Oregon Entrepreneurs Network Announces the Winners of the 26th Annual OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards – Oregon Entrepreneurs Network

October 29, 2019, Portland, Oregon – The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) is pleased to announce the winners of the 26th annual OEN Tom Holce Entrepreneurship Awards, presented on October 29 at the Oregon Convention Center. The awards program is Oregon’s largest annual entrepreneurial gathering, celebrating the region’s best and brightest entrepreneurs. It is chronicled on social media at #oenawards[1].

The winners in each category include:


WINNER: MaskIT—Shallan Ramsey, Founder & CEO[2]

MaskIT is the safest, most sanitary method of disposal for menstrual hygiene items. With MaskIT, we are able to eliminate exposure risks to bloodborne pathogens, reduce plumbing problems and create overall cleaner restrooms. Our mission is to save lives, save trees and normalize the period. If just 10% of menstruating women in the US, were to transition from toilet paper to MaskIT, we would save over 147,000 trees every single year.

The winner for OEN’s Game Changer Award was determined by an audience vote. The Game Changer Award honors both nonprofit and for-profit enterprises that offer a novel solution to a social problem. This social enterprise has a commitment to impact that is central to the mission of the business, a viable business model, and a compelling answer to the question: “Why is your solution better than existing solutions?”

Other finalists in this category were:


WINNER: Blake Turner, Portland State University[3]

Turner Automotive has developed a kit that allows a gasoline-powered engine to burn hydrogen, resulting in a zero-carbon vehicle. Blake and his team won the PSU Cleantech Challenge and continue to develop their prototype.

The OEN Battle of the Schools Award  was created to honor the memory of Wyatt Starnes, a technology entrepreneur who passed away in 2014, and honors a nominee embodying Wyatt’s distinguishing qualities:  enthusiasm, willingness to work hard toward a goal, fearlessness when it comes to taking big risks and a commitment to changing the world for the better. We invite schools throughout the state to nominate one entrepreneur they work with—either a recent grad, current student, or someone affiliated with an accelerator or other entrepreneurial programs.

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