A new innovation speaker series will launch March 13

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A new UO speaker series will explore the path from idea to impact when it kicks off this Wednesday, March 13.

The 4:30 p.m. talk on “Fundraising from Eugene” will feature Jake Weatherly, co-founder of the Eugene digital verification services company SheerID. Part of the Innovation to Impact series, Weatherly’s talk will highlight some of his lessons learned and include his top tips for fundraising.

Since its founding in 2011, SheerID has secured more than $20 million in investment, and signed deals with everyone from Microsoft to Costco, Amazon and Expedia.

The free talks, which take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Gerlinger Alumni Lounge, are presented by UO’s Innovation Partnership Services unit, which works with the public, industry and fellow members of the UO community to foster partnerships that allow UO researchers and innovations to realize a greater impact in the world.

Co-hosted by the Oregon chapter of the National Academy of Inventors, Lundquist College of Business, the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, and UO’s Innovation Summit, the speaker series is part of a broader effort to foster innovation in the community.

Members of the public are invited, along with UO faculty members, staff and students. Wine and food will be served. Tickets are available online.

Two additional talks are scheduled for April and May on the following dates:

  • On Wednesday, April 3, entrepreneur Chad Barczak, CEO of IDX, LLC, will host “Art of Failure,” a talk on the importance of entrepreneurial resilience. A double Duck with a bachelor’s and an MBA from the UO, Barczak founded his first company when he was 12. At 19 he launched what would become a multi-million-dollar snowboarding apparel company, Jaro. It eventually went out of business, but Barczak didn’t let that stop him. He’s now CEO of a leading real estate listings company.
  • On Wednesday, May 1, Jenn Lynch, a partner at Portland Seed Fund, and Nitin Rai, founder and managing director of Elevate Capital and founder and president of Hillsboro eye care software company First Insight Corporation, will give a talk on “Investing the Oregon Way.” Bucking the national trend, the companies focus on investing in Pacific Northwest firms with female and minority founders. They will discuss the challenges and opportunities for diverse and underserved founders. They'll suggest strategies innovators and entrepreneurs can use to attract investors and reveal what they look for in a startup.

For more information, contact Vanessa Ringgold in Innovation Partnership Services at vrr@uoregon.edu.