Recently, VendScreen was awarded the prestigious Tom Holce Development Stage of the Year award by the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN). According to OEN, the award ceremony "…is Oregon's largest, annual, statewide gathering which celebrates our best and brightest entrepreneurs."
Needless to say, we were honored to have won this award. More than anything, it was great recognition and validation for our team that our innovation and relentless hard work is meaningful.
However, VendScreen's first year of development took place in a vibrant and supportive entrepreneurial community and our success so far is, at least in part, a reflection of the skill and dedication of the community in which the company was raised. I strongly believe that the many amazing people in this community that we worked with, interacted with, talked with, and shared our experience with over the past year also contributed to where the company is right now.
In my acceptance speech, I played on a famous proverb and said, "It takes a village to raise a startup" and that the Oregon entrepreneurial community was our village. The people in the room at the ceremony are the backbone of this community. Without the support, wisdom, and experiences, and network of this community, we could not have built this company, in this way, in this amount of time, and raised this amount of money.
Over the past year, I have heard from many people who have said there is a buzz in the air, there is a vibe, there is something really remarkable happening in Portland. I could not agree more.
I've been an entrepreneur in Portland for 20 years and I can feel the community has reached a critical mass where the entrepreneurial spirit and drive is not only becoming self-perpetuating, but it is taking on this nurturing, collective, shared commitment to building great companies and entrepreneurs.
Just like a child cannot learn everything he or she needs to know in isolation, a company must have a vibrant ecosystem of supporters that helps raise it.
In my role as Chairman of a local credit union, I have learned that people go through different stages in their financial lives. Some members are savers, and some members are borrowers. The credit union movement was based on the fundamental premise of "members helping members."
For the institution to work, it needs a balance of both savers and borrowers. Likewise, in our community, we have those that "invest" time, money, wisdom, and energy into the community, and we have those that need to borrow from the same. Working together we will strengthen the community and thrive. And those that borrowed at one point will return after they are successful to invest time, money, wisdom, and energy back to help raise another startup. – less – More from ZoomInfo »