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Made in Oregon Series: Oregon's New Faces of Tech

12:00pm, 12-1-2017
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Against the backdrop of tech giants in Oregon, nontraditional tech entrepreneurs are forging new paths in Portland's tech scene. Our speakers will share their experiences as start up founders, discuss the role and evolution of incubator programs, consider the unique qualities of Portland's tech community, and describe an emerging ecosystem that's providing more access and resources to women and people of color.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m.


Katherine Krajnak, Prosper Portland
Katherine KrajnakKatherine is a program manager for entrepreneurship at Prosper Portland, the economic development agency for Portland, Oregon. She manages a portfolio of programs and initiatives aimed at supporting minority and women founders and startups tackling important civic challenges. Some of her projects include management of the city’s annual startup competition and incubator, Startup PDX Challenge, and launch of the city’s first Inclusive Startup Fund. She currently co-manages and facilitates the Inclusive Business Resource Network, a $2.5 million portfolio of inclusive incubators and small business technical programs managed by eleven organization dedicated to building an inclusive business environment in Portland. Prior to her current role, she had the opportunity to manage a variety of projects that impact Portland to this day—from public-private real estate deals to district branding initiatives. She has a strong passion for Portland and loves working within the collaborative spirit of the city. Katherine has a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University and has worked in the field of economic development for more than a decade.


Tyrone Poole, NoAppFee.com
Tyrone PooleTyrone Poole didn’t develop his concept in a sleek Silicon Valley incubator. He developed it in a Portland homeless shelter, as a resident. Nine years ago, while training to become a fireman, Tyrone suffered a serious leg injury that put him in a hospital bed for nine months and on crutches for nearly a year. Upon his release he had lost everything. He was evicted, his car had been repossessed, and he had incurred over twenty thousand dollars in medical debt. After months of couch surfing he found himself checked in to the YWCA homeless shelter. This is where NoAppFee was founded. He worked as a housing advocate for the shelter, whilst being a resident, to find low-income and homeless families places to live.

Marcelino J. Alvarez, Uncorked 
Marcelino AlvarezUncorked is a creative boutique where multifaceted designers and engineers transform ideas into tangible things every day—from websites to walls to wearables. Uncorked partners with the world’s top brands, including Google, Intel, Adidas, Diageo, Care.com, Samsung, Skype, the Bezos Family Foundation, Magnum Foundation, and more to build products with purpose. 

Before founding Uncorked, Alvarez served as Executive Interactive Producer at Wieden + Kennedy, where he produced the Nike Chalkbot, a robot that printed messages of hope and inspiration on the Tour de France in 2009 and 2010. He’s a co­founder of Safecast, an open data initiative to help residents of Japan report and understand the levels of radiation following the Fukushima earthquake and nuclear disaster, and Incúbate, the first design-thinking workshop and incubator in Havana, Cuba.

Alvarez is a member of the board of Portland State University’s Center for Retail Leadership and the Oregon Angel Fund and resides in Northeast Portland with his wife, son, and dog, Luke. 

Astrid Scholz, Sphaera
Astrid ScholzDr. Astrid J. Scholz is the CEO of Sphaera, a for-purpose, for-profit tech company dedicated to accelerating the pace of change. Astrid was previously President of Ecotrust, where Sphaera was incubated in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, the Island Institute, and other like-minded organizations. She has served on several advisory bodies for public-private partnerships for conservation and social outcomes, including the State of California’s Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. 

Astrid is a founding board member of the XXcelerate Fund, a revolving loan fund created for and by women entrepreneurs that is piloting in her home state of Oregon, USA. She serves on the boards of Habitat Media, Living Oceans Society and COBI (Communidad Y Biodiversidad), and is a speaker on social innovation, the business of philanthropy, and the role of technology for world-positive change. She is the co-author of the Zebra Manifesto, a call to action for companies that build ambitious technology for systemic change, and co-convener of the first gathering of zebra companies in Portland in November of 2017. Astrid holds degrees from the University of St. Andrews, the University of Bristol, and the University of California, Berkeley.

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