Stumptown Becoming Techtown

Embodee’s hometown is basking in buzz about becoming a cradle for technology startups and entrepreneurs.

And not just Portland. New tech jobs at both small and well-established technology companies have led Oregon out of the Great Recession. So rapid has been the growth that some CEOs collaborated on a video to help entice tech talent to Portland to fill mounting job vacancies.

The range of tech companies, as well as entrepreneurs in many fields, was on prominent display last week at the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network’s annual awards dinner.

Embodee was a finalist for the award in the Working Capital Group with two other tech firms, Janrain and Puppet Labs, and we congratulate Janrain for winning. In all, there were 13 finalists for four company and individual awards.

In the days leading up to the gala, OEN partnered with audio storytellers PAGATIM.fm to give CEOs of finalist companies the chance to discuss their missions, lessons learned, and more.

Each was asked what advice they would give young, budding entrepreneurs. Here are three excerpts:

Janrain’s Larry Drebes:

You should follow your heart. You should find something you’re very passionate about and a problem you’re passionate about solving and live and breathe that and don’t give up. And rock and roll when you get a break, take it, and if breaks go against you not give up.

Embodee’s André Wolper:

Believe in yourself. Foster your confidence…Don’t be cocky though. Stay humble. Listen. Be willing to learn and add and correct. But be confident. And when you hear ‘no’ or ‘can’t be done’ or any of those things, reflect on your beliefs and stick with them.

Cloudability’s Mat Ellis, winner of the individual achievement award:

The thing I’ve learned from my failures is you get back up again…Failure’s not that bad. You’ll survive. If you live with that little bit of danger…that’s worth a risk. It’s not like you’re going to die. So go do it, do it now. If I have one regret, it’s that I didn’t do this 20 years ago.