Oregon BEST has seasoned entrepreneurial executives who help small businesses and university researchers navigate the challenging path from lab prototype to commercialized product. Thanks to an i6 Challenge grant and a Small Business Administration grant, they join the Oregon BEST team in part-time roles via our Early-Stage Investments Program, which offers grant funding to universities and early stage ventures to grow Oregon's cleantech economy.
Experienced Entrepreneurs-in-Residence expand Oregon BEST's range of support available to cleantech innovators by providing consultation on business strategy, business development, and raising capital.
Steve Morris is Entrepreneur/Executive in Residence at Oregon BEST. He is also Executive Director of the Oregon Technology Business Center, an incubator for startup companies. He is a veteran of three investor-funded startups and two business-unit startups inside larger companies, and has more than 25 years of management experience in the software, service, and semiconductor test industries at companies such as Hewlett Packard, Integrated Measurement Systems, Cadence Design Systems, Mentor Graphics, Credence Corporation, and Teseda Corporation.
With hands-on startup CEO/founder experience, he has a broad understanding of startup issues and an excellent ability to explain complex startup topics in clear, easy-to-understand language. He has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs start and grow companies, and has developed a large inventory of startup workshops and practical startup tools. He holds a B.A. in mathematics from Reed College and a Masters of Science from Carnegie-Mellon University Graduate School of Industrial Administration (now The Tepper School of Business).
Michael De Salvo is an international business leader with experience developing product and strategy while growing multi-national teams to serve a diverse global market. Michael has served in C-level roles and other leadership positions while working with both startups and Fortune 500 companies. Originally from Sherwood, Oregon, he has worked in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa with the bulk of his time spent between Silicon Valley and Europe.
Dennis Powers is a co-founder and co-manager in the private equity firm VectorPoint Ventures, LLC and is working to develop a Northwest-focused growth equity portfolio. He was recently managing partner of Cornerstone Management Resources and has more than 35 years experience in technology ventures. He's held senior leadership positions in the electronics industry, been an officer and/or director in companies that have gone from early formation to successful exits, and is an angel investor and active volunteer in the entrepreneurial community.
Chris Ulum co-founded Agilyx Corporation in 2006 and led the company as CEO for more than six years. He raised more than $70 million in angel, venture, and strategic financing, built a strong team and board of directors, led the firm to initial commercialization, and built an exciting cleantech company that has won numerous industry awards. Prior to Agilyx, he worked in various functions for companies such as Sun Microsystems, IBM, and Frito-Lay. He attended Oregon State University, and received his MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Karl Mundorff joined Oregon BEST as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence before becoming Director of Research Programs. He developed collaborative research endeavors by coordinating Oregon BEST-related research programs at partner universities and national labs. Prior to joining Oregon BEST, Mundorff worked in the entrepreneurial business community for more than 20 years, starting with Gardenburger, where he drove sales to triple digit growth rates and helped take the company public. He then served as president and CEO of BioReaction Industries, which designed and constructed air pollution control equipment that used microbes as its catalyst. Mundorff is now Senior Program Manager for the OSU Advantage Accelerator.