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Local start-ups tout technology, tackle meth in Beaverton

Oregon Technology Business Center hosts Challenge Showcase event

Some of the Beaverton-area’s most promising new businesses were recognized as such on Friday afternoon.

Oregon Technology Business Center, a city sponsored start-up incubator, presented the Startup Challenge Showcase at 3 p.m. Friday on the third floor of the Beaverton City Hall building.

This was the first Beaverton Challenge Showcase event. The 2016 Beaverton Challenge winners were Droneseed, Goumikids, Cliqa, Semantec and Quickbeam.

The program was paid for with $50,000 from the city and $50,000 from Westside Startup Fund, LLC. For-profit, early-stage businesses with the ambition and potential to move into national and international markets were encouraged to apply.

Winners will receive free office space for a year at the Oregon Technology Business Center, discounted legal and accounting services, mentoring, coaching, human resources and marketing assistance. Each of the five winners received a $20,000 cash convertible-note, a loan that converts into stock in their companies. Westside Startup Fund, LLC, which is funded by investors, holds the stock.

Westside Startup Fund investors and city dignitaries attended the event.

Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle addressed about 60 attendees and touted the benefits of the first Beaverton $100,000 Startup Challenge.

The event was free of charge. Entrepreneurs learned from the Beaverton Challenge participants the value they are receiving from the program.

Investors talked with some of the current Westside Startup Fund investors and heard about their experiences with the fund. More than 60 startups applied for a piece of the $100,000.

Quickbeam, a start-up that was among the challenge winners, partners with the research, academic and clinical communities to identify and develop molecular therapies that directly counteract the biological and behavioral effects of chronic methamphetamine abuse, for the ultimate purpose of creating a pharmacological treatment for methamphetamine addiction.

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive substance that has posed a serious public health crisis in the United States.

According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 12 million people in the United States have tried methamphetamine at least once.

The U.S. spends an estimated $23 billion on methamphetamine-related expenses annually including medical treatment, lost quality of life, premature death, lab cleanup and explosions, crime and incarceration, child endangerment and lost productivity.

Currently, there are no FDA-approved pharmacological treatments for methamphetamine abuse.

Rebecca Voorheis is the CEO and co-founder of Quickbeam. She has more than 15 years experience in strategic investments, mergers and acquisitions, in- and out-licensing, and business development in both technology and life sciences. She holds a BA from Swarthmore College and an MBA from Duke University.

David Graham, the COO and co-founder of Quickbeam has more than 15 years of experience in business development and strategic planning in the healthcare and management consulting industries. Prior to Quickbeam, he was director of strategic development for WebMD, where he managed key accounts with multiple large pharmaceutical and biotech companies. He holds a BA from Swarthmore College and a MBA and MPP from the University of Michigan.

To learn more about Quickbeam, visit quickbeambio.com/. To learn more about the Oregon Technology Business Center, visit otbc.org/.