months there. It’s a pretty big deal. There were rumors that previous intern videos were never really good so our class was determined to make a high-quality video. We spent three weeks putting it together, from script-writing to acting to editing. We made a satire of Law & Order … and we called it Law & Order: Financial Victims Unit, SOX Edition (because the two main detectives were named Sarbanes and Oxley. Accounting jokes). There was no better feeling than having people crack up over our jokes. People at the office commented that it was one of the best intern videos they’ve ever seen. My intern class really bonded over this project and it just solidified the fact that folks at Deloitte work hard but play hard, too.

What was challenging about your internship?

The most challenging thing about the internship was probably getting over what I felt like was expected of me. I came in nervous about whether I was competent enough to even be there. What if I asked a stupid question? What if I didn’t know how to do an assignment? What would they think of me? But I eventually learned that when you are an accounting intern, you are not expected to know everything. My audit team was there to help me with my bajillion questions and they were happy to do it! Learning to ask for help, even in small things, and not be ashamed of it was one of the biggest lessons I learned this summer.

What advice do you have for other students?

Don’t take your accounting classes for granted. What you learn in financial accounting, tax and audit will actually show up in your accounting career some day. Public accounting firms want to see that you are taking your technical skills seriously. There were several times this summer that I wish I had paid more attention in class because we were doing work related to PP&E valuations and investments accounting.

And I would also say, take time to get to know the culture of the different accounting firms that you are interested in. Don’t simply label a firm based on what you hear about them. Talk to the recruiter and go to networking events. The connections you build really make a difference before, during, and after your internship. Good luck!

This Student Spotlight blog post was conducted as a Q&A written interview with Anna Karvina Pidong.

Written by Karina Padilla

Karina is a senior from Oregon pursuing a B.S. in Business Administration in General Business. She plans to purse a career working in the banking industry.

Lights, Camera, Quacktion

This past spring, I had the fun opportunity to be the Oregon IMG_3495MBA “talent” (that’s film lingo, I learned, for actor or actress) in the pilot episode of a web series called Ducks in the Wild for the Oregon MBA Program with alum Guru Khalsa, the Environmental Corporate Responsibility Manager at Columbia Sportswear. To produce a seven-minute video, Guru and I logged over 20 hours of screen time in downtown Portland, at Columbia Sportswear’s headquarters in Beaverton, and in Eugene. The experience was exhausting but highly entertaining. I really hoped the production company would release a blooper reel, but since that doesn’t look promising, I thought I’d share some insider secrets from the set of the webinar.

When you watch the video, one of the first questions you’ll have within the first few minutes is: did Katie bike from Portland to Eugene? I may be athletic, but I’m not that intense. The filming of the opening segment at my Biking UO campus Eugeneapartment in Eugene didn’t actually take place until two weeks after Guru and I wrapped in Portland!

To get the shot of Guru and I biking side by side down the streets of Portland, we had to ride at about 2 MPH behind a small SUV while the cinematographer practically hung out of the back of the moving vehicle. We rode up and down the same straightaway at least 15 times! No wonder Guru reminded me to bring my helmet.

We had to shoot the scene of Guru and I walking into Columbia over 10 times because we kept running into each other, forgetting to stop on our marks, blocking each out from camera view, and forgetting what we were supposed to say!Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 6.50.10 PM

And yes, I have seen potatoes before. That was one scene I hoped would be in the blooper reel but not the final cut!

I had an absolute blast filming this episode, and also made a wonderful professional connection with Guru. Being one of the Oregon MBA “talents” for the Ducks in the Wild video series, will likely remain one of the highlights of business school.

Check out the full Ducks in the Wild Episode #1 

Written by Katie Clark

Katie is a second year MBA student in the Center for Sustainable Business Practices. Over the summer, Katie worked for Happy Family Brands as the Corporate Social Responsibility Intern, where she managed multiple supply chain projects and provided employee education on topics in sustainability. She hopes to bring this experience and her MBA coursework to a strategic sustainability position in a mission-driven company in the outdoor product or natural foods industry.

SPRNG 2015

Net Impact is something of an intriguing mystery. At first glance, the name doesn’t necessarily describe what the club is about, but one step into one of their club meetings or events and the name suddenly makes sense.

Sustainable business. What is it? On whose standards is business sustainable? These questions and the reasons people take to combine the two are explored in Net Impact. One annual event they put on expresses sustainable business in the best way possible.

