Conference Program

DAY 1  |  Thursday, September 8, 2016

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  |  Concurrent Sessions

All General Admission, Member Company, Faculty, and Student Passes include the cost of admission to ONE of the following interactive sessions taking place from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 8th:

Interactive Workshop: The Yellow Brick Roadmap to Funding and Support | Are you an entrepreneur looking for help? Oregon has become a hotbed for innovation and entrepreneurship by offering a rich network of funding and support programs throughout the state. This interactive workshop will help you navigate that network. It's your opportunity to explore our interactive map of the wide array of funding and support resources available to Oregon entrepreneurs. Walking through the map will help you determine which services you qualify for and how to access them. You will come out of this workshop with a tailored roadmap outlining how to navigate the many resources available for your business or project. You'll even get to meet with representatives of some of those programs to take the first steps on your path. Sign up to find and follow the Yellow Brick Roadmap for the funding and support you need!  Learn more

Cleantech Challenge Judging | The Cleantech Challenge is an exciting competition for campus cleantech innovators and entrepreneurs throughout Oregon. Undergraduates, graduates, postdocs, and faculty from Oregon community colleges and universities compete for a total prize pool of up to $50,000. Attend the final judging round to meet the finalist teams and cast your vote for People's Choice!  Learn more

3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  |  Coffee & Networking Break (Plaza)

Join us on the World Trade Center Plaza to learn about cutting-edge research and technologies coming out of our region! We'll gather on the Plaza for refreshments, networking time, and exhibits.

3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  |  Cascadia CleanTech Pitch FEST (Auditorium)

In Oregon BEST FEST's second annual Pitch FEST, nine cleantech startups will compete for a $10,000 prize, in-kind services, and introductions to angel investors. The entire Oregon BEST FEST audience will vote for People's Choice! At the end of the twelve-week Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator program, three teams will be selected from a cohort of fifteen early-stage startups with innovations ranging from on-site water recycling and aquaponic microfarms to alternative concrete materials. These top three accelerator teams will pitch their business plans to a panel of investors at the Cascadia CleanTech Pitch FEST on September 8. One Early-Stage winner from the accelerator will go on to compete against Launch Stage and Growth Stage finalists for the Cascadia CleanTech Prize!

5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  |  Evening Reception & Live Music (Plaza)

Join us at the Evening Reception for appetizers, drinks, networking time, and exhibits. We'll announce the winners of the PSU Cleantech Challenge and Cascadia CleanTech Prize, followed by live music from Oleada!

DAY 2  |  Friday, September 9, 2016

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.  |  Breakfast (Plaza)

Get fueled up and ready for a great day. Coffee, tea, eggs, fruit, and pastries will be served on the Plaza!

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.  |  Morning Keynote: Marilyn Waite (Auditorium)

Global Needs and Cleantech Solutions
In her keynote address, Marilyn will draw upon her international experience to offer a vision of how global challenges and our global economy are driving increased collaboration and investment into innovative cleantech solutions.

Marilyn Waite’s vision is a world where sustainability values of social cohesion, environmental consciousness, intergenerational equity, and economic health drive decision-making and business practices. A speaker and author, she has addressed audiences in Africa, Europe, Asia, and North and Central America on sustainability in careers, education, textiles, climate change, water, and energy. Marilyn holds a Master’s Degree with distinction in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. Marilyn currently leads the energy practice at Village Capital, serves on the Board of Directors for Engineers for a Sustainable World and is a Senior Research Fellow at Paul Hawken’s Project Drawdown.

10:00 a.m. to Noon  |  Catalyst Presenters (Auditorium)

How can we create the future we want to live in? How can we harness innovation and entrepreneurship to address global challenges? At #BESTFEST16, a series of ten-minute Catalyst Presentations will explore transformative ideas such as the process of futurecasting, the biology of the built environment, opportunities for innovation in rural areas, the labs in our backyard and how they can effect change, the myths around cleantech startups, and the development of innovation ecosystems to address intractable problems by engaging a wider community upstream. This year's Catalyst Presenters:

  1. Brian David Johnson, Futurist
  2. Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg and Jessica Green, Biology and the Built Environment Center
  3. Daniella Russo Dimitrova, Think Beyond Plastic
  4. Kelley Minty Morris, Klamath County Board of Commissioners
  5. Steve Morris, Oregon Technology Business Center and Oregon BEST
  6. Katie Klos, Oregon BEST
  7. Jennifer Hodas, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Noon to 1:30 p.m.  |  Lunch & Networking (Plaza)

A great time to network and take in the exhibits. Explore the Companies Pavilion, Research Pavilion, Resources Pavilion, and Cleantech Challenge Pavilion! 

1:30 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.  |  Afternoon Keynote: Sheeraz Haji (Auditorium)

With a special introduction by Portland Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler


Cleantech Meets the Cloud: The Emergence of Cleantech-as-a-Service
Sheeraz will share insight into the need to bridge the gap between physical clean technologies and the cloud with a middle layer—an intelligent layer—of sensors, data, software, analytics, and financing instruments. This new middle layer ("cleantech-as-a service") represents a massive economic opportunity across a number of different markets.

Sheeraz Haji is an investor passionate about the power of cloud software to transform vertical markets such as clean energy and water. He has co-founded, served as an executive, and invested in numerous startups over the past twenty years. In addition to his work leading zipdragon ventures, Sheeraz serves as a senior advisor for Engie and as a venture partner for Rembrandt Venture Partners. Prior to founding zipdragon ventures, Sheeraz served as CEO of Cleantech Group (CTG) and played a pivotal role in the transformation towards cleaner energy and resource efficiency. Prior to CTG, Sheeraz co-founded and served as CEO of GetActive Software, which pioneered online fundraising and constituent engagement for nonprofits. He led GetActive’s merger with Convio; then as Convio’s President built a company that went public and was acquired for $325 million. Sheeraz has also worked as a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company. Sheeraz launched his career as an environmental engineer with Environ International. 

2:10 p.m. to 2:40 p.m.  |  Reverse Pitch (Auditorium)

Hear investors flip the script and pitch to the audience about the types of investment and technology opportunities they're interested in.

2:40 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  |  Ice Cream Social (Plaza)

#BESTFEST16 will wrap up with our first-ever Ice Cream Social on the afternoon of September 9th! Enjoy local flavors while networking in the Companies Pavilion, Research Pavilion, Resources Pavilion, and Cleantech Challenge Pavilion.