How often do you plan a party that turns out better than you expected?
Thursday evening Hatch opened its doors once again to introduce Oregonians to the newest entrepreneurs offering local investment opportunities. We clearly had rockstar investors there too, because by the end of the night $7,750 had been invested! Oh yeah.
The Entrepreneur Rockstar Party was a hit. Amy started the evening off by everyone to Hatch and sharing a few updates about what the CPO companies have done with their funds. Then, rockstar Ruth Miles of the Sec of State’s office talked about her view of investing in Oregon. She described the new community garden of Oregon, where people and plants get to thrive, grow, and share in the harvest.
Heather Stafford of Business Oregon then talked about how much we ask of entrepreneurs – we expect them to solve problems for us, make things for us, provide services for us – and we sure don’t offer much help. She’s right, of course. Cultivating this new garden – growing our own – is one way of nurturing entrepreneurs who help create the world we will live in. And we get to help make that happen.
Next up, Ted Wheeler, our State Treasurer. He talked about the incredible state we live in, and the power of innovation. He values entrepreneurs and small business. We were delighted to have him in Hatch, happy to add him to the growing list of Oregon leaders who have graced our makeshift stage!
Stuart Phillips of Red Wagon Creamery talked a bit about the progress of his company, and then introduced the entrepreneurs who were to speak next: Rich Rodriguez of Grün Community Energy, Kyle Akin of Crescendo Organic Spirits, and John MacDougall of MacDougall and Sons Batmakers.
They were joined by 5 of the CPO companies that launched in January at vendor tables in Hatch’s Great Hall: Ben Tilley of Agrarian Ales, Eli Eichenauer of WebLively, Brian Haug with Of Hops & Men, Michael Antonopoulos of TonTon’s Artisan Affections and Stuart.
The food was amazing, as usual, all donated by the brilliant and generous companies we love, and the drinks were hilariously named and pure yum. Everyone became obsessed with Red Wagon vanilla ice cream immersed in Clutch Coldbrew Sodapop. Other treats included Grand Central Bread with TonTon’s hummus (one of our CPOs!) and Auzoud’s Olive Oil (one of our SOUP presenters!), pastries from Henry Higgins, Tillamook Jerky, Humdinger Kettle Korn, Fat Dog Mustard, Cosmo’s Creations, KIND Bars, Pure Simple Juice (& kale chips!) doughnuts courtesy of both Delicious and Coco, and a bar with contributions from Burnside Brewing, Migration Brewing, Cherryman, Sunshine Dairy, Portland Bitters Project and that lovely Clutch Sodapop.
People had a great time, talking with the companies, sampling the wares, listening to the presentations, and networking.
“I just want to say thanks for the greeeaaat launch party.” -John MacDougall
The best part of the evening was an app Ahmed wrote that showed a live update of the companies, and when anyone invested, a bell rang. It rang over and over again, hailing the new era of shared equity, shared risk, and shared returns >>>
Along this journey we keep asking ourselves, can we pull this off? Will Oregonians come to these tour stops when we hit their town? Listening to an entrepreneur tell their story, their plans, the opportunity – is an inspiring experience. This will grow, and the Portland Release Party added another group of gardeners to Oregon’s new community garden.
For more photos, check out this Hatch Oregon Facebook album of the Fall 2015 Tour.
Meet all of Oregon’s Rockstar Entrepreneurs on HatchOregon.com
Check out the state-wide Release Tour city lineup.
Professional photography by Punneh Abdolhosseini