The 3rd Annual SPRNG Conference took place in at the UO White Stag Block in Portland on Thursday, April 23. The event brought together university students, faculty, and speakers representing industries as diverse as finance, non-profit, and architectureto share and explore how business can be sustainable. This year’s theme focused on sustainability in unexpected places, and it was brought to life through the speaker’s stories of challenge and triumph.

The night opened with a live jazz band as the backdrop to an in-depth networking reception where students, speakers, and representatives from various Pacific Northwest sustainable businesses could meet and learn from each other.

The first keynote speaker was Amy Jarvis, a mechanical engineer at ZGF Architects, a firm whose mark is felt on the UO campus through projects such as the Jacqua Center and Casanova Center. Jarvis explained how the design stage is the point at which all environmental impacts can be reduced from the get-go. Instead of mitigating the effects of polluting buildings, why not eliminate the polluting factors in the design stage? She also explained the use of eco-districts, the practice of deliberately integrating resources and materials within the existing network of a downtown or community area. New hospital under construction and it needs a rehabilitation fitness center? Partner with the local YMCA for this service to conserve space, build less, and forge community relationships.

The conference further explored sustainable business through a panel discussion of the sharing economy. Jim Huston of the Portland Seed Fund and Oregon Public Broadcasting moderated a diverse panel that included David Kenney of Oregon BEST; Carrie Hearne of Climate Solutions; Franklin Jones of B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery; Carolynn Duncan of the Northwest Social Venture Fund; and Holly Meyer of NW Natural. The panel was illuminating and was a powerful expression of sustainability in unexpected places.

The night closed out with Justin Zeulner of the Green Sports Alliance. He spoke to the power and message of sports and how it can be effectively leveraged to incite meaningful impact that benefits the environment and communities.

The unexpectedness of the evening’s theme had a parallel in the unexpected source of the conference’s organizers: speakers and professionals attending the conference were surprised to learn that undergraduate students were not only the hosts and but also the team that developed the conference. The Net Impact Undergraduate Chapter not only represented the University of Oregon positively it also inspired SPRNG attendees with a call to action and left them with a better understanding of sustainable business.

—Patrick Wrobel ’15

About Patrick: I am graduating this spring with a double major in accounting and geography. In Net Impact at first I was an observer, content to get along with the other members but not really commit to anything. Then I attended the first SPRNG conference and decided to get involved. I spent my junior to senior year as the VP of finance and operations directing major projects such as the coffee shop sustainability survey and the second SPRNG Conference. Finally I took the reins, surprising myself as president of the undergraduate club. It has been a fine experience that included its share of challenges and triumphs, but it definitely gave expression to the fact that anything worth anything is at least a little bit challenging.

I will be moving up to Portland to start work at an accounting firm. My dream career is to create something people will love in an area that did not know it needed it. In all honesty, I would be content grilling the best fish tacos on the West Coast, in a space attached to a craft brewery which I would also operate.

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

A Day at the Diversity Career Symposium

The Diversity Career Symposium was amazing. It was a definite improvement from last year’s event. Not to say that last year’s event was bad, but this year’s event was great.

I decided to attend the event this year because I was looking forward to connecting and building my network with potential employers and also spending time outside of the classroom with the rest of my CEO Network peers.

I was able to hear a wide variety of speakers throughout the day, whether it was in the form of a keynote speaker, workshop, or panel. My favorite part of the day, hands down, had to be listening to the speakers on the panels. All the speakers had vast amounts of knowledge and their stories were definitely relatable to everything that is happening in my life.

What I took away most from hearing all the speakers throughout the day was to embrace who I am as an individual because the work place thrives off diversity and to never give up pursuing your dreams.

After one of the panels I was able to speak individually with one of the panel speakers—E. Scott Morris, a designer for Under Armour—for a solid 20 minutes and his story was definitely captivating and quite interesting. We talked about what he does for a living and his transition from being in the Marines to becoming a footwear designer. His talk with me really inspired me to continue pursuing my second major in product design.

This is may sound strange but I think the most surprising part of the day was the food. I feel as if we were fed like royalty and it was great.

All in all, I met many great people that are doing great things in their work environments and absorbed as much information as I could. This event was truly spectacular and I definitely look forward to attending next year. For those students who missed out this year, I strongly recommend that you go next year. Exposure can’t hurt, especially if every employer at the symposium is there looking for you.

—Alonso Zorrilla ’17

Alonso ZorrilaOriginally born in Peru, I am a proud blend of Peruvian, Chinese, and Japanese. My family and I left Peru when I was four so that I could receive a better education in the States and my current hometown is Irvine, California. I expect to graduate in the year of 2017 as a double major in business administration (concentration in marketing) and product design. On campus I am currently involved with the CEO Network and Warsaw Sports Business Club and would love to get involved with Pit Crew this year as well. My dream job would be to work for an NFL Franchise like the Seattle Seahawks or be a director of advertising and marketing at a company like Nike or Wieden+Kennedy.

