2017 Growth Stage

Moderator: Julianne Brands, Oregon Angel Fund

Julianne Brands

If OAF had a mold for recruiting homegrown talent, it would be Julianne. Her family owns a thriving, 100-year-old Oregon-based business, so she knows first-hand the valuable impact businesses can have on local communities.

A former research analyst at an investment bank and an economic policy think tank, Julianne brings expertise in market research, finance, and emerging technology to help solve complex problems for entrepreneurs and investors alike.

When Julianne met the OAF team, it was an easy decision to join. In her own words: “It’s really about the people. We’ve cultivated a community of these intelligent, successful, dedicated, diverse, and deeply passionate investors. We leverage their expertise to help entrepreneurs throughout the lifecycle of their company, and in the process, use our collective wisdom to make better investment decisions.”

When she’s not talking to entrepreneurs about their next big idea, Julianne can be found within the Portland community—running trails in Forest Park, reading the (actual) newspaper, and volunteering as a coach for local youth sports teams.

Panelist: Gerry Langeler, OVP Venture Partners

Gerry Langeler
For 25 years, Gerry has served as Managing Director for OVP Venture Partners, focusing on investments in the cleantech, communications, and software sectors, backing over 125 early-stage startups.

Prior to joining OVP, Gerry was co-founder of Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) in Portland, OR in 1981. There he served as President, and over eleven years helped lead Mentor through its IPO to over $400M in worldwide sales and over $1B in market capitalization.

Gerry currently serves on the Board of Directors of CradlePoint, Group14, Novomer, and Polysync. He is also the author of The Success Matrix – Winning in Business and in Life, and The Vision Trap (Harvard Business Review). In 2011, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network. In 2012, he was appointed to the Oregon Growth Board where he serves as co-chair.

Gerry holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.

Panelist: Aviel Ginzburg, Amazon Alexa Accelerator

Aviel Ginzburg

Aviel Ginzburg is a Seattle based entrepreneur and investor. He’s the Managing Director of the Amazon Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars, a Venture Partner at Founder’s Co-op, and Co-Founder of Simply Measured. Aviel got his start in tech working as a software engineer at Appature in Seattle, an early email marketing automation company which went on to sell to IMS Health a 9 figure acquisition. Prior to that, he for some reason used his BS from Vanderbilt University to pursue a career in NYC as a cinematographer.


Panelist: Edith Dorsen, Women’s Venture Capital Fund

Edith Dorsen

Edy Dorsen co-founded the Women’s Venture Capital Fund, a pioneering fund which invests in early-stage companies in OR, WA, and CA that include women in senior leadership. As the managing partner, Edy has primary responsibility for identification of investment opportunities, portfolio management, fundraising, and investor relations. Prior to founding the Women’s Venture Capital Fund, Edy was a management consultant at McKinsey, investment banker at Salomon Brothers and senior business development advisor. She is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government.

Edy relocated to Oregon 15 years ago and loves living and working here. Previously, Edy served as President of the Schnitzer Family Campus which includes the Mittleman Jewish Center and Portland Jewish Academy. In addition, she has served on the Stand for Children Oregon Advisory Board and the Pearl District Neighborhood Association.

2017 Early Stage

Moderator: Marc Manley, Oregon RAIN Accelerator

Mark Manley

Marc Manley is Executive Director of Oregon RAIN, the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network. RAIN serves the entrepreneurs in Oregon’s South Willamette Valley and Mid-Coast by helping them turn ideas into high-impact, innovative, traded-sector companies that can grow and thrive locally.

Oregon RAIN Accelerators at Oregon State University and the University of Oregon provide mentored business acceleration programs. The Oregon RAIN Innovation Network connects resident talent, capital, and infrastructure into a network that is easy for entrepreneurs to access and navigate from concept development through funding and growth.

Marc is also Fund Manager for the annual Willamette Angel Conference and for the newly formed Willamette Angels W2 Fund that invests in companies throughout the year.

Manley started, grew and exited a software company, led global technology projects for a major investment bank, turned around struggling companies, and helped many businesses implement effective growth strategies.

He is also a real estate developer and catalyzed the revitalization of downtown Albany in a public-private partnership with the City.

Manley graduated from Columbia University and recently completed executive education programs at Harvard Law School.

Panelist: Adam Stoll, Rogue Venture Partners

Adam Stoll

Adam Stoll is an Associate at Rogue Venture Partners – a Portland-based early stage Venture Capital Firm – where he has been for nearly three years. After spending a decade in startups, Adam is mainly interested in entrepreneurial models that break the status quo.

