Portland, Oregon, is a city powered by a plethora of small businesses. To honor these companies, the Portland Business Journal threw its first Small Business & Innovation Awards this past week.
The recognition awards featured a number of guest speakers, reported the Portland Business Journal. Panelists ranged from successful local business owners to the owners of the Coolest Cooler, a product that had the most successful Kickstarter campaign to date. The event took place at Pure Space in Northwest Portland and hosted 250 guests.
Stites Design took home an innovation award for its new product, the Truck Trike. This unique transportation system combines the environmental and health benefits of a bicycle with the flat-bed delivery capabilities of a truck. It offers businesses a way to maintain their commitment to Portland’s eco-friendly culture while also transporting large amounts of products efficiently in an urban setting.
The Small Business Advocate of the Year award went to Rick Turoczy, one of the founders of the Wieden+Kennedy Portland Incubator Experiment, a company dedicated to getting local start-ups off the ground. Turoczy also runs a popular blog, the Silicon Florist.
For organizations with 10 or fewer employees, the winning business award went to Cristen Lincoln for her company, Living Room Realty. The business is a collection of brokers specializing in selling real estate in Portland’s inner-urban neighborhoods. In addition to connecting buyers with their dream homes, the company is aiming to promote development within inner-city areas. The Portland Business Journal noted that LRR has grown exponentially in the past few years – in 2009 it sold $14.1 million worth of housing, and last year it brokered deals worth an impressive $244.1 million.
By: Abigail Richards