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

In Portland, Unconventional Business Makes Sense

From Portlandia to Grimm, Portland has become known for its unique yet endearing quirks through pop culture. The shows feature handmade artisanal foods, communities of enthusiastic outdoorsmen, and few fairy tale creatures. Reality was not so distant from fiction when the UO Entrepreneurship Club went to the Rose City this past weekend to hear from different businesses about the keys of their success.

Walking into Evo Sportswear, the first thing you notice is how unlike a sportswear company the location looks. A fake pink storefront sits in the middle of the store with the name of Uncle Jacks Bakery; the building itself is a renovated Salvation Army; and the second floor has walls painted with faux stained-glass windows. All in all, a little quirky for a place that’s known for selling skis and snowboards. But as our guide—general manager Kevin—explained, all of these elements are play a part in staying true to the Evo brand. Started 14 years ago by Bryce Phillips, Evo began in Seattle as an online retailer selling skis and snowboards. Eventually the first brick-and-mortar store opened and the product line now includes everything from yoga mats to surf boards. Phillips used the location as not only a store front, a place where people could buy something and leave, but as a community gathering place where local winter sports enthusiasts could discuss their favorite pastime, create an event space, art gallery, provide giveaways, have launch parties, organize trips to mountains, hold training courses, and use the space for fundraisers and clubs as well as meetings.

With online sales booming (the company sells 25 percent of all European winter sportswear through Evo.com) the second Evo location opened its doors in Southeast Portland this past October. So when so many mom-and-pop-style sports stores are closing their doors for good, why would Evo choose to invest so much in a new location? The simple answer is that shopping online, though cheaper, has cost the industry a lot. As Kevin talked about his last trip to the mountain for a day on the slopes he saw tons of people with their skis on the wrong side, grips not properly installed, and frustrated in general because their online purchases failed to live up to their expectations. By having a brick-and-mortar location near their target market, Evo is able to provide the community with an immense amount of support through customer service and by allowing people to handle the products before they spend hundreds of dollars. Even if someone can’t find the perfect piece of equipment they’re looking for (only 5-10 percent of Evo’s total inventory can be found in the 11,000 square foot retail location), there are multiple iPads throughout the store so an employee can help you search through the company website. This click-and-mortar approach has been the determining factor in Evo’s success balancing tech and face-to-face customer service.

The next stop of the day was Salt and Straw, nationally recognized gourmet ice cream makers. Just a few days before our tour, cofounder and head chef Tyler Malek was recognized by Forbes magazine as one of their 30 under 30 for changing the way Americans eat. Known for creating ice-cream flavor combinations such as sea urchin and mint, and mashed potatoes and gravy, Tyler has shaped Salt and Straw to become an iconic part of Portland. Kim Malek, Tyler’s cousin and cofounder and president of the company, provided a tour of the manufacturing facilities where all the ice cream Salt and Straw sells in Oregon is made. Club members saw the R&D facilities where all the unconventional flavors are concocted, the actual process of how they produce hundreds of gallons of ice cream, and the administrative side that keeps everything running smoothly. Amazingly, three small ice cream machines are responsible for churning out more than 20 flavors. As a fresh batch of the almond brittle with salted ganache came straight out of a machine, members were treated to a taste of the incredible ice cream and learned that the milk used to make the delicious concoction was as close to butter in consistency as you could get.

Malek explained how the core principle of her business idea—creating a neighborhood gathering spot—is still felt in the manufacturing process through terroir, a French word that means “taste of place.” By partnering with other local companies for ingredients, Salt and Straw keeps their flavors local both in Portland and in their newest scoop shop in Los Angeles, California. Throughout this rapid growth (the company began four years ago as a food cart), staying true to their identity as community minded foodies has been the key to Malek’s success.

Our takeaway: in Portland, community matters. Treating customers as neighbors rather than profit margins means a lot in gaining loyalty. Finding a way to make that experience more than just a transaction can be a game-changer for not only customers, but for an entire industry. Knowing how this community approach has created such success, Portland’s reputation as a hub for the unorthodox will likely outlast any cable TV series.

Written by Jordan Johnson

Senior at the UO, majoring in business administration, minoring in art. Current President of the UO Entrepreneurship Club.

NVC 2014 is in the books!