Prior to Rogue, Adam was the CFO of Smart Choice MRI, a growth-focused, VC backed healthcare services company based in Milwaukee, WI. In that position, Adam oversaw all financial operations and focused on overarching financial strategy and planning. Prior to his role at Smart Choice, Adam was a Global Program Manager for Exit Games, a German-based, VC backed Technology Company.

Adam graduated with a BA in International Comparative Policy Studies and Political Science from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He then received an MBA with honors from the Lubar School of Business at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Panelist: Lee Reeves, Cascadia Venture Catalyst Group, Startup253

Lee Reeves

Lee has more than 10 years of professional experience working in both public and private companies; he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Washington in 2009. Lee is the Founder | Venture Catalyst at Cascadia Venture Catalyst Group and Co-Founder at Startup253. Lee has broad relationships with Pacific Northwest (Bend, Eugene, Portland, Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver & Anchorage) startup and tech ecosystems.

Panelist: Sarah Max, Barron’s, Entrepreneur, Money, The New York Times

Sarah Max

Financial journalist Sarah Max has covered the world of startups from many angles. A contributing editor to Barron’s and regular contributor to such publications as Entrepreneur, Money, The New York Times and Worth, she’s written about the unique stories and challenges of company founders, profiled the investment firms that back them, and chronicled the communities and programs that support them.

While most of Sarah’s focus is on telling other people’s stories, she has experienced the ups and downs of entrepreneurship firsthand. She helped launch 1859 Oregon’s Magazine and its parent company, Statehood Media. She is also a principal in Max|Kearsley, a boutique content agency that specializes in the financial and technology sectors.

2017 Social Impact

Moderator: Julie Harrelson, Harrelson Group/Cascade Angels

Julie H

Julie Harrelson, CEO of Harrelson Group and Fund Manager for Cascade Angels, is an entrepreneur and investor in Oregon’s startup community. She has navigated multiple executive roles in design, technology, and angel investing and co-founded Cascade Angels Fund in Bend in 2013 with a group of entrepreneurs and investors. Cascade Angels Fund invests in launch stage companies based in Oregon.

Julie is invited to speak at industry conferences and events and recently presented “Best Practices in Angel Investing” at the international Angel Capital Association Summit in Philadelphia. She also emcees PubTalk, sponsored by Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), attended by 200-300 entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders. A 2014 Woman of Influence Award winner, Julie is an active member of the Angel Capital Association and serves on the board of the Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator, the Board of Advisory Directors of the Central & Eastern Oregon Region of U.S. Bank National Association and is a founding member of the Center for Women’s Leadership at Portland State University.

Panelist: Ken Vaughn, Oregon BEST

Ken Vaughn

Ken Vaughn leads the Oregon BEST Commercialization Program that includes grants, investments and entrepreneurial support for cleantech innovators in Oregon. This program funds the work of entrepreneurs and university researchers to get new technologies from the lab to the market as a catalyst for job creation in the state. He collaborates with investors, mentors, support organizations and senior management talent to help assemble the elements necessary for launching a successful business in the cleantech sector. He also manages a portfolio of 50+ existing investments. Before joining Oregon BEST, he held senior management positions in engineering, product management and marketing in a wide range of industries. He has experience in managing innovation, starting companies, advising early-stage companies, and investing in early-stage ventures.

Panelist: Nate Wildfire, Business Oregon

Kelly K

Nate is the Capital Strategist for Business Oregon, the State’s economic development agency, and is also the Director of the Oregon Growth Board, an investment “funder of funds” run by the State. In this dual role, Nate helps fill capital gaps in different industry sectors and stages by investing in loan funds, angel funds, and venture funds that invest across Oregon. Prior to working in the Pacific Northwest, Nate worked on economic and community development projects in Burlington, Vermont and his hometown, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Outside of work, Nate spends a lot of time outside, attempts to sing and act, and thinks about baseball entirely too much.

Panelist: Jenn Lynch, Portland Seed Fund

Jenn Lynch

Jenn Lynch is General Partner at Portland Seed Fund, where she’s been a member of the partnership since 2013. From 2011 to 2013, Ms. Lynch was General Partner of Upstart Labs, a venture capital fund with $1.5 million under management that served early-stage technology companies in Portland, Oregon. From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Lynch was Director of Services for Stepchange Group, a digital marketing agency based in Portland, where she designed social media-based promotions and campaigns for large brands and marketing agencies. Ms. Lynch has also worked as a product manager and product marketer for hosted software companies including Yahoo! and Kronos. Ms. Lynch holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Columbia Business School. Ms. Lynch is currently President of the Board of Schoolhouse Supplies, a Portland-based nonprofit serving teachers in the Portland area. She also serves on the boards of directors for Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety. Ms. Lynch is a past board member of Peninsula Children’s Learning Center and the Junior League of Portland; and a past advisory board member of the Oregon Entrepreneur’s Network.