Horan MediaTech Advisors is honored to be among the first individuals and organizations honored by the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) as a community catalyst. The award was presented at the annual OEN banquet on November 16, 2023. Ciara Pressler of Pregame and Mike White of Willamette Equity Advisors were the other honorees.
A Time For Optimism and Ambition
In my remarks after receiving the award, I remembered that 2023 was the 50th anniversary of Don Hoefler’s first use of the the phrase “Silicon Valley” in Electronic News. At that time, the Santa Clara Valley was much better known as the “Prune Capital of America”. For that reason, I commented that this year should also be remembered as the fiftieth anniversary of the victory of optimism and ambition over skepticism and doubt.
Because of the tough economy, and even tougher funding environment, it is easy to be discouraged in the short term. However, over the long run the future always wins and innovation always succeeds.
I closed with this favorite quote from Robert F. Kennedy:
Investing Time and Capital In the Northwest
HMTA has invested more than $1.5M in the Oregon startup community since 2015. During that time we have spoken and/or worked with approximately 150 early stage companies each year. We have the experience of participating in $2B in exits and $1B in acquisitions over our careers. We make our learnings from that experience available to the community. We have worked with people from high school through college to entrepreneurial founders.
We have been or are currently investors in Oregon Venture Fund, Cascade Seed Fund, Portland Seed Fund and Elevate Capital. We are active in investment review and portfolio mentorship. In addition, we have held a position as Executive in Residence at the PSU Business Accelerator.
We have been active investors in the Bend Venture Conference for the past three years and have lead the diligence process for several companies in which we have invested. We have also served as judges, panelists and panel leaders for: TechFest NW; OEN Awards; and 50/50 Women on Boards.
We have directly invested in a number of leading Oregon startups including: Slumberkins; WildFang; A Kids Company About; WorkFrom; AllGo; ChelaMedia; Candid Wholesale; Edify; Outdoor Project. Peter has served on the board of Digital Trends, BrandLive and Outdoor Project locally
Giving great entrepreneurs with atypical backgrounds a chance
Other than our commitment to Elevate Capital, we have not specifically intended to invest in underserved founders. But a funny thing happened. As we met with all kinds of founders, we found great opportunities to support first time founders, women founders, black founders, LGBTQ founders, Hispanic founders and a Muslim founder. But in each case, we invested in them because they were good, smart, hardworking people who were trying to build a great business—who happened to come from underserved groups.
We support founders in good times and bad
Being a founder can be lonely. We try to be a phone call away when founders need to talk. We are quick to buy breakfast or a beer. And not always for founders in whose companies we have invested. When things are going well, we try to actively amplify the company’s accomplishments on social media. When things are challenging and founders can feel like they are on an iceberg with a polar bear, we try to give them support and encouragement. We coach founders on how to raise money. Our “4 Act Play” construct for a VC pitch has become part of the community and is kept on the OVF website.
We believe that every company and every business relationship is founded on three principles:
- Treat each other with respect
- Tell each other the truth
- Stay focused on building a great company