Here are just a few of the successes that OCF’s economic vitality activities have supported so far. You can find many other inspiring stories in our 2017 economic vitality report.
GlobeSherpa, an innovative mobile ticketing platform for public transit, was co-founded by Michael Gray and Nat Parker. In 2012, the company received an investment of $835,000 from Oregon Angel Fund. In 2013, GlobeSherpa’s platform was piloted by Portland’s TriMet system. Since then, the firm’s mobile ticketing technology has been adopted by transit agencies in 20 cities. In 2015, GlobeSherpa was acquired by Daimler-owned RideScout. Now known as moovel North America, it employs more than 110 people at its headquarters in Portland.
Maria Roman is a seamstress in Beaverton. Two years ago, she was running a struggling alterations business in a location with poor visibility and signage. In addition to providing loan funds, Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon helped Maria to secure an online presence and trained her in accounting and inventory controls. It also helped her relocate to a larger, more attractive space. Today, Maria’s annual revenues have increased by 1,600 percent. She has a delivery vehicle and a full-time employee, and her credit score has jumped from 510 to 718. Maria’s dream is to buy a duplex and have a garden.
In 2016, two students in the Technology Entrepreneurship Program (TEP) at University of Oregon’s Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship worked on a project with OHSU and OCTRI to assess the business feasibility of a novel bladder cancer treatment developed at OHSU. The data these students gathered can be used to advance this research through grant applications to the federal Small Business Innovation Research program. To broaden the TEP students’ experience, three Oregon MBA students also joined the team to develop the business concept and to create a plan to bring it to market. With permission from OHSU, this team is now taking the concept to the business plan competition circuit.
In late 2012, Malheur Lumber Company was preparing to close its sawmill in John Day — the last remaining sawmill in Grant County — due to a shortage of logs. As part of the U.S. Forest Service’s restoration effort, and with facilitation from Sustainable Northwest, a local contractor was granted a sustainable logging contract in Malheur National Forest, guaranteeing predictable work and a 10-year supply of logs. As a result, the sawmill in John Day has not only stayed open but has also added approximately 40 jobs. So far, 6,100 acres of federal forest have been restored and 87,000 tons of sawlogs and biomass removed. Photo: Sustainable Northwest.
In 2012, Tyrone Bailey launched his own hauling business. Bailey’s Construction Unlimited soon became a prime subcontractor for local projects. Because these contracts often take 30 days or more to pay, he ran into cash flow difficulties. When Tyrone found out that he wouldn’t be able to get affordable financing through a bank, he approached Ascent Funding. With their help, he secured a $50,000 loan for a newer, larger, more reliable truck. He also got a line of credit, which gives him enough working capital to cover his fuel and labor costs while awaiting payment. Ascent Funding is now working with Tyrone to improve his company’s financial management skills and credit history. Photo: Twirl Advertising & Design, LLC.