Every spring for the past 23 years the University of Oregon has hosted a business plan competition. What started with just a few teams from within Oregon has evolved to be an international event with teams competing from all around the world! The New Venture Championship (NVC) is held in Portland, Oregon, giving global student teams a chance to visit the beautiful Pacific Northwest. This year NVC teams came from across the United States, Thailand, Hong Kong, and India.

There are several different competitions within the business plan championship including Best Written Business Plan, Best Elevator Pitch, Trade Show Exhibition, and the overall championship. All 16 competing teams left the competition with cash to help them pursue the launch of their business. With over $55,000 awarded under three days each day and event proved to be very exciting and competitive.

NVC 2014 was a wonderful success and as a first-time attendee I was truly inspired by the business plans and teams that competed. The collaborative nature of these teams meant students of business, law, and the sciences were well represented giving a very well rounded turnout.

Additionally, the judges that volunteered their time, energy, and resources proved to be invaluable! Each team had interactions with several judging panels, each of which provided insightful feedback. These judges range in expertise and industry, but represent some of the brightest minds in business and otherwise in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated group of judges year after year!

Though I will be graduated, I will make every effort to attend this event next year. Not only are the businesses quite impressive, but the students are engaging and the atmosphere is electric! I strongly encourage those interested in business and entrepreneurship to attend NVC and competitions like it!

Final results from NVC 2014 can be found here! Also, please visit NVC’s YouTube channel to see Elevator Pitches and more from this year’s competition!

Here are some highlights from NVC 2014:

Team RediGen from Thailand took home the grand prize of $25,000


An NVC competitor competing in the 60 second elevator pitch competition on Thursday night.


Friday night bowling: Team members from Chiron Medical, CYANO Solutions, LifeM, and uHoo

Written by lloepp

Lauren is an MBA Candidate in the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship. She is a native Oregonian who came to the Oregon MBA after receiving a BS in Psychology from Linfield College and working in business development at an Oregon Research and Development company. She plans to work with businesses in organizational behavior and culture to manage organizational change.

Portland Site Visits: CPUsage and Salt & Straw

On a chilly Saturday in early February, fifteen undergraduate members of the University of Oregon Entrepreneurship Club took a trip up to Portland and had the opportunity to interact on-site with two very different entrepreneurs: Jeff Martins of CPUsage and Kim Malek of Salt & Straw.

Martins, the co-founder and CEO of CPUsage, a company that sets up infrastructure for businesses to do high-performance cloud computing, welcomed the club to the downtown office on Davis and Third. Students learned how he had begun just at Startup weekends with a completely different idea and—through a process of pivots, collaboration, and angel investments—now operates with four employees and works with Amazon on their cloud services.

Members of the club asked questions about everything from the benefits of operating as a tech company in Portland rather than Silicon Valley to making the transition of working as an employee for a multi-billion dollar company to starting from scratch and building a business. Martins stressed the high-risk/high-reward aspect of entrepreneurship and told the group that, even though it’s not easy, he’s “never going to work for someone else again in my life.”

At Salt & Straw in northwest Portland, members got to meet the owner and co-founder, Kim Malek. The artisanal ice cream parlor opened two-and-a-half years ago in a pushcart and is now boasting three brick-and-mortar locations in Portland and is fast expanding both locally and down the coast to Los Angeles. Malek shared her goals of creating a community-based product and described the way every aspect of her business—from the ingredients used to the training employees undergo before even scooping one cone of ice cream—is all about facilitating a local connection with and between her customers.

After the discussion, club members wrapped up the day with free scoops of Grandma Malek’s Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache ice cream.

Despite their very different products and the different industries that these two entrepreneurs operate in, they both had pretty similar advice. Success is not done on your own. It is about the relationships you build with those in the industry, the community, and your customer. Focus and flexibility are key in creating a product that consumers want. Because growth will not happen on its own, entrepreneurship is all about motivation and finding new opportunities.

Jordan Johnson ’15
Public Relations Officer
University of Oregon Entrepreneurship Club

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

A Day at the Innovation Lab Charrette

Along with a few of my MBA classmates, I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the University of Oregon’s Innovation Lab charrette up in Portland last month. Quickly after I said “yes” to attending, I had to actually look up what a charrette (pronounced “shu-ret”) actually was. Read on for some thoughts on a creative and interesting experience.

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Written by Jeff Angus

Jeff is a 2015 MBA Candidate at the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. He was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada and obtained a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Victoria (BC) in 2009.He frequently shares his thoughts on Twitter @anguscertified and is passionate about writing, storytelling, fitness, health, and everything and anything sports